‘Our songs come from personal experiences’

‘Our songs come from personal experiences’

Five-member band releases single ‘Rab Raakha’

Hailing from different backgrounds, ‘The Yellow Diary’ is a five-member music collective who make alternative pop-rock music.

The members are former naval cadet Rajan Batra (lead vocalist and lyricist), Himonshu Parikh (keyboard and production), Vaibhav Pani (guitar), Stuart DaCosta (bass) and Sahil Shah (drums). Each of them who bring their unique styles to the band created a fan-base in a short span of time.

They have already released two EPs — Marz and Izafa — under Sony Music label. The team chatted with Metrolife to explain their creative process.

From writing down your music thoughts individually and coming together as a group now, what’s the process like?

Himonshu: Our process is very spur of the moment. The song may just be an idea Vaibhav is playing on the guitar or a keyboard chord progression by me, or even a bassline and grove by Sahil or Stuart. Eventually, that seeds the idea of a song which we diligently record onto a voice note and then record at the studio. From there to the finish line, there have been many different roads to completing a song, but the end goal is whatever works best for the song.

How did you all meet?

Rajan: I met Himonshu in 2015 in a professional capacity and then decided to collaborate with each other fulltime after we worked on ‘Marz’ together. We then got Vaibhav on board to play guitar. He was pursuing a career in IT at the time. After a positive response to the song, we decided to take the music live, for which Himonshu roped in his old friend Sahil Shah (drummer), who then in turn roped in Stuart on bass to form ‘The Yellow Diary’.

What was it like leaving your full-time jobs behind and pursue music?

Vaibhav: We have been very lucky to have supportive families, who have given us the freedom to pursue a career in the arts. It was a tough choice but it felt absolutely correct — leaving behind a stable paycheck for a satisfied soul.

What’s the story behind the name ‘The Yellow Diary’?

Rajan: Our songs come from our personal thoughts, experiences and of those close to us — a similar vibe to something you would pen down in your personal diary. The colour yellow has several meanings, being a very mysterious colour, spanning from happy and bright to dark, cynicism and physical illness.

Himonshu: Just as the colour yellow spans from dark to bright, and our music reflects a similar range of emotions. Hence, each song is a different page of the diary with a different emotion.

Tell us about the first time you played live on stage.

Stuart: Our first concert was a self-organised one where we invited a few close friends to come and watch us perform; we even had the concert recorded and shot. Some of these videos are still on YouTube.

Sahil: When you see us perform live, you’ll realise that we channel the energy of the audience. Over the last five years, from our first concert where we performed for 35 people to performing for thousands; we are always excited to play our songs live. We are looking forward to performing in front of new audiences across the world.

What about the music industry would you like to change?

Vaibhav: I think the industry overall has a blurry understanding of their rights and what they are entitled to. As musicians, composers and producers, if we are made more aware of the current scenario of publishing, royalties and copyrights, it would be easier to equate some value to the art that you want to put into the world.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

Stuart: We are constantly writing new songs. We have loads of unreleased material but we’re looking for the right time and the right way to release them. We’re looking forward to releasing many more songs with Sony Music India in the coming years and perform live across the globe. For ‘Rab Raakha’, we’ll be doing a multi-city tour across February and March. More updates about that on our social media page!

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