Rohan Solomon has reached something of a landmark artistic achievement, with his new single, “We Demand Change.” While not without flaws, the track is one of the most inordinate and uniquely imagined things we have heard in some time. With Solomon’s pedigree, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that he would churn out such quality work, but this is on a different level. Not only is it his performance behind the microphone that is stellar, but his work behind the console/mixing board is as equally impressive. As a result, “We Demand Change” is a career defining moment.
Now residing in his native, India, Rohan Solomon began his career as the leader of alt rock group, Cyanide. In 2015, he temporarily absconded to New York, and found great success as an engineer/producer. He also works as a music instructor. Solomon, seemingly has every corner of the market, covered. However, his music and message, remain highly conscientious.
The change that Solomon is striving for, comes in the form of the rampant and egregious examples of prejudice and discrimination that pervade the world. As a man of culture and ethnicity, himself, Rohan has been deeply moved and inspired to use his music to make his feelings and beliefs, known. His approach, while not militant in tone, is a bit more jarring than your typical protest piece. The primary rhythm on “We Demand Change” is provided by a cadence of a clicking rifle and gunshots. Upon first hearing it, you feel a mixture of emotions, especially considering the sound effect never entirely concludes, but merely fades into the mix.
While the initial impact of using a rather ominous gimmick is striking, Solomon would have been behooved to have exercised a little more restraint. It does, however, serve as a continuous reminder that this piece is a response to some rather uncomfortable truths. Solomon’s playing and singing is so gentle and pleasant, that the gunshots provide a heightened sense of discomfort. It’s worth considering, that making us squirm is exactly what Solomon intended, especially when you look at some at the more emotionally riveting artists, he has produced. All of these factors combine to make “We Demand Change,” a piece of music that instantly and deeply, resonates.
The instrumentation on the track is so meticulously layered, and precisely placed in the mix, that it’s hard to know what you’re listening to, at times. The strings are heavenly sounding, which again makes for a somewhat flummoxing contrast, with a backdrop of gunfire. The percussion is tribal, and tightly controlled. The backing vocals aren’t quite as captivating as Solomon’s alone, but they help provide a bit of a crescendo. If this is almost entirely Rohan’s vision, then you might see him reach Brian Wilson levels of songwriting, one day.
“We Demand Change” is a crucial of a song as you will find, at the moment. It’s message is timely, but more importantly, it’s urgent. The musicality and scope of creativity is quite frankly, a rarity in today’s market. Solomon has taken a risk, and it has paid off in a big way. Rohan Solomon is doing his part, by demanding change, and his music is giving us even greater reason to embrace it.