Interview: Musicians The Mellow Turtle and Tre Ess talks about their new single, written and sung by two visually impaired boys
Jharkhand-based record producers, The Mellow Turtle (Rishab Lohia) and Tre Ess (Sumit Singh Solanki), are certainly two of the most popular hip-hop artistes from the state. While they have collaborated before, this time around, the duo has come together for a single, Dil Aziz. Although produced by them, in collaboration with Artist Originals (AO), the song has been written and sung by two visually impaired teenage boys — Subhash Kumar and Dheeraj Kumar Gupta from St. Michael’s School for the Blind. “I started Taal — an initiative that promotes music as a career option for visually impaired students. We have already recorded a few songs, where we are trying to mix Nagpuri and Santhali music with Blues and electronica,” shares Rishab.
The four-and-a-half minute single, Dil Aziz, brings together soulful Hindustani classical and folk with energetic beats of electronica and rock, making it quite a hit. We catch up with Rishab, who shares the making of Dil Aziz, his idea of music and future projects. Excerpts:
Tell us about the experience of making Dil Aziz. How did the whole process of writing and composing work out?
We (Sumit and I) had been experimenting with some musical ideas with the kids in late 2017, one of which was a song written by Subhash, Dil Aziz. Dheeraj sang the song and I was in disbelief. The lyrics were intricate and the composition was beautiful. I helped them structure it. Once it was ready we took it to Sumit’s studio and recorded the track in two hours. Around that time, JioSaavn was interested in promoting independent artistes.
How did the boys adapt to hip-hop elements, as opposed to their training which was in classical music?
They’re extremely versatile kids. Dheeraj is the most talented musician I’ve ever met. He can listen to any song and tell you the chords within minutes. Before taking him to the studio, we also jammed a lot in school, so he was familiar with our style of music too.
How do you plan to create opportunities for young musicians in Jharkhand?
Music has the power to uplift communities. Every time I watch the kids jam, I feel the positive impact it has on them. A few months back, one of the kids wrote a beautiful Nagpuri song about saving trees. We want to promote music as a sustainable career option for visually impaired students through my organisation, Ekastha Foundation. We truly hope that more people join this cause across India.
Available on JioSaavn.