• Sat, Jul 20, 2024

Know Your Artist: Abhinab Dan

interviews Apr 25, 07:29pm

Singer-songwriter Abhinab Dan is neither a philosopher nor an adult with a tormented childhood. His songs revolve around the parts and incidents concerning his life that remain close to him. 

On 26 April, Abhinab Dan will perform at RSJ Live's second edition in Mumbai's Lower Parel-based venue - Todi Mill Social. The singer-songwriter, with his limited outings in the city before, is no stranger to the live music 'scenario' and the evolving sub-culture concerning singer-songwriters. Taking notes along the way, Dan's journey has reached to the moment that demands consistent execution of the ideas. 


In this interview with Rock Street Journal, the musician shares more about the music that defines him, his 'other' project and the way forward:


Tell us about Abhinab Dan and Abhinab Dan project. The fundamental difference between the two, if any.

My name is Abhinab Dan, Singersongwriter from Delhi now I live in Mumbai. Whenever I am Playing a solo set I use my name. But recently I formed a band with some great musicians in Mumbai whom I met with course of time while doing Open Mics, Gigging and Travelling. I named it as a Project (ADP) because every musician as an important role to play on each of my songs. Its sounds fresh and different to my ears when we all play together. And naming the band on some Idea or thought that I only  believe doesn't make it free or democratic. That's why such an an obvious name for now.


How many original compositions have you created so far? Kindly name them.

I have more than 12 originals now, but I wont name them all. But 'Yun Hi', 'Tasveerein', 'Bachpan' and 'Koshish' are the ones which I really like to perform.


Did you always aim to be a guitarist? What came first? The vocal training or the guitar lessons?

Not exactly a guitarist, but I wanted to be a vocalist and rhythm guitarist at first. But then I realised that there is no fun at covering songs after a certain age. I wanted to create melodies and it can be on anything. But listening to two specific singer-songwriters from Bengal named Anjan Dutta and Kabir Sumon made the way clear for guitar. 


Explain your journey towards becoming a musician.

For me, the journey has been bittersweet. I was born in a Bengali family which obviously helped me culturally and musically. Though my parents are not musicians, but they never stopped me to listen, read or observe any kind of art. Everyone in my family loves music and theatre. But choosing music as a career was difficult to pursue straight after 12th. So I did Engineering like everybody else, which I think was my best decision in life because that made made me realise that I cant do this for next 40 years of life. So, my main struggles were the 4 years of engineering. Everybody was talking about job placements, GRE, Gate Exams and credits. I was driving my car on the wrong lane. But somehow I found some like-minded guys and completed the course. My Parents understood that day-job was not my thing and never forced me again. So I came to Mumbai for a music production course and audio engineering. And since then, I am surviving here and finding a way to get more audience.

Elaborate about your songs. What do they represent?

The only thing I can say about my songs is that they are simple and alive. I chose my words as I speak Hindi language in day to day life. I am neither a philosopher nor a guy who had a tormented childhood or love life. But I love to think about things related to my life and surroundings which effects me internally. In that process of thinking I come with words and lyrics. The musical part comes later. For me, songwriting is very personal thing and all the songs I have written comes from a part of me which I am still exploring. 

If you had to describe your challenges as a professional musician so far, how would you do that?

Finding like minded people is my greatest challenge. Making music and putting it out on internet is easy now but reaching to the right audience organically has became equally difficult. The commercial aspect of an art is now deciding the fate of the song for an artist and not the audience. All the big labels are looking for their profits more than creating a scene for good music. Due to which all the good and popular indie artists right now, in India, work with a team - the management, marketing, video or the sound. It's very important to have team who believes in your craft. That's my biggest challenge right now, that is, to have a good team and I am working on it by collaborating with other artists from different fields of art.


What are the artists that inspired you to pick up a guitar and sing?

John Mayer, man! Any day, any time and any second I would reply the same. That guy changed my whole perception towards pop music. He inspired me to play Blues by introducing me to artists like SRV, Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy and many more. I guess he inspired the whole generation of guitar players. All I can say to him is "Thank You!"

Other than him, there's Bryan Adams (bought my first strings because of him), Jack Johnson and Glen Hansard.


The artists that you look up to in Indian music scene - commercial and/or independent musicians.

From Bengali music scene, it will be always Anjan Dutta, Kabir Suman and Anupam Roy. Independent Artists - Anupam Roy (songwriter and music Director from Bengali circuit), Parvaaz (best band In India right now), Prateek Kuhad, Tejas Menon and Vernon Norhona. AR Rahman and Amit Trivedi from Bollywood.



What are your plans for the year? and the near future?

Plan is to put out as many no. of songs with my band as soon as possible and play at many music festivals in India specially NH7 weekender. Forming a team of like minded people is also in my list.



What can we expect from tomorrow's gig?

I will be playing two new songs other than my regular set. I am excited to see Star Mehdi and Bombay Bandook. Heard a lot about them.


(Abhinab Dan will go live tomorrow at Todi Mill Social, Mumbai at 9 pm. Click here for details) 

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