In conversation with Gaurav Balani

Tell us about your latest song Say your prayers

This song was like therapy for me. I was dealing with some issues on the personal front and writing this song was like getting out all my emotions and being done with it. I got to try out some ideas that I had never been able to think off before. But most of all, it was the fact that I got to work with an amazing video director and some amazing musicians on this track. I had always wanted to shoot a live video of a studio performance to capture the essence of an unedited and raw take. We were able to achieve that despite the various obstacles we faced during the making of this song and the video. It was a great learning experience for me because I was trying out this concept for the first time and I feel better equipped to try it out again very soon for the next Inalab collaboration.

For this song, you have collaborated with some stalwarts from the country. How did you choose the artists you wanted to collaborate with?

I was very fortunate to get to work with the amazing musicians on this song. I’ve known them for as long as I can remember and I always wanted to feature them on an Inalab song which showcases their talent in a very different light. When I finished my draft of the song, I knew in my head what kind of sound I was looking for and these guys were the perfect fit for it. They were kind enough to take out time from their touring schedule and help me finish the song and the video.

Message you are trying to send across through this song

The song is just trying to convey a very simple message which we often forget and that is – Life can be extremely unpredictable. The best thing that we can do is adapt to the situation and hope for the best, but the most important thing is to not lose yourself with all the murkiness. Whatever it is that we’re dealing with will be over in due time and in fact in many cases it can be over when you want it to, it’s a matter of perspective.

Being an independent musician, what’s your take on the current Indian scene?

The current Indian indie scene is going through an extreme transition. Anything and everything is being accepted as long as it’s being done with integrity. The audience is very accepting of all sorts of genres and are even willing to pay for the music that they really appreciate. In my humble opinion, the bollywood music is too saturated in today’s date and a lot of the audience from that side of the world is gravitating towards various genres which aren’t traditionally mainstream and that is making things a little better for the independent artists. We’ve seen some amazing talent gain phenomenal popularity over the last few years in the independent scene. There’s just a lot more competition though and that is also a really good thing because for the most part of it only the really serious artists will want to fight through it and constantly reinvent themselves to remain relevant.

What makes your track stand out from the usual?

Firstly, its an extremely experimental track where any listener can hear the various influences of all the musicians that have performed on it. The idea was to push the boundaries harmonically when it comes to psychedelic rock music. I tried out an insane amounts of analog and digital synthesizers before narrowing down upon the sounds that are on the record. The tabla solo layered right before the crescendo is a bit of a surprise too for a “traditional” rock song. Also, the main melody of the song is played on the bass. That doesn’t happen too often either.

 

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