ARSH AKHTAR – A SINGER-SONGWRITER
Arsh Akhtar is a self-taught singer-songwriter born and raised in Dehradun, currently based out of Jaipur. An introverted soul, telling stories close to his heart yet keeping his lyrics open-ended, open to various interpretations, and creating a sense of relatability to his listeners. Arsh weaves his lyrics using a blend of poetic words from languages like Urdu and Hindi while producing minimal music and focuses heavily on storytelling.
His music ties around genres like “Indie pop”, “contemporary folk” and “acoustic singer-songwriter”.
Here is Arsh in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
I’m a self-taught singer/songwriter writing songs since my 11th standard (2015). back in 2019, I performed my originals for the first time in a small house gig in Jaipur, which made me fall in love with the whole indie local music scene. Then for the next year, I transformed myself from a performer to an audience who has attended every gig in Jaipur, educated myself about the whole “business” side of music. Decided to pursue music as a career after my engineering. Then in 2020, I released my debut single “Nadi”. followed up with my recent release “Sunn”.
2) Tell us more about the feeling of weaving your lyrics from different languages.
For me, lyrics are the soul of any song. I write songs in Urdu and Hindi. Urdu is a complex poetic language with tense ups and downs, whereas Hindi is as simple as a mother’s love. Then these two languages blend in with each other in such a beauty that you can’t distinguish between each other. So weaving lyrics from these two languages are the most beautiful and easiest way to convey a thought.
3) Which has been your first track?
I released my debut track “Nadi” back in August 2020. A story about a tree and a river, spreading the message about how love liberates. It got featured on various platforms, including an Indian household T.V. channel and an Indian radio, Awarded as the best debut music video by Songdew T.V.
4) Who has been your inspiration?
My countless influences/inspirations include old school, Lucky Ali, Jal, Kaavish, including some new indie artists like The Local Train, Osho Jain, Bharat Chauhan, Ankur Tiwari, Samar Mehdi, and Hozier, Passenger, CiggeretesAfterSex and John Mayer are some of my foreign influences.
5) Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
Well, a “meh” kind of question. There are no rigid plans or something but one thing which will be staying constant after five, ten, or fifteen years, is that I’ll be writing songs and will be performing those songs for others.
6) How would you describe your music?
My music ties around genres like “Indie pop,” “Contemporary folk,” and “Acoustic Singer/Songwriter.”
I always believe lyrics and the story behind a song are the soul of any song, and my lyrics are a blend of poetic words from languages like Urdu and Hindi. My music production is minimal, and my songs focus heavily on its storytelling aspects.
7) Which has been your most memorable project or song?
My most memorable/favorite song is “Saiyonee,” Which is a letter to myself during writer’s block, and the most memorable project is the shoot of Nadi’s music video. It was shot during a lockdown in a single house with a crew of 4 dear people including Me, a Female protagonist, a D.O.P, and a dear friend of mine. Shot that pleasingly aesthetic video within a time span of 3 days.
8) What advise would you give to the aspiring musicians?
I’m an aspiring musician too. learning things here and there.
A famous quote “It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.”
Get yourself educated.
Support and attend your local artists’ gigs.
And stay hydrated.
9) Share some of your achievements with the magazine.
Written, Composed, and produced my debut single “Nadi.” which got featured on various platforms, including an Indian Household T.V. channel and an Indian radio. crossed 45K+ streams on Spotify within a year and is part of more than 1K+ listeners’ playlists across the globe. Its music video was awarded as the best debut music video of 2020 by Songdew T.V.
Co-Founded “Thee Joint Family,” a community of art-loving people in Dehradun that organizes house gigs, meetups, etc.
Written, Composed, and produced my recent second single “Sunn” now playing on all major streaming platforms.
10) How was life in quarantine?
Life is slow, much needed to straighten up the headspace and work on some projects lying still. I’m working on my skills, learning music production, understanding what’s changing in the music business, trying to cope up with the scene right now, Writing songs, lots of new songs, and yeah making homemade vinegar.
INSTAGRAM: @ARSH AKHTAR
YOUTUBE: ARSH AKHTAR
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