The voice of the guitar

Acoustic act

The voice of the guitar

His music resonates with his personality; gentle and soft in nature yet classy in style. The Delhi-based percussive-acoustic guitarist, Dhruv Visvanath strums heady, emotional stories through masterful tunes while shifting effortlessly through high octaves.

The lyrics come without any frills attached and take the listeners on a reflective
journey. Dhruv says, “The hardest part of writing a song is capitalising on emotion and telling a story through it. This comes from a place of experience and that makes a big difference in music. It’s like a telescope, when one draws from powerful feelings out of one’s experiences. We musicians have a useful tool to express our emotions.”

Despite being a true-blue acoustic guitarist, Dhruv never fails to present a bouquet of surprises for his fans; by opening for heavy metal bands and playing ‘The Wall’ on his piano.

The hunger to learn has always made him stand apart and he looks at the exposure to different music as opportunities to grow. He was the only Indian guitarist to be featured under ‘30 Great Guitarists under 30’, pitted against the likes of Ed Sheeran and Laura Marling.

 Viewing this as a big milestone, the guitarist says, “I feel very lucky and blessed to be part of this list. Lists are, however, temporary. I feel happy, of course, to be representing India here and I know that there are a number of talented artistes in our country. I want to look at this as an example and push myself more so that I can fine tune my skills.”

Dhruv’s tryst with sound started with the piano, when he enthusiastically learnt it when his mother said, “girls fawn over pianists”. As his inclination to music developed and he began to move forward in his grades, he applied the techniques to guitar, figuring out the right chords on his own and fiddling with it along the way. Dhruv also spent a good amount of childhood in Hong Kong. Growing up abroad, he recalls, has definitely widened his horizon in music.

He adds, “In Hong Kong, people are exposed to many international acts and have an inclination to Western culture, while the exposure came much slowly to India.” 

 In 2012, he is also part of a band called ‘Dhruv Visvanath Trio’ which incorporates acoustic and electric elements.

He says that it’s challenging to play both as a band and a solo artiste, as ultimately, the song has to look wholesome even if it’s a creative, collaborative effort.

He considers Bengaluru his second home and finds the music circuit here as engaging and lively, and slightly different from Delhi.

“The City has a more Anglicised crowd. In Delhi, though there is a lot of scope and opportunities to be a musician, most of them look for a Hindi connection in the gig. Bengaluru is extremely lively and young and the city is open to change and new experiences. Though EDM has rocked the city, there is plenty of space for other genres to coexist. I find that one can be themselves here. They aren’t afraid to wear their skin proudly.” About the number of bands floating in the industry today, Dhruv says that bands have to be as engaging as possible to stay in the scene.

“The audience is a floating crowd and the band has to take this as a challenge. As they keep working, they know that it will only last longer till their next performance. They are prepared to play for a larger audience the next time. It’s a good way to garner different followers and helps one build a loyal fanbase. They just have to give it time and effort.” If not musician, then what? “An astrophysicist,” he says after a pause.

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