ARTIST NAME: Anindya Mukherjee
SONG TITLE: Paper Boats
RELEASE DATE: 24th June 2021
GENRE: Singer-Songwriter, Indie Pop, Soft rock
Every now and then I wonder why
I can’t forget the days we left behind
And even though I know deep inside
I can’t return but maybe if I try
I know there’s a way
Back to yesterday
But all the pebbles we laid
They’re swept away
Pebbles swept away
Summer holidays should never end
There’s so much to do with all our friends
And winter was a time to celebrate
When there was so much magic in the air
Even when it rained
We’d go out and play
But all the paper boats we made
They sailed away
It was a time when we thought we’d have it all
And we believed we’d climb the highest wall
But now we protect
Our wealth and intellect
We’re constantly scared to fall
We may never be in 1983
But there will be a way back home
When we find our pebbles
Tell us your understanding and the importance of a vocal melody.
My songwriting often begins with a piano pattern/riff. Once I have a riff that I like, I find that a melody gradually develops atop that riff. This can take a few minutes or days. With experience and multiple feedbacks, the melody development process is quicker. The piano is the road and the melody is the vehicle on that road. So it is very important to have a strong vocal melody to deliver the message to the listener.
Elaborate on your recording experience.
Once I have a piano riff and a melody, I record the piano and vocals. Sometimes, I record multiple versions. At this time, there are no lyrics, just piano, and vocal mumbling. Gradually this takes shapes and lyrics are born. Once I have the lyrics and the melody in place I do another few takes only with the piano and vocals again to arrive at the final parts. Then the arrangements are developed around that central piano and vocal take. These arrangements also sometimes prompt changes in the vocal and piano and this process involves a few backs and forths. Once that is done and the piano, vocals, and arrangements all sit nicely, I do a final vocal and piano take.
Tell us what you enjoy most in the music-making process.
I am first a pianist and then a vocalist. So it is very important that I have a riff/piano groove in place before I write the lyrics. So I enjoy most trying to find a piano pattern, and on this, I build the melody, the chord structure, and last the lyrics.
Tell us how you differentiate a good song from a bad song.
I don’t think there is a good or bad song. Every song represents the ability of the musician and also his/her life experience and where they are now in their musical journey. As a musician gets more experienced, the songwriting starts coming from a deeper place within. I think when this happens, a lot of listeners can relate to it, and start calling it a good or popular song.
Discuss the uniqueness of your music.
I am most influenced by melodic rock music, which spans the 60 to early 90s mainly featuring singer-songwriters. I think my music is a melting pot of all my experiences growing up and you can hear that in my writing. I find that my songs tend to include a lot of color and variety in the arrangements while being quite frugal and to the point with the lyrics and structure. In a way, I think my songs bridge the old world with the new.
Tell us how you research the sounds that work perfectly with your vocal.
I have not experimented with too many sounds so far. The focus is to get the right tone in the piano first and then use the other instruments to support it. I have found that ‘less is more so I try to keep sounds and arrangements only as needed to support the vocals and piano.
Let us know your opinion on vocal training.
While I have no training in vocals or piano, I do believe that training is important. It allows you to focus your natural talent on a curriculum and structure. This discipline is very important especially when it comes to ideating and also while playing with other musicians.
Explain how you prepare for a recording session.
Even though I have a home studio I try to prepare, as a musician would have, say in the 70s, where you would have to nail the song in a single take. This is very important since the pressure forces you into a mental space where you have to dig in and give your best shot. The take that follows is a release that is heavily emotion-laden. So I try to minimize the number of takes. Also, I practice for a long time before a take, sometimes weeks, so that muscle memory is also at optimal levels.
Discuss what you know about the present music industry.
Digital has made production, marketing, and distribution much easier. But at the same time, it has also allowed for a huge amount of content to be available. So a musician still has to pay the dues. He/she still has to perform live regularly and keep writing music to stay relevant. So while the mode of delivery has changed the dedication and the talent that make a true musician has not.
Tell us what to expect in the next ten years.
With the pandemic, all forms of OTT have risen exponentially. Immersive music like Dolby Atmos will grow. Multichannel audio will become more popular in streaming, prompting artists to experiment with new soundscapes. So I feel we will see many new genres and artists who will take advantage of this…
Let us know your opinion on ‘Doing It Yourself’ and signing to a record label.
I do not have any experience working with a label so it’s difficult for me to comment on this. However, I do believe that a musician’s job is to practice, create music and perform. If a label can take on the responsibility of PR, marketing, and distribution, then it is justified to have one. But I sense this will be limited to only big acts.
Let us know if you prefer new school music to old school music.
‘Music’ reflects the mindset of a generation. I grew up in the 70 and 80s so it’s difficult to relate to the current popular music since it’s very different from the music I grew up with. But in general, I like any well-written music, old or new.
Tell us what you consider in a hit song.
A song is a complex combination of melody, lyrics, and arrangements. The best songwriters know how to create harmony between these variables and create great songs. And when the song becomes relevant to the thoughts of a generation or a significant event, then I think these great songs become hits.
Discuss your memorable moment.
It was summer in Kolkata, India, in 1985, and I was a curious twelve years old with little musical interest. It was curiosity that got me to pop in the “Live Aid” VHS tape. It was my awakening into rock n roll, which introduced me to great singer-songwriters like Phil Collins, Sting, and Elton John. This single moment has inspired me to play and write music.
Discuss your music career.
As of now I am writing songs and recording them. I hope to have at least ten songs on Spotify by the end of the year. Hopefully, by then, live music performances will restart and I will have the opportunity to perform them live.
Elaborate on the song.
‘Paper Boats’ is a piano ballad. Soft and soulful; it is reminiscent of a time when life was simpler and we dreamed the impossible…and then we grew up.
The main accompanying instrument is my piano, and it is the opening piano riff that drives the song. Sparse arrangements with bass, drums, and strings complete the canvas.
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
I am from Kolkata India, and Anindya is a common Bengali name for children born in the 70s and 80s.