In Session: 2Blue Interviews Siddharth Basrur
Siddharth Basrur barely needs an introduction. His Wikipedia page will tell you that he is a vocalist, composer, and a playback singer. It will also tell you how he has worked with various bands spanning various genres, and also contributed to Bollywood movies. What it will not tell you is how he is a survivor of the indie scene in more ways than one, and how sincere and true he has remained to his roots even after all the success. Siddharth Basrur stands for everything self-made and respect-worthy. In the midst of his busy concert schedule, he took the time for this quick tête-à-tête. Please scroll to read.
2Blue: So we hear you have a brand new band called 'Last Remaining Light'. Tell our readers more about the members, the influences, the musical direction, and your soon-to-be released album.
Siddharth: It's essentially a few steps removed from my solo act, The Siddharth Basrur Band/Project. I have had inputs from the other band members, and they have really been instrumental in shaping the album into what it sounds like today. While a lot of the songs have been written by me, the last couple that went on the album were a team effort. Current members include Adil Kurwa (The Colour Compound, The Koniac Net) on bass and vocals and Anurag Shanker (Caesar's Palace, Slow Down Clown) on guitar and vocals. The album doesn't have a name yet, but I can tell you that it has 10 songs that you’ll like.
2Blue: So what happens to Goddess Gagged?
Siddharth: Goddess Gagged is on temporary hiatus as of now. Our guitar player, Devesh is at Berkley and our drummer, Jeremy is at Musician's Institute. If we're ever in the same place for a longish period of time, we'd love to get together and jam and maybe even do a gig. But we do have some unreleased songs that we plan to record and release soon.
2Blue: What was it like opening for Guns N’ Roses?
Siddharth: It was quite an honor, opening for Guns N' Roses. I worshipped them as a kid, and although I don’t listen to much of their music anymore, I'll always have great memories associated with their music. As for actually playing the gig, it was a bit of a pain. Their management couldn't make up their minds as to how long we could play for. So our set kept changing and we finally couldn't play it the way we wanted to. Even the organizers had a problem with some of our heavy songs and made quite an issue because we featured Sunny (from Bhayanak Maut) on a couple of the tracks. And I actually couldn't stay back to watch them because I had a family emergency and had to rush from the venue as soon as our set got over.
2Blue: Tell us about 'Chasing Rain'. Rumor has it that you refer to your lady love as 'Rain'. Is she the inspiration behind the album [2Blue smiles]?
Siddharth: Some people write songs for the women they're in love with. I wrote an entire album. Most of the tracks were written over the two-month period when I was wooing her. Guess it worked, because she's still with me [Siddharth winks].
2Blue: How did your stint at MTV Coke Studio come about?
Siddharth: A friend of mine, Alaap was instrumental in making this happen. I had sent him a demo of an electro-world music type band I was working on to see if Coke Studio would be interested. And the next thing I knew, I was auditioning for the song Marghat with Clinton Cerejo. We got along really well, and my voice seemed to fit the song. So it was on.
2Blue: You and I have both been recipients of consumer-driven music awards. Are votes submitted via Facebook likes and SMS messages any credible measure of talent? I think I know your answer, but would still like to hear it.
Siddharth: There are definitely two sides to it. But I really think an award (via voting or otherwise) shouldn't be a measure of how good or bad you are. You can be amazing and never get the recognition you deserve because you didn't' play the right game. Or you can be a talentless, yet celebrated flake who makes millions, making what I perceive to be nothing more than nursery rhymes.
2Blue: Obsessive practice often builds unforgettable muscle memory. How did you cope with the ‘un-learning/re-learning’ process involved with switching between your many genres/styles?
Siddharth: I think switching between different styles and genres keeps me looking for ways to better my skills. I keep myself open to all genres, languages and styles. It's the only way I will constantly grow as a musician. The minute I feel like I know it all, will be the demise of my career and passion.
2Blue: Indie artistes like us have seen our fair share of hard winds. How, in your opinion, has the independent music culture evolved over the last decade?
Siddharth: It has definitely grown up a lot, and is turning into an industry by itself. The industrialisation, however, brings the pros and cons. While there are more people open to supporting the 'indie scene', there are plenty out there just trying to make a quick buck. And it is not possible to weed out all these people. So I guess it's important to be more selective and careful with the choices made.
2Blue: Any last words for your fans and young talent reading this article?
Siddharth: Keep singing/playing and keep an open mind. Lastly, though this maybe unrelated, stop taking fifty selfies a day and stop hash-tagging everything you post.
Article by: 2Blue
Images Courtesy: indiaforums.com, bmctouring.com (Amreet Singh), oklisten.com
2Blue (a.k.a Tirthankar Poddar) forayed into the Mumbai rock circuit in 2000. Having gained notoriety for his powerful high-pitched singing and on-stage charisma, he was soon invited to sing for Vayu. After 5 years in Vayu and countless monumental shows, 2Blue formed the hard rock band Zedde (pronounced z?d). Always a man for his heroes, the self-taught singer attributes his vocal prowess to his childhood heroes: David Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner, Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, and Bruce Dickinson. For him, if a thing was good once, it always is.
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