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Tue, 20 Aug 2019

Northeast Today

A Musical Prodigy Who Oozes Class

A Musical Prodigy Who Oozes Class
June 11
16:52 2019

NET Bureau

Some musicians just ooze with class. This young prodigy from Guwahati named Abhilash Choudhury is a merchant of dreams who with his music has the ability to transcend uncharted alleys of one’s mind and heart. NET talks to this promising virtuoso and tries to learn more about his thoughts and influences.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKDOBnamBAc

NET: Please tell us about your foray into music. How and when did it all begin?

AC: Music has always been a part of my life. My mom is an Indian classical singer and a music teacher which helped me to develop a good pair of ears and appreciate music from a very early age. I was also fortunate to have friends with good musical taste in school and college. I started playing guitar in 2008 and writing songs in 2012. Over the years, I have listened to countless artists who have helped me to develop a writing style and musicality of my own.

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NET: Which artists and genres form your influences?

AC: I like listening to all kinds of music be it Rock, Alternative Rock, Blues, Country, Soul, Indie Folk, Indie Pop, Jazz, Post Rock, Progressive Rock, Hip Hop, RnB etc. I feel every genre has a specialty of its own. For example, Jazz can expand your musical knowledge to a whole new level and Hip Hop can be a great way to learn how to write lyrics that make an impact.

Among the musicians, I am heavily influenced by guitar players like Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I listen to lot of other singer-songwriters too. I like The Beatles, Rush, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson and lot of classic rock bands.

 

NET: We believe that every musician has a source of inspiration. What inspires your music?

AC: My life is my biggest inspiration. Most of my music is very personal.

 

NET: The journey a musician treads is not always hunky-dory. What are the challenges you have faced thus far?

AC: Well, there were a lot of challenges initially; especially because my music is very new to the crowd. Getting people to listen to your music is the biggest challenge (I feel). Everyday there are hundreds or even thousands of songs releasing every day. It is becoming more and more difficult to stand out. Plus, I have always preferred playing original music and that’s where the problem arises; because many venues need to have popular music being played and lack the scope for original music.

 

NET: Tell us about your major gigs and some memorable incidents that took place on stage.

AC: Every gig has been memorable. One of favourite gigs was House Concert Delhi in December 2018, where I played a solo set comprising of my own songs for almost 2 hours.

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NET: What would be the one thing you would like to change in the Music Industry?

AC: Things are already changing and streaming services have decentralized the royalty of record labels. If you are true to your music and put efforts in making good content you will surely have your share of audience one day.

 

NET: Coming to your just released music video – Sapno Se aage – Tell us everything about it. We know you dedicated it to Bishwa Jyoti Sharma. What is the story?

AC: The song Sapno Ke Aage is the first song that plays in my EP – Musafir. When I wrote this song I had imagined making a video out live footage back in January 2017. The video however got delayed because of several reasons. 28 months passed by and I had this whole lot of live footage. After getting frustrated with not being able to get the video done, one fine day I sat down on my system and started editing the video. 9 hours later I had the first cut and I sent to Subham and Uma who work with me as a team and they liked it. I knew a friend called Neel who had previous film making experiences. He saw my video and instantly liked it. He re-edited few parts of the video and we were done. The fact that it took long to make this video also helped us to get more live footages and this somehow made things easier for us.

Bishwa Jyoti Sarmah was a very dear friend of mine. It was a week before I was going to perform in NH7 Shillong 2018, when he met with an accident and lost his life. Bishwa was very supportive towards my music and he felt really happy about the fact that I was going to perform at one of the biggest festivals of the country. It was a proud moment for all of my friends. This accident had turned everything upside down. Somehow I went there and played a set (which definitely lacked energy). The night before he died, Bishwa had slept on the same bed right next to me. It is not easy to digest the fact that you have lost someone who was with you the previous night.

This video is an effort to keep his good memories alive.

 

NET: Now on to a deeper issue: Many globally acclaimed stalwarts like John Lennon and Michael Jackson are regarded as prodigies in their own right for their contribution to the world of music, but on a humane level they are known as misogynist, sex offender, and sadist for the treatment towards minors/opposite sex. As a musicians yourself, on the conundrum of “Separating the art from the artist”, how far do you think it is possible? What is individual stand on the matter?

AC: For me, separating the art from the artist is a bit difficult. If you talk about valuing things in your songs and don’t value the same things in real life then there is a huge gap between your art and “You”. Being a misogynist, sex offender, and sadist is not cool. We should all try to become good human beings first.

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NET: What are your future plans and projects in the pipeline?

AC: I have an album coming up, hopefully, later this year. I am also producing the debut album of an upcoming singer-songwriter of Guwahati. I hope to release an Assamese single in next few months. I will be working on songs with my experimental project The Free Fall featuring my friend Vaisakh Somanath. I am working with electronic producer Mandeep Taro on a new song. I have also started jamming with Bombay based drummer Priyanku Saikia who is currently in Guwahati to write some new music (just for fun). Couple of more projects are in pipeline which will be revealed in future.

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