Mumbai-based band Daira to release two new singles this year
HAR TARAF SE ghir chuke hain, gaon jalne wala hai, chaahe tu jo bhi karle, sabko khalne wala hai,” reads a line from Vipreet Buddhi, the second album of the Mumbai-based rock ensemble Daira. Though the album released in 2017, its dark and brooding lyrics are still relevant in a time when today’s society remains largely mired in hatred and racial intolerance.
“Vipreet Buddhi was like a psychedelic trip, where we pushed our boundaries and included elements from different genres. But till date, we do not perform any song from it. Maybe we can play around with a phrase, but if you ask us to recreate a particular riff, we won’t be able to do it. It was an improv album, born out of a jamming session at Benchmark Studio, Mumbai,” says vocalist Piyush Kapoor.
Daira was recently in town to perform their two brand new singles, Mazaar and Muqadama at Five Mad Men, before the official release this year. Sahaafi, Lailaaj, Mazedaar, and Maaya, are some of the numbers they performed. “Mazaar and Muqadama are both a little different from what we have been creating so long. While in the previous songs you can feel a lot of things happening, these numbers are much simpler and melodious. They talk about deeper realisations, such as the falsity of endless conversations in modern life (Mazaar) or pressing social issues, such as the farmer suicides (Muqadama), but the songs are still groovy,” Piyush tells us.
The surprise element of these numbers is the use of the trumpet, an instrument which Piyush has been learning off late. And his typical raspy vocals bring an element of chutzpah to the songs and its bold topics. “It’s interesting to note, that all of us share the same musical sensibilities and like raw vintage sounds which are not crystal clear. In the coming days, we intend to add more brass sections to make our sound broader,” he adds.
Piyush was a vocalist of the Kochi-band Thaikkuddam Bridge previously and recounts how his experience there prepared him for Daira, “I learned a lot from them, but since I wanted to explore my own creativity, and see what I could achieve individually, I decided to leave and start a band of my own.” The vocalist is especially known for the use of the kazobo, which alters the timbre and texture of his smooth and suave voice.
Their lyrics, which are mostly written in Hindi, with Urdu and Awadhi words, is seconded only by the long delays of guitarist Vikalp Sharma, who creates a wide range of sounds, which is far from anything you might have heard from a guitar ever. Sahaafi, a song from Itni Jurrat, released last year, deserves particular mention. The song begins by criticising modern-day journalism and ends on a prophetical: “Humare desh mein aadat satkar, andhi sarkar, andhe akhbaar.” “I never try to complicate my songs, just to make them sound more layered. But I am personally moved by the works of Pakistani poet Jaun Elia and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya,” he offers.
Does he plan to make music in English, anytime soon? Piyush responds, “There is no shame in making rock music in Hindi. A lot of bands across the world make music and sing in their native tongues. Rammstein sings in German, or Avial in Malayalam. But that does not prevent them from becoming popular with the masses. So why should we worry?” he asks with a smile.
PC: Ashwyn Warrier