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Delhi's Shourya Malhotra Talks His New Single And More

interviews May 17, 05:22pm

The singer-songwriter has a new song out called ‘Parts Of Two’

Shourya Malhotra is a musician and a practicing lawyer based in Delhi. Say what you will, that’s an interesting little juxtaposition of talents. His new single ‘Parts Of Two’ came out recently, a lush and pretty emotionally heavy acoustic tune that has some nifty production and a rather sombre outlook. We caught up with Shourya to talk the song, his career and more.

 

How are things going, both creatively and in the scene?

Things are fairly well! Ever since releasing my first song last year, I’ve released 3 more and played a bunch of gigs, including a supporting set for Dot. in Delhi and the TIMD Showcase.

While the scene is growing, I think there’s still a dearth of support for artists just starting out, and that’s something that the industry needs to focus on. Building bridges for newer artists to build a financially viable life is vital for the scene to grow as a whole. In my opinion, the climb is too steep at the moment and it’s a big roadblock for every artist.

 

‘Parts Of Two’ is a sort of melancholic, quiet song; what was the writing process like? Do you find the production aspect of making music to be ‘harder’ (causing more friction) than writing or is it the other way round?

Even though the main melody and chord progression for ‘Parts of Two’ came very naturally to me, it took me a year to finish the song because I had a hard time writing lyrics for it. I started writing the song in 2021 and I wanted to capture the many sides of a human being. I wanted to focus on our inherent hypocrisy and our demons, but I also wanted to write about how we have the incredible ability to be a force for good in the world.

I found the production and arrangement to be tough because there’s a natural saturation every artist goes through when they work on a piece of art for a long time and it’s difficult to maintain context and objectivity during the process. Thankfully, I had the support of really good artists like Elijah Peter and Varun Rajput, who helped me structure the song and helped me in homing in on the elements that you hear in the final mix. Also, I learnt a lot about impactful song writing every time I hear the finished mix, so I guess it’s a life-long learning process.

 

 

You count artists like Nick Drake and Elliott Smith among your influences for this project; these are people with highly polarized fanbases. For example, most Nick Drake fans are very judgmental when anyone mentions Pink Moon without first mentioning Five Leaves Left and Elliott Smith is the same with Either/Or and XO (even more so). As an artist, what do you think makes fans consume and relate to music in such an opinionated way?

That’s a great question and I absolutely agree with you because I tend to get polarised during a Nick Drake/ Elliott Smith discussion as well. I think the biggest reason behind the strong opinions about these artists is the impact they’ve had on the people who love them. Both artists have had really interesting life stories and have been successful at moving people through their lyrics and songwriting. They were never commercial artists and wrote very personally. Elliott wrote a lot about his struggles with songs like ‘Between The Bars’ or ‘Bottle Up And Explode’… Nick Drake wrote absolutely beautiful guitar melodies on themes of love, loss, dejection, and just the mundane things in life. Both had the capacity to make you feel happy and melancholic at the same time. These artists have had an incredible impact on my life because they were so successful at making me relate to them so much and make me feel all the things they felt while writing it. It’s just incredible, genuine song writing that no one can re-write or copy.

 

There’s an album coming from you later this year, could we get any details on that?

Yes, I haven’t made any official announcements yet, but I am planning an album release for the end of the year. I wanted to have a body of work which I can call my own and which will stay in the world forever. It’s a compilation of songs that I’ve written over 10 years on themes of love, heartbreak, my struggles, and the good in my life. It’s going to be a very personal record for me and I’m really excited to put it out and tour with it.

 

You used to be a lawyer; is there anything you learnt in law school (a concept, a practice, a mindset) that you’ve been able to apply positively in the often lawless world of Indian indie music?

I think my time as a lawyer really helped me to understand how to navigate the music industry. That is probably the biggest benefit I’ve gotten out of it. The understanding on how to pitch with succinct emails and follow up with organisations who can create opportunities for me as an artist. Networking is another thing that I’ve had to do a lot as a lawyer and I’ve found it to be vital in the music industry too! I quit my law-firm practice to pursue a life in music because I found meaning in this pursuit, but I still practice as a freelance media and entertainment lawyer and regularly work with independent artists.

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