RJ Naman (25) is an independent singer-songwriter from Nagpur, MH. He lives with the zest to travel the world and sing for whomever possible. RJ Naman derives his roots from two extremes, Traditional Classical Art, and Western Heavy Music. Trained in Carnatic Shastriya Sangeet and with influences from western forms of music, he keeps his songwriting minimalist and focuses on short story-telling. His unorthodox choice of sound and songwriting gives him his distinct sonic atmosphere. His lyrics are very open-ended, therefore, various interpretations of his music. RJ Naman has released his 1st Single – Bezaar, a melancholic track about forgiveness.
Here is RJ Naman in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
I started as early as when I was a 5-year-old kid. My parents had put me into a program and I’ve been learning Carnatic Classical Music since. As I grew up, I realized Classical Music doesn’t excite me, though the knowledge I got from it is priceless. Later when I was 18, I started a band and we used to do private – commercial shows, playing Bollywood covers. I did write original songs back then but was too nervous to put them out or make someone hear it. I was afraid and thought, “What if nobody likes it?”
2) Which was your first song?
I’ve had multiple first songs. Lol. I mean, the first-ever song that I wrote and recorded, never released. Then as a personal project, I wrote a song called ‘Kabhie Kabhi for my girlfriend, put that up on YouTube too and that song gave me the courage to make and release more music. Then the first song that I put out professionally is called ‘Bezaar’, it means a confused & unhappy state of mind. I wrote that for my mom, we had a huge fight and didn’t talk for months and it was awful. I wrote the song just to express an emotion that I know I’m a fool but you know better, please talk to me.
3) How much has social media helped me?
I give a lot of credits to social media. I’ve met a bunch of talented people on such platforms. Even the producer I work with, we became better friends through social media, even though he was a junior to me in college. Social media is full of lovely people who just want to support you for reasons that I can’t fathom. I’ve been getting tremendous support from people I know and strangers.
4) How much do I invest for music?
I invest a lot. Time, money, emotions everything. I’ve been sitting on so many songs for months, just to get the right sound or tweaking a small detail that I can’t hear, etc. You can spend lacs of rupees and still create a disaster or spend less and make a masterpiece, the investment that actually matters is TIME. I try to give as much time as I can to music production because if it’s not the right sound and I’m not proud of it, I can’t really release that
5) Who has been your inspiration?
Again, this is really dynamic in terms of Influence. I’ve been a huge fan of Amit Trivedi from the contemporary music scene in India. He creates magic. For me, he is a living legend. From Udaan to Udta Punjab, he has delivered such fresh sound that not a lot of people have done. My songwriting influences have been Porcupine Tree, Muse, Green Day. I love how complex and at the same time simple things they do to make a unique song/album, it just blows my mind.
6) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
To be honest, filling up the Wembley Stadium and performing for them. It has been a dream of mine for so many years. I see live videos of Muse and people just singing at the top of their lungs, I cry every time I see that. Everything I’m doing is directed towards filling up Wembley Stadium.
7) About the latest track.
In the current times, because of the pandemic, the world has pressed a pause button and we are forced to stay inside the 4 walls with our own demons and inhibitions. This has led a lot of people to spiral into pools of dark thoughts. The song, Bata Mujhe has been written to remind us that sometimes a conversation is all we need.
8) Which is your most preferred genre.
I’d say experimental, electro-rock. I’m fascinated by sounds in general. Sounds from our daily life inspire me to create something unique.
9) How was life in quarantine?
I’m a radio jockey too, so the quarantine hasn’t been any different to be honest, I’ve been going to my office, creating content. Even music-wise, it hasn’t been different. We recorded, produced, released the whole song (Bata Mujhe) during the lockdown. In fact, the finals vocal track on the song is through my phone. Varun Dhabe (producer) has done some magic in the whole process.
INSTAGRAM : rjnamanmusic
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