Carving their own niche

Going solo

Carving their own niche

The city has always kept itself open to all genres and formats of music. The latest trend is that of musicians, who were once part of music projects or bands, moving on to do solo projects. There are, of course, some who continue to do both.

 Singer-songwriter Mahesh Raghunandan, who had formed the band ‘Mahesh And The Mix’, decided to go back to solo projects and performances sometime back.

  He says, “Bands and artistes are different mediums of a creative process. Ego is a constant problem in bands although that’s not the reason I preferred one form over the other. It’s the result of my need to be in a certain creative environment which can reflect in my music. My music is highly melancholic and deals with personal stories and pain.”

Mahesh adds that he felt it was more natural to address these stories himself.
It could be challenging to sync with all the members of a band, says Aditya Ashwath, a vocalist and guitarist. “Though I play for the band ‘InTheNow’, I  wanted an outlet for the music I write. It is always easier to figure out the logistics when it is a two-member project or one with a single artiste,”  says Aditya.

 He adds that venues in the city are more receptive to solo artistes as a lot of equipment is required for bands.

 “The operational expense is much lesser while working with just one or two artistes. The payment is also more when it’s a band. Thus, the opportunities are far more for solo artistes than groups,” informs Aditya. He adds that there is a certain intimacy with the audience while playing solo that may not exist when one is in a band.

The joy of creating one’s own music can beat nothing else, says music director Judah Sandhy, who has made music for films like ‘Badmaash’, ‘Lifu Super’ etc. “I started off with the band ‘Slain’, but I wanted to explore music on my own terms. I thought I could progress by doing independent work, which also gives a special joy,” he says.

 Judah, who turned singer-songwriter recently, wants to cut an album in world music. “It’s a conceptional album — the questions related to day-to-day things like love and confusion,” he says.

Exploring different genres, apart from the projects one is associated with, is also possible with solo projects, vouches Sanjay Kumar, who is part of ‘The Raghu Dixit Project’. “Things are much easier when it’s just you managing what you want to do. Often when there are a lot of ideas, it is not possible to incorporate all of them. For example, if I play in a metal band and want to make an electronic song, the chances for the same are bleak,” he says.

Sanjay has an EP called ‘#this’ and has released multiple videos online as a solo artiste. He says  things are now easier with innovative technology being used to make music.

 “Everyone wants to try out different genres and be more creative these days. People don’t want to be stuck with playing just one style of music and they like the freedom,” says Sanjay. He adds that the financial aspect also matters.

 “The money in returns is mostly entirely yours,” he adds.
Jared Renfred Sandhy, who’s a part of ‘Final Surrender’ and ‘Mute The Saint’, says that he enjoyed working on music alone.

“I don’t just play the drums, I also play the keyboards, piano, guitars and do music programming. I have the base of a band in me and this has helped me create whatever I wanted to. I got a chance to play with an American band too for a bit, after which came singles like ‘You & Me’ and a Malayalam track ‘Neeyum Njanum’,” he says. Jared points out that his love for music is what made him want to create a space for himself.

 “The trend of going solo and finding one’s own space is picking up well in the city,” he adds.

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