The word, ‘Urooj’ translates to ‘ascension, rise’ and describes the event of rising from obscurity to the high of individual existence. The album hopes to symbolize as well as push towards a time in Indian musical and artistic expression where it fearlessly tussles to gain higher societal relevance and balloon out of the much restricted package that had kept it reduced as sideline entertainment for decades. Beyond its face value, Urooj is essentially based on existentialism and attempts to throw light on the possibility of an alternate way of life that can emerge out of one’s introspection on the question, “what truly gives meaning to your life?”.
1. Kashmakash-Qa’ar-Urooj (Album Intro)
All songs written, performed and co-produced by Samar Mehdi.
Engineered, co-produced, mixed and mastered by Aman Arakh. (Aman dedicates his contribution on this album to his late grandmother, Shri Sumitra Devi, who passed away while this album was in the works. “For what you made out of my father, who is the light of the entire family, may your love and affection forever find a way through to us. Farewell.”)
Album Art by Farah Ahmad.
25% of the proceeds from all purchases of the album go to Tamahar Trust, a Bangalore-based non-profit working in the field of child disability.
Urooj has songs that were originally written by Samar between a period stretching from 2014 to 2018 (coincidentally, one song from each year). Samar’s reinterpretations refer to his re-writing of these and his other songs in his solo format.
This album has not been recorded or mixed in any studio. It been recorded in the same room that all the songs were (re-)written by Samar and then mixed by Aman in a string of places – from the room, to inside buses, trains and planes – owing to Samar’s travels throughout the period that the album was being produced. Aman, being his live engineer too, went along with him and they carried working the album before and after the shows.
“Urooj would not have been possible without the efforts of Sarah Mehdi (first reviewer, analyst), Kunal Malhotra (backbone to everything), Aman Arakh (engineer, producer), Shivani Sharma (website, research), Farah Ahmad (Album art), Sarah Khan (all other Reinterpretations’ Arts), Sharon Peter (‘spread the word’ for the website). Apart from that, I want to thank my parents and family, Dhairya Anand, Arya Anand, Anisha Lanewala, Animesh Chaurasia, Dylogg Coworking, Shwetang Shankar, Yashvardhan Vasaniya, Suhas Thobbi, Rahul Nair, Siraj Zaidi, Siddharth Basrur, Vishal Gore, Syed Aaqib, Meghdeep Bose, Worker Bee family, Adanj Productions’ family, Asif Zaidi for their direct and indirect contributions to my life that have been quintessential to Urooj in their own way.”