Score Indie Quickie: Zoe and Urgen – Score Short Reads
Talk to us about your single “With me”. How did that come about?
With Me, written by Urgen Yolmo, co-written by Zoe Siddharth, is based on two lovers coping with separation. It represents the juxtaposition of want and understanding – one wishing to stay while knowing they have to leave and the other, wishing they stayed but understanding why they have to leave.
The focus of the song is in the intensity of the build towards the bridge where what started out as a conversation starts turning into the characters trying to say their piece.
What is your process of songwriting? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Zoe & Urgen don’t live in the same city (Z lives in Mumbai, while U lives in Bangalore), hence working together is possible only when either of the two is visiting the other.
In one such instance, after finishing the work for the week in Mumbai, Urgen was going back to Bangalore and in the spirit of the moment, since he badly wanted to stay back, he took the guitar and started playing some chords while humming the lines “stay with me” and Zoe added her harmony to it.
After a month or so, Urgen was going through my recording and found this one little melody and immediately told Zoe about the sort of eerie feel this was giving him and that the two should make this a song. She agreed.
Thus, Urgen started working on the song. After completion, Zoe wrote her verse. Since the two are diverse from each other as songwriters it worked in their favour by creating a unique syllabic and symbolic balance in their lyrics.
The absolute uniqueness emerged in the bridge. The both wrote their own conversational part of the bridge separately (keeping in mind the rhyme scheme) then later Urgen put them together working on the disparate syllabic structure of what both has written.
Urgen, for this song, drew inspiration from several slow rock and gothic rock bands he used to listen as a child while Zoe’s writing is inspired by pop ballads.
How do you train your voice?
Zoe usually does a couple vocal warm-ups before singing, to make sure the voice is completely open. She doesn’t do too much, but also constantly sings songs by artists she is inspired by in order to improve range, runs and technique.
Urgen also does warms ups and a bit of breathing before singing. Most of his training happens when he is working on arrangements of songs vis-a-vis harmonies and melodies, that require him to push his range every time.
Tell us about the video production that went into the making of your latest single.
This self directed one-shot music video, shot by Blake D’silva, represents the aforementioned state of battle between wishing and understanding within the characters in the modern world, with respect to the turmoil that both of them carry throughout the continuous motion of the camera and the characters, as it builds towards a cathartic finish.
Our aim was to create quality content while also going easy on our wallets. So, we chose Zoe’s apartment as the location of the shoot, designed it ourselves, keeping in mind the aesthetics of how the video was envisioned.
If there was something about the music industry you can change, what would it be and why?
We would hope for more English language singer-songwriters/artists to get the recognition they deserve. We would want this particular scene to become more developed in order to be able to hit the global stage. There is so much talent that the world needs to see, coming from India.
- 3 artists you would love to collaborate with in the Indian Indie scene – When Chai Met Toast, Anoushka Maskey and Kamakshi Khanna.
- 2 pieces of gear you cannot live without – Phone, Laptop (Cuz we literally do all our editing work on the two devices.
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