Interview: Karsh Kale speaks about his new single with Komorebi and composing for Anurag Kashyap's next project
After a three-year-long wait, Indo-American musician Karsh Kale made a comeback this year and how! The UK-born artiste released his EP, Little Whale, earlier in 2019 and followed it up with an eclectic background score for Ranveer Singh’s Gully Boy. Karsh has now dropped a new single, Disappear, in collaboration with Tarana Marwah aka Komorebi.
Released via music platform JioSaavn’s Artist Originals, much like his previous works, Disappear blends Indian classical and electronic music. Tarana’s ethereal vocals give a modern edge to the signature electronic fusion elements of Karsh. Fresh off the release, we speak with the 44-year-old multi-instrumentalist about his latest creation. Excerpts:
Disappear is full of ebbs and flows. What inspired you to work on this track?
I have been working on a series of new music that uses the dynamics of a big wall of sound to pin-drop silence. The aim is to capture the essence of an orchestra. It’s a sound and a way to tell a story, which can be felt in this track.
How was it collaborating with Tarana Marwah aka Komorebi?
It was great! Tarana is a multi-talented and multi-faceted artiste. She is not just a singer but a storyteller who uses many colours on her palette to tell a story.
How has your sound evolved from your previous EP to your latest track?
I don’t think it’s my sound as much as my experience that has evolved. I have different things to say as an artiste. Sound is about recreating what you hear in your head. That sound is always evolving!
You have collaborated with stalwarts across genres — from Pt Ravi Shankar to Lenny Kravitz. What has been your most memorable one?
I would have to say Sting (Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE). I grew up to be a huge fan of him. He’s so many things — singer, musician and songwriter. I dreamed to be able to just play with him once, someday. I never thought I would write a song that he would sing, which I then played the drums, tabla, guitars, bass and keyboards on. Then to have him be a guest on one of my albums was like a dream come true and beyond. But, I’m sure I haven’t met the greatest collaborators to come. I always wanted to work with Radiohead.
What made you take up Gully Boy? Did the film and the tracks fill you with a sense of hope for the Indian music scene?
Gully Boy was a story I saw unfold before there was a script. I witnessed the rise of a new street hip-hop scene in India as festivals and venues were starting to book these artistes years before Gully Boy. I knew it was a genuine story and not a sensationalised music film. Zoya (Akhtar) had nailed how she was going to tell that story. I enjoyed being able to work on music from multiple angles. The hope that I feel for the Indian music scene existed long before Gully Boy, but it is nice to see how something from the streets of Mumbai reached out worldwide with a bang.
We heard that you are making music for Anurag Kashyap! Can you tell us more about the project?
I can’t say much about the story, but there are a few great songs that I got to produce for the film. I will also be doing the original score. All I can say is — expect the unexpected.
How has your approach towards making music changed over the years with so many experiences?
My approach changes all the time. I never like to get too comfortable in a studio environment. I don’t like sitting in the same room making music for too long. I like the idea of a mobile studio and being in varied surroundings and use different instruments to inspire something new. In Goa, I have a beautifully inspiring view while I am making music and it reflects in what I create. Similarly, when I am back in Brooklyn, my sound changes a bit and I welcome that as well.
Available on JioSaavn.
(With inputs from Paulami Sen)