Starting up, let’s go to the beginning, how did Parekh & Singh happen?
Back in 2012, I was offered a gig to play in NH7 Weekender Bangalore. The original plan was to go solo, but I personally never saw myself as a solo singer-songwriter, I always wanted someone else beside me up on the stage to share it and interact with. So, I thought of approaching Jivraj whom I had played a couple of shows with when I was in school. By then he had already established himself as a very promising and advanced drummer in the country. I emailed him and he accepted so we rehearsed for a couple of days and gave this very raw show, now we have got a lot of electronic elements going on in our live shows, but that was just guitar, drums and voice but we felt the instant energy and vibe that made it special. Till date, it remains one of our best shows because it all started on that day up on that stage!
How would you define your music as?
We are not really into labelling our music, but both of us are fans and students of pop music and make the kind of music we love. So if we have to define it, then it’s pop music really.
With the impeccable musical wonders like “ocean”, “philosophise”, “I love you Baby, I love you doll”, there must be one hell of a muse you got there! Where do you get your inspiration to make such genius music?
I think one of the things that inspires my writings is televised information, it’s gonna sound weird but there’s something about it. The entire world could be condensed into a T.V. show, you know. The random experiences of life are clustered in those shows- comedy, tragedy and everything else and you get to live those experiences when you watch them. Another basis for drawing inspiration is of course, real-life experiences we face. For instance, the song “I love you baby, I love you doll” was written for an ex-girlfriend. You might listen to it and say “oh! It’s a nice love song” but if you listen to it closely it’s got a really sarcastic tone to it. So, some of the songs take birth out of our personal experiences.
Over the years you have evolved as one of the major bands in the country, but certainly, it must not have been all rainbows and butterflies. Would you like to share the initial struggles that you guys faced? And how did you tackle it?
Of course, it’s not all that pretty!
In the beginning, we had a smooth run- we played in NH7 and a booking agency signed us. But later on, things started falling off with them. That is how it works you know, one day it’s you and the next day it’s someone else. But we did not lose hope and decided to quit with them and keep making our own music independently and that’s what we did.
You’ve struggled, you’ve been bruised but you stood firm and faced the hurdles to be where you are now. What according to you, are the major challenges that the upcoming and independent musicians are facing in the country?
The most challenging factor is economics. The gigs are not paying enough for the artists to sustain themselves. Independent artists invest a lot in making their music everyone one of them needs computer to work on their songs, instruments, travelling and spend money on clothes which they are not going to wear anywhere but the shows! All this lead to a huge amount of investment and when we go to play at a place they expect us to accept whatever little they are giving. Artists need support, but it has to surmount to some economic value so that they can continue to invest in their music and produce it.
Any message you would like to give to the young musicians who are struggling to get a foothold?
I would just like to say, follow your own instincts. If you think music is in you and if you believe you have the talent and you can make music that people are going to want to listen to then just go ahead and do it. You may not get a record deal in the initial stage or may stay jobless for sometime but you’re not going to make music for just 2-3 years, you are here to do it for a lifetime! So, so not give up, follow your instincts and keep on making your music because there are people out there, with initiative, like yours, who actually connect and listen to music and want the scene to prosper.
Now that we know quite a lot about your national scenario, let’s talk about your international breakthrough. How did you guys land a deal with Peace frog Records? What’s the story?
There’s no big story really. I just emailed them stating my name, my age, the place I come from along with the songs and they liked it. They gave us a call and sent over the contracts. When we parted ways with our booking agency many people told us that we were acting crazy. But we believed that it was better and carried on. In hindsight, that was the right thing to do. We thought, scratch the Indian pseudo-professionalism of getting a manager and things like that, and we just sent Peace frog Records our songs, they liked our music and here we are!
For the re-releasing of your album “Ocean” should we expect any new addition or change of sound?
There are not gonna be any changes in the sound and the tracks remain the same. The album is releasing on 20th October. But we are shooting new videos for the songs.
So, if we want to catch Parekh&Singh live where should we be at in a few days?
Well, we are playing at NH7 Weekender in December and have a couple of gigs in September in Kolkata. So, save the date!
Every art and every creation are brought forth by its creator bearing a message. What is the message you would like to convey to the listeners through your music?
I just wanna say be playful! Playful in life, in love and in everything else. Do what you love and follow your dreams!
You can find more about Parekh & Singh at the following links: