How did your journey as a musician begin?
I was first introduced to music by my father, who was a fabulous gospel singer. I eventually ended up playing the keys regularly for him at church. But I really felt the power of music when I was introduced to the guitar. It was love at first sight. I started a band in college, started writing original music and also played as a session musician with many local and international artists. I gradually developed my own style.
Tell us your songwriting process
Having written close to 40 songs, I feel that the process keeps evolving, according to the need of the emotion to be expressed. I draw inspiration from daily experiences that have an impact on me. I write music that is easily relatable to listeners, but I don’t compromise on artistic expression and complexity. I make sure to stretch my music sensibilities as much as possible, experimenting with challenging styles of music in my original compositions.
Name some musicians you’d love to collaborate with and why
I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with many of my musical heroes like Brucelee Mani, Triprithi,
Monica Dogra, Jeoraj Stanley George and many other fabulous musicians from India and around the world. In the future, I would really love to collaborate with Karsh Kale and Warren.
I love their music, which is very different from my style, so it would be a juicy challenge.
Tell us about your upcoming projects
I’m very excited that my band, The Sylvester Trio, will be touring to share our debut album titled ‘There Will Be More’ with the world. We have also started preliminary work on our second album. Some of our music videos are in pre-production too.
I am also happy to announce my new project ‘Slyfly and The Blues Company’ – a nine piece Blues band – has kicked off. I have composed, written and arranged all the songs and we will be putting our music out there soon. Finally, I am composing music for short films and feature length films.
Which has been your best performance till date and why?
I believe the best is yet to come, but so far, my favorite performance was for the launch of The Sylvester Trio’s debut album – ‘There Will Be More’. We had a young, new crowd singing with us and we loved that our music was reaching newer audiences. The idea of your music being relevant to all ages is quite satisfying.
What are some guitar techniques you’ve acquired recently and can you talk more about it?
I concentrate on blending my guitar playing for the song, as I believe that “the song is the winner”. At the same time, I push my guitar style with interesting licks and moving chord-works strongly based on jazz and funk while singing over them, to make build a more interesting and full sound. I blend Blues roots with contemporary melody lines to make my guitar solos more relatable, bold and well-articulated. I am also experimenting with fusion and rock fusion guitar styles. Most importantly, I always focus on my original sound and style, to make it unique.
Tell us about the gear you own / use
I AM A FENDER BOY! I custom-built my guitar from a vintage Sunn Mustang Strat body and placed vintage Fender hardware and Fat50 pickups. I also use a Fender Deluxe Player’s Strat. I use Dunlop wah, visual sound comp 66 compressor, OCD and super badass distortion as my primary drives, DD7 delay and line 6 M9 as my FX unit. I run them all through a Fender Hotrod Deluxe.