INTERVIEW: Abhilasha Sinha

Pic by by Aaryaman Dixit

Hi Abhilasha, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello! i’ve been good! Back in NYC, back to school and enjoying the strange but lovely fall weather.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hold Your Pride”?

Of course. Funnily enough, though it was my last single in my debut 3-song series, it was the first one to be written, recorded and mastered. The song was written in about 15 minutes, but it took time to really flesh it out and arrange it. It’s about trying to be with someone with a huge ego – someone who refuses to let go of pride to be part of something beautiful.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I think it was just a time in my life where I felt that I was undergoing ego death and really swallowing my pride and self-respect to be with someone and that wasn’t reciprocated, though I felt that it could have been something special if it was.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! That was actually the first music video that I was supposed to drop, but the constant shuttling between New Delhi/Bombay and NYC has delayed that a lot.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing the song was a surge of emotion, and it took all of 15 minutes to get the first verse, chorus and melodies. The rest of the song – arranging it as a song, arranging the instrumentals, getting some very talented musicians to sit and record it – that took more time. The band actually recorded all together, not separately – so there’s a lovely, subtle bleed that sounds very organic. That was recorded at Island City Studios in Mumbai. The vocals were recorded with just one  mic in my producer’s bedroom in New Delhi, and they were recorded when I was feeling vulnerable, and I think the feeling translated on the track. Keshav Dhar has co-produced the song with me, and he has also engineered, mixed and mastered it.

What role does New Delhi play in your music?

I think it’ll never stop playing a role. It’s my hometown, one of the biggest, most energetic, most unforgiving cities in the world, yet with so much heart. It will always have an influence on my writing.

How did your musical perspective change as you move over to NYC?

Gosh. It’s changed a lot. I’ve listened to so much new music here, it’s crazy – especially the live shows! I think watching Nils Frahm live at Brooklyn Steel changed me inside. I never fail to be amazed at how limitless music can be.

Writing on both Hindi and English – how do you go on balancing the songs and choosing what song would be in X language?

Any bilingual person will understand that some emotions are only felt in a certain language. There really isn’t a decision making process there as much as the melody and words and that specific story or emotion in your head, and it could be either language – I just have to go with that for now.

As you head over to this new ground and side of the sphere – are you going for a whole new direction?

I think I’d want to head in a slightly darker direction, yes. Just music wise, and just writing about things that are moving me lately, which are more societal and structural than strictly personal. Hooks remain, though.

Having fronted or being part of different groups – do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

Yes, definitely. It helps that in the other bands there are instrumentalists who are extremely proficient, so the music itself is much better fleshed out, and can help me explore many more avenues of songwriting and melodies. On my own, I’m still learning how to play the guitalele and the keys, so it’s a little restricted.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

There is a lot of new material. I’m currently in the process of writing all of it and getting the final arrangements out. Every time I play a live show, I change the lyrics and melodies of the new material a little bit more, and I will eventually go with what feels the best live as well. The songs will be part of an EP, both in english and hindi. Bonus: There might be one cover.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

No title yet, but expect it in early 2019.

Any plans to hit the road?

More like the tarmac – I’m playing The Mint, LA on October 23!

What else is happening next in Abhilasha Sinha’s world?

I’ve started second year of grad school at NYU, and my new internship at Warner Records, so I’m stoked about that! I’ll also be playing at Mondo NYC 2019, so come through! I also might start busking – do you need a license????

Listen to Hold Your Pride here 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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