'I want to be remembered as a good soul'

'I want to be remembered as a good soul'

He started his musical career at the age of seven and there has been no looking back for Shwetaank Gupta since then. He grew  up with a penchant for Indian classical music and showcased an early understanding of instruments like harmonium and the sitar. After graduation from Berklee College of Music, he shifted his focus on the blues and electronic guitar. Now, he goes by the artiste name Shwe G.

With his incredible talent and extensive learning for music, Shwe is currently based in New York City working on his debut album. Together with NYC-based Benny Benson and Las Vegas-based Spicy Gringo, he has written, produced and recorded over 25 studio tracks.

In a  conversation with Anila Kurian, Shwe talks about his upcoming album and what it's like to be an Indian musician based in New York City.

What encouraged you to join the  music industry?

I started playing music at a young age. But it was when I first joined Berklee College of Music in 2012 that I knowingly entered the music industry with thousands of other active musicians. I believe that paved my way into the industry.

Did you always know that you wanted to be a musician?

Nobody always knows what they want to be. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was in the sixth grade. I was fascinated with history, I still am. But I guess watching my idols in my pre-teens, made me realise that they were liberated on stage. That's what I wanted, that feeling and I decided to pursue music as my life.

Tell us about your debut album.

The record titled '2017Madison' is a recollection of my experiences. You can hear a lot of my soul and a quarter of my life, literally. I have collaborated a lot for this, so much so that it is hard to keep up. You can also expect to hear a lot of New York elements if that makes sense.

What kind of musician do you want to be known as?

If I am going to be known at all, I want to be remembered as a good soul, a good compassionate being. Being a musician is secondary but I think a legacy is valid and truly valid only when you touch people's intrinsic thoughts and reach out deeper. I guess I want to be and want to be known as the most relatable musician in any given century.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?  

Being in New York, I have met people from different countries and for them to trust me with their music is indeed an achievement. Never did I think, being in suburban India that I would be in a studio session with somebody from Ghana or Grenada. It's insane how much I get to learn from diversity.

What do you enjoy about India?  

Everything. I am an Indian and will always be. India is a very special place and it is a religious experience in itself to be born here. Never did I learn a greater deal about secularism than anywhere else in the world. I think the music scene is just fantastic and it's headed in the right direction. I am very positive about Indian music scene and the rapid growth of aspiring musicians who want to pursue music as a career.

Any other interests apart from singing?

Singing good, I guess. Also, everything that has to do with music. Song-writing, composing, guitar-playing, producing, touring - the whole nine yards. Apart from music, I like to
read.

How do you spend your free time?

I have hobbies, a lot of them. Photography, reading and watching old movies.

Any other projects you're working on?

I am working with the pop duo 'Ehrie'; they are about to finish their record and I am psyched personally. Apart from that, I am touring with a few other acts as a guitar player because I am very much fascinated by the rhythm section of the band and I want to nail it.

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