Emotions at play

Emotions at play
It was eight years back, that singer-songwriter Mahesh Raghunandan got into music. The young musician, who started out solo, formed a band later on, but is now back into making music himself. In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, the artiste talks about his journey so far.

How did music happen?
I grew up listening to music. The change happened when I heard ‘Gravity’ by John Mayer, which is when I wanted to take music to a more serious level. I was listening to the lyrics and I felt that it was all different, which helped bring a feeling in me that I had never had before. I wanted to express myself which is when I started writing too.

Your genre of music is ...
My music combines Indie folk, folk rock, pop rock and soul along with a hint of blues.

What inspires you to perform/write music?
I keep telling this to myself — if I want to write a song about punching someone in the face, when I sing or perform it, it will have to emote as much as possible for the listener to feel that he or she is being punched in the face. That is the whole idea — to translate the emotion as accurately and as clearly as possible through words and melody. When I am starting a song, I keep playing the melody and ask myself what it makes me feel inside. Emotions play the biggest role in my songs.

Some of your own compositions include...
I have worked on 24 songs. ‘Sleep’, ‘Your Kind of Love’, ‘Your Story’, ‘Your Mind’, ‘Finders Keepers’ and ‘Kill Me’ are some of the songs I’ve worked on.

One of your most important works...
A song called ‘Sleep’, which reignited the whole process of writing by itself, is an important song. The song was inspired by the photograph of a baby that was just born. It helped me to create this song which was a lullaby-cum-romantic one, which I performed at a small birthday party. A friend took a video of me performing the song and posted it online. That spread like wildfire. The post fetched around 60,000 views and opened up the doors to many opportunities, including people like Vishal Dadlani noticing me.

Who are your biggest influences?
Of course John Mayer, as that’s where I started off from. I’m influenced by a range of artistes like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Damien Rice and BB King, among others. I’m also drawn to many singer-songwriters from Ireland.  Each one of them has their own way of expressing themselves or an idea or a story. Every single time I hear their works, I ask myself what are they trying to do? Every single word they say and how they are trying to express these matters.

Interesting performances that you want to highlight...
I have opened for artistes like ‘The Raghu Dixit Project’, Bruce Lee Mani of ‘Thermal and a Quarter’, Parvaaz, ‘The Kutle Khan Project’, Sanjeev Thomas, Baiju Dharmajan and international artistes like Lucy Rose, Luke Sital-Singh from the UK and Ty Penshorn from Australia. I performed a singer-songwriter set at The Bacardi NH7 Weekender in the city in 2015.

What’s next?
I will be touring to Gujarat, Kochi, Kerala, Mumbai and Delhi soon. I’m also working on an EP  which is inspired from ‘Let Me Stay’, which is about staying in the moment.

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