Apart from his heavy-duty touring with some of the biggest acts of the country (Parikrama, Shubha Mudgal, Aditi Singh Sharma), Gaurav Balani has started to make waves with his solo projects.
Titled INALAB (featuring Gaurav’s independent creations) and the Couch Potato Series (a fan art series dedicated to the soundtracks of TV series based on Gaurav’s interpretations), the two projects are diverse and engaging. He actively started working on them in 2016 and the New Year saw the release of two tracks from each of his projects, which have received thousands of hits. He is all set to release a track from each of his projects, this month.
Tell us about INALAB
I’ve been composing for as long as I can remember but I only released my compositions starting last year. INALAB is my solo setup where I collaborate with and feature various artists that I’ve been wanting to work with… It’s like having a massive band because the songs feature some amazing artists from the India and abroad. This setup is my biggest focus right now and I’m excited to go live with the music this summer. INALAB has had two releases so far: Bonzo feat Julie Hill (Miami based vocalist; link Bonzo), Illuminate feat Ujwal Nagar (of Advaita; link: Illuminate)
What do you enjoy doing more and why? Touring and playing or making your own music?
Both actually, but touring little more… I couldn’t be happier then when I’m on the road. The energy that I feel in front of a live audience is incomparable. During the summers, when touring takes a hit and although no touring feels okay for a bit, because your body needs the rest, after a week or so, I feel the need to be on the road again. The off season, however gives me the time to finish a lot in the studio. And in fact, during a lot of my studio takes I try and imagine a live audience as that helps me deliver my best.
Elaborate on the Couch Potato Series
Couch Potato is a fan art series that I created in collaboration with One Digital Entertainment and Crude’n’Cuddly. I love writing background scores so we decided to regularly release small animated videos based on our favourite TV series. Once the score is complete, we collaborate with an artist to interpret the visuals in their own way. It’s essentially a way of showing appreciation to the people who’ve created such amazing content and familiarizing the audience with some unconventional music that I’ll be using for my live shows. Narcos and Stranger Things have been inspirations for previous releases.
You play with some of the leading acts in the country like Parikrama. Tell us about your most favorite live experience?
It is quite an honour to be able to perform with such illustrious acts and since they all play different genres (Rock, Fusion and Bollywood) my experiences are rich and varied. Being on stage with the mighty Parikrama is definitely on the top of the list because the band’s energy is infectious and unlike anything that I had ever experienced before!
Although, the most fun I would have say is when I’m performing with Aditi Singh Sharma because we’ve almost grown up together, so besides just having a good time on stage, the travel is a lot more relaxed and the band ends up staying back a couple of days in our favourite places.
Your upcoming projects
Currently I’m working on finishing a song with Shubha Mudgal ji. We’ve been working hard on this track and it’s been quite a task to finish the track with all the travel, but I’m extremely grateful to her for letting me feature her on an INALAB single.
Another song that took us a while to finalise, features some of the most talented artists from the Delhi scene, Suyash Gabriel (Drums), Moulik Siddhart (Vocals) and Rahul Sainani (Guitars). Apeksha Dandekar and I co-wrote a song about the various atrocities women face in their daily lives.
Finally, since the last season of Game of Thrones is on its way, we decided to dedicate the next ‘Couch Potato’ video on the cult TV series. The song is called Mirage and it is by far the grandest string section (sonically) I’ve worked on. Both the tracks release this month.
This interview was featured in our June 2017 issue: http://bit.ly/2sX1ZcF