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Interview of The Mellow Turtle – Score Short Reads

Interview of The Mellow Turtle – Score Short Reads

Social worker, wildlife enthusiast, and musician Rishabh Lohia aka The Mellow Turtle is one of the many talented artists leading the music scene here in Jharkhand.

He has multiple EPs and singles, and 1 full album in his discography. Along with Rapper Producer Tre Ess aka Sumit Singh Solanki, he helps blind students of St. Michael School explore their musical sides under Ekastha Foundation, an NGO.

They also released a single written and performed by two blind students, “Dil Aziz”, under the Jio Saavn which gathered millions of streams on the music platform.

Here’s a short conversation with this blues and electronica artist, The Mellow Turtle. He talks about the music scene here in Jharkhand and how music gave meaning to his life.

Interview of The Mellow Turtle - Score Short Reads
Mellow Turtle

How did you get into music?

I have been interested in music since childhood, I remember listening to Ricky Martin and Backstreet Boys on cassettes. I started playing guitar at a young age and always enjoyed it. So I guess music has been a part of my life for a long time now, but I never considered myself a musician (I still don’t feel very comfortable calling myself an artist). 

What do you feel about the independent music scene in Jharkhand?

 I believe that Jharkhand has immense potential, we have amazing musicians in this state. In my humble opinion, the problem lies in work ethic. We lack a healthy community of musicians here and more often than not people are trying to pull each other down.

I have seen great bands becoming dormant, talented musicians cover happy b’day songs, and people not coming out of their comfort zone. The independent scene in Jharkhand does not exist

. I can name only two acts that I respect- Vikrit and Tre Ess. If you know of some good bands/musicians from Jharkhand please let me know. I would love to hear them .

These days people are starting to listen to indie music, original music but still there’s a big population unaware of this plethora of amazing music which still gets undermined due to Bollywood and pop music, how do you think indie music can be brought to more mainstream?

There is definitely a growing audience for Indie music (which is great), but I don’t think it will ever have an outreach as wide as bollywood or pop music. There will be a Prateek Kuhad every now and then who breaks the shackles of Indie and reaches a wide audience, but the scene as a whole will always be niche. 

The real potential lies in regional music. I have heard some good folk songs from Jharkhand, but they need better music production. I believe that musicians from Jharkhand should try experimenting with Adivasi folk songs. I would love to hear that. (We with Ekastha are taking small steps in this direction).

Interview of The Mellow Turtle - Score Short Reads
Mellow Turtle and Tre Ess with Ekastha

You’ve done an incredible job with Ekastha foundation and the St. Micahel’s School for Blinds (“Dil Aziz” was really beautiful.)  What inspired you to do this apart from the music you were already creating?

 Thank you so much! Coming from a privileged background, I always have felt an urge to do something for society. I guess I have felt guilty/ashamed of my privilege too.

This pushed me to do things through which I can do at least a little good in life. Other than that I could not have done this without the support of my friend Sumit, the amazing Principal and teachers of St. Michaels, and most importantly the beautiful kids. They are an inspiration for me, they give me meaning in life and there is so much I learn from them. 

What are your future plans? Can we expect some original music in the upcoming months?

 I and Sumit are working on an EP with the kids. The EP will consist of songs in Sadri and other regional languages. I’m quite excited about the same. As Mellow Turtle I might drop an EP this year, lets see…

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