The Revisit Project speaks with Indulge about their diverse influences and their new album
Delhi-based band The Revisit Project started on very grateful grounds; which is exceptional in a culture where so many new artistes dismiss their foundational influences. The eight-member outfit featuring Abhay Sharma (saxophone), Aditya Bhagvatula (drums), Birraj Singh Taneja (keyboards), Varun Rajasekharan (percussions), Kanu Gangahar (guitar), Karan Wadhwa (bass), Chetan Dominic Awasthi and Vrnda Dhar (vocals) started as a tribute band rediscovering some of the lost treasures of Hindi film music as they added a contemporary Funk/Jazz fusion touch to the renditions. Their jam sessions brought the members to realise their true potential in making original music.
In the last year alone, they have released two albums, namely Brown Man's Funk and Born in Delhi, both of which received rave reviews. They also have a successful podcast where they talk about everything from Franz Lizst to Pancham Da. The Revisit Project is headed this way for a gig in Skinny Mo’s Jazz Club in Kolkata on February 22. We caught up with band frontman Abhay Sharma to tell us a little about their trajectory:
The band started as a tribute band...
Yes, we started off as a tribute outfit paying homage to classic Indian composers, especially ones who'd do jazz and funk. We started writing new material from 2017, actually.
Your new album Born in Delhi received great reviews
Yes! It tells the story of a boy who was born and brought up in North Delhi, a place where most people are less self-aware, you know. This guy is an over-thinker, the album chronicles the journey of a day. It has six tracks, and is in many ways inspired by my experiences in the city.
How did the band come about?
I have been playing saxophone for 14 years, I’ve played for Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Vishal Bhardwaj etc in Mumbai. But I've always wanted to find ways to pay homage to the great composers, that’s how the band happened when I met the others. Then of course, we were keen to write new material as well, and that’s really our goal right now. That’s how it happened, as of now all the songs are penned by me.
How would you define the sound of your band?
Our arrangements are very funk, you know, here are influences of soul and jazz
Do you think people in the country want to pay more for original live music today?
In jazz, funk and instrumental music, there are not too many examples to follow in this aspect. But I have to say people are more interested in new music today, which is why someone like Prateek Kuhad could sustain for a decade. Musicians do have to be on board with the initial struggle, irrespective of their genre, which makes it a big gamble.
Tell us a little about your musical influences
When it comes to our musical influences, I should name Herbie Hancock, American funk group Vulfpeck, jazz legend Charlie Parker
What are you working on next?
We have actually come up with a new single it's called 'Take that sorry', which we plan on playing in Kolkata. It's about a small fight between a couple and it's written from the women's perspective.