Musician Rohan Shetty talks about the effect of lockdown and getting creative while staying at home
Musician Rohan Shetty, whose musical project goes by the name SHOR, has a new single called Sifarish. The mellow Hindi number grows on you as you continue listening to it and the video of the song is all about innovative shooting during the lockdown amd might remind you of a quarantine routine you are familiar with! We spoke to the Hyderabad-based singer and here are the excerpts:
First up, how has the lockdown changed things for musicians and how are you adapting to it?
Apart from the financial losses due to cancelled shows, musicians also have to now figure out how to continue engaging their audience within the confines of their home. I’ve been putting out a lot of content on Instagram to keep the interaction consistent with my audience. The current situation makes you think of new and creative ways to put out new music which is what we’ve tried to do with my new release, Sifarish.
What's the kind of sound one can expect for your debut EP, Khoye Se?
SHOR is an electro-pop project which aims to be an audio-visual experience in both the live set as well as through online releases. All the songs from the debut EP Khoye Se will be accompanied by some version of visual experience. They have been written, composed and produced by me. Through lyrics and instrumentation in the project, I have tried to capture and express a surreal version of my thoughts from a specific time in my life which are also reflected in the music videos. We have given the visual aspect of SHOR as much focus as the music to have the listener experience the world we have tried to create through these songs and videos. All the music videos have been directed and edited by Sanjna Krishnan. Since the first release, Tera, we have looked to release one song every month until the whole EP is released in May.
How is the creation process for you like - do you write your own music and compose the tunes?
I think my best songwriting happens in moments when I am free of any cloudy thoughts or feelings. I've written a couple of songs on the EP in about 15 minutes and those end up being my favourite because it comes so naturally. Once I've written a song, I don't listen to it for a few days and then come back and decide whether I should complete it. If I do decide to finish the song, I then try to produce around the song to make sure that the feeling of the song comes through more than anything else.
Tell us the story about how you shot the video for Sifarish?
We’re living in a very strange time! Even though releasing new music has become challenging, everyone's at home and want to listen to new music. So with that in mind, we took the call to release Sifarish knowing we wouldn’t be able to do much with the video. We got the idea of showcasing a mundane part of the day and realised that repetition in folding clothes is oddly peaceful to look at and is a small reflection of the quarantine life. And we had taken all the necessary precautions to shoot the video within our compound. So the lyric video that is up on Youtube is the first and only take we took and I think it compliments the song really well.
How’s the lockdown been for you as an artist? Does it mean more time for more new music? Tell us about something you’re working on?
I was starting to gain some traction with the release of three music videos and a well-known gig but my ability to build on that momentum was sort of limited by the lockdown. I’m still able to put out new music, so that’s great! This period has given me some time to reflect a little more on the kind of music I would like to make for my next project. I’m currently working on a song in collaboration with Raghav Meattle, an artist who’s writing and honesty I really admire. The song, in my opinion, would be the perfect song to end the EP.