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Nikhil D’Souza – Waqt is Timeless: Score Indie Reviews

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Nikhil D’Souza is a Mumbai based singer-songwriter. He grew up as a big fan of music but went on to major in Geology. Legend says that he returned to his musical roots as a result of a chance encounter with his friend. And the world was made more musical as a result of that.

Aside from a stellar career as a playback singer, Nikhil D’Souza also creates his own music. He also won at SUTASI ‘09 in the South Asia Soloist category. Nikhil D’ Souza has been repeatedly praised for his solid songwriting chops in the past. He was also selected by India Today as one of their “Faces of the Future”, and he has also appeared on MTV’s COKE Studio series and Sofar Sounds. 

Nikhil D’Souza’s last EP, “People” released in May 2020 and amassed over 300,000 streams within the first 30 days. Not one to let the buzz die down, he is back with a four track EP with a completely different flavour this time out. All the songs have been performed in Hindi, a first for Nikhil D’Souza.

Each track on the EP reminds the listeners of the evanescent machinations of love and relationships, woven through the fabric of time. The songs are bound to take listeners down memory lane as all of them are immensely relatable. Each and every track tugs hard at the nostalgic thread and is bound to make you look back in time and smile. Let’s see what each track entails.

The EP kicks off with the warm and tender “Thode Se Kam”. It’s a beautifully written track that is driven by the warmth and richness of Nikhil D’Souza’s voice. It is driven by a minimalist acoustic guitar rhythm which creates the backbone which helps carry all the tenderness into the listener’s ears. Nikhil D’Souza doesn’t as much as sing the words on “Thode Se Kam”, he makes you reminisce about someone from your past whose absence from your present has left a hole in your heart.

The second track on the EP, “Teri Tarah” sees a tonal shift as it sounds less sombre from the beginning. The melody is more uplifting and the acoustic guitar rhythm is far brighter. Even Nikhil D’Souza’s voice has a less brooding tone in this song. This song is an ode to that person in your life who is irreplaceable.

That person who makes you feel like no one else can, a rare, precious gem who you’d always cherish, whether he/she is in your present life or not. Watch out as Nikhil D’Souza spreads his mighty vocal wings and soars high around the two and a half minute mark. Stunning.

The third track “Gaye Zamaane” has a beautiful, ambient intro which sets up Nikhil D’Souza’s vocal melody perfectly. The track is a walk down memory lane. Instrumentally, there’s a lot going on under Nikhil D’Souza’s awesome vocal lines. This is definitely the musically richest track of the EP. The musical accompaniment creates a wonderful atmosphere for the track and sets up the listener’s mood very well. This is the perfect soundtrack for any nostalgia trip. 

The EP concludes with “Hairaan” and the sheer quality of this song shouldn’t come as a shock for listeners. After all, Nikhil D’Souza hasn’t done anything else but wow his listeners with the “Waqt” so far. The track starts with a brief and beautiful doo-wop style vocal harmony over some beautiful acoustic guitar chord progressions. Soon, Nikhil D’Souza starts singing the heartwarming lyrics in his rich and emotive voice. He makes you feel every word that he sings. A great closer for a great EP.

Nikhil D’Souza composed all of the music on the EP while the lyrics were penned by long time friend and frequent collaborator Pinky Poonawala. All of the EP’s songs except “Teri Tarah” were tracked in his home studio. The production duties on “Waqt” have been handled by Nikhil D’Souza, Karan Jhaveri and Aditya Ashok aka OX7GEN.

Backing vocals on “Teri Tarah” were provided by Vaibhavi D and D’Souza’s longtime bandmates Zohran Miranda and Nathan Thomas played the additional guitar parts on “Gaye Zamaane”. The EP has been mixed and mastered by Chinmay Harshe while the gorgeous cover art has been provided by Noopur Kabra.

Verdict: A fabulous way to spend 15 minutes of your life, many times over.

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