First off, where have you been all this while Neha? What have you been up to? l I have been busy this whole year getting my album Tabaah together. Its been quite a journey, from writing the album with Gaurav Dayal, to mixing it. Then shooting the video ‘Apple Bottoms’ in Ukraine. Now finally the album is out and its time to tour.
You toured the college circuit a lot when you were in Viva. Now, would you still like to do the same thing or do you see yourself as grown from there and playing to bigger venues? l My audience was and is the college crowd. They relate to my music as it’s youth-centric. With this album, I am trying to do something different. Post Diwali, my troupe an I will tour the country taking the music on ground. I’m very excited about the concerts as that is the real deal.
Tell me about the new video, ‘Apple Bottoms’ and the new album… l The song is my first release from the album. It is a beat-driven song, capturing the soul of hip hop. Strangely, as it’s a song about the butt, we enjoyed flaunting our worked out behinds in the video. The song is a fun anthem, about loving oneself. The album Tabaah has the prevalent shades of my personality. There are some good pop rock songs to look out for which are about my experiences.
What kind of flavor did you give the music? l I explored my favourite that is pop rock, Tabaah has a grunge rock, aggressive feel to it, whereas Neela Aasma has beautiful open guitar parts with easy vocals and backings, hooks.. Then you have ‘Apple Bottoms’ which is a club song, so I’d say I dabbled in both pop rock and dance, both genres that I enjoy a lot. We enjoyed flaunting our butts in the video.
A lot of singers have a side career as well, as many have said that merely being in music in this country doesn’t provide one’s bread and butter. What do you feel about this? l I feel very sad by this revelation. If in a country that claims to be growing, the youth does not have the liberty to make their passion their career, then I don’t think we are really growing. Today, content is not a winner on mediums like TV and radio. Its money. Anyone and everyone who has money can buy airtime. That’s why we don’t produce Beyonces, Pink Floyds, Led Zeppelins or Michael Jacksons in our country.
Who would you’ll like to collaborate with internationally and why? l Oh with a lot of people, John Mayer is on top of my list. I love his easy songwriting style and his playing… I want to do something with Timbaland and it has been a dream to sing a great melody with Def Leppard.
What is your approach to recording? Do you for example, lay down a basic track with say, a guide vocal and then perfect each part, adding effects with say, a Binson Echo Unit, Roland Space Echo, Phasing and so on… l We usually put down a scratch track with a basic beat on a tempo, then rough chords and then compose a melody on top. Then we do final vocals, by focussing on vocals first, rather than arrangement. We use MPC 2500 for producing electronic drums and basslines and Gaurav loves the Dave Smith ‘Mopho’ Analog synth. Also he uses the Roland Space Echo a lot! We recorded through high end analog gear, such as Neve 1073 Pre/EQ and distressor compressor.
This was all recorded to Logic Pro on Mac. Then we mixed out analog summing on the Trident 8T custome console and used real effects units like the Lexicon PCM 80 and Eventide Eclipse. We also use a lot of plugins from Waves and Softtube. So yes, a mix of sound from analog and digital seemed to work for us. Let’s hope that the people who buy the record also think so.