Beyond all the fuss and the glory, an idea has been taking shape – like something lingering under the ground, unaffected by the changing seasons.
For years now, the tag of entertainment has been like a leash around the neck of Indian artistic and musical expression – societal relevance has been a far-fetched dream. My efforts with Urooj are meant to symbolize, if not push towards, a time in Indian creative expression where it fearlessly tussles with the norm to find societal relevance and attain its form in shaping time.
“Stay out of politics, dude.”
“Bro, tu gaana baja na, ye sab mein kyun pad raha hai?”
Abey kyun bajaun? Poora haq hai mera. Don’t tell me what to do.
And that is pretty much what our comedians and writers have been doing much more than our musicians (I am not counting facebook rants ’cause plis.) and it’s time we all stand up and be counted – the whole ecosystem, as a dear friend of mine calls it. I am talking about music not just for the obvious reason that I am a songwriter, but also because music is universally feared by frauds sitting safely on top of systems for its potential to rip through those systems and form independent resistance by giving a voice to the otherwise successfully “managed”. And it seems as if governments recognize that potential more than the musicians themselves when you look at their efforts to anthem-ize their campaigns.
Ek nayi subah hogi, chappa chappa ga uthega,
“number one ki hai taiyyari (taiyyari, taiyyari)
ab Bhopal ki hai baari (hai baari, hai baari)
Amey ren do! Humse nayi ho paega.
Not just politics, for that matter. This obviously has much deeper, more spread out roots. I am lucky to be a part of an ecosystem that, on the whole, has been challenging things that define current times – things that everything around us is designed to divert us from – the terms, “serious” or “emotional” for instance, have almost negative connotations. The point is, it is imperative to conquer the fear of feeling as much as the fear of failing for one to find oneself in the truest way. Then, and only then, can they find purpose to their being, which is almost like an inevitability once the skies have cleared.
So, here I write my debut EP with only one motivation and that is to induce the experience of feeling in the listener’s mind. That would only be possible if the feeling while writing the songs was incorruptible, real. So, if it makes it through to you and you see all these colours that I painted these stories with, it’d truly be a success. Nothing else, no numbers or stats can decide that.
Fuck those who tell you otherwise.