Sanjeev T keeps it raw and intense in his latest album Future
Inspired by lockdown moods and incorporates lo-fi elements in its soundscape, the album has six songs
Sanjeev T had no inkling of how his latest album would turn out to become in the end, considering that he had a different plan for it when he started working on it early this year. Like many other artistes, the COVID lockdown did affect his music production schedules, but instead of letting it derail his plans, he turned the situation around in his favour.
Contrary to the initial approach to making the album, Sanjeev started focusing on lo-fi sounds while recording and gave them a spin of their own to produce a tracklist that has sampled sounds as their foundation. It was a result of “experimenting and having fun”, he says, explaining that he has tried to portray the general state of mind during this lockdown.
Titled Future, the album primarily has six soundscapes. “These soundscapes represent different feelings, such as worry, missing someone important in your life who passed away, viewing life with new intentions, breaking traditional conventions and conditioning and feeling the rain while being locked down at home. The vibe is to slow down and take things easy. Lo-fi is definitely that,” says the Chennai-based musician who formerly worked with AR Rahman as a lead guitarist for several years.
The first single, Kadhal Magic, is already out, and Sanjeev intends to release the remaining five in the coming months, accompanied by their respective instrumental versions. With all tracks in the album featuring collaborators, Sanjeev reveals, “For Kadhal Magic, I teamed up with Siva Baskaran, aka Native Indian, who really caught on to the vibe that I was trying to bring out. His sound is fresh. I wouldn’t categorise him as a rapper but more as a spoken word artiste.”
Having released a number of albums before Future, he has also worked in Tamil and Bollywood movies that Rahman had composed music for. Needless to say, a stint with the musical genius comes with an ample amount of lessons and experiences. “The need for freedom in creativity and being humble as an artiste are the big lessons I learnt from him. That period with him exposed me to so many great musicians, artistes, audiences and cultures. To me, travelling is the greatest educator, and I travelled the world with him,” Sanjeev shares.
Talking about his other regional movie projects, he says, “My last Malayalam release, Manoharam, did well both in theatres and on OTT platforms. I also did the background score for a Kannada feature, Kaalave Mosagara, which is due for release in August or September this year. ”
Admitting that experimenting with lo-fi sounds is a new space for him, Sanjeev says that he feels that since he was stuck at home, he had to find inspiration from within. “Hip-hop is a genre built from sampled sounds. This is a studio album, and, compared to my earlier ones, it is of a completely new genre from what I used to produce before.” This echoes his opinion that the need for innovation in music in the ‘new normal era’ is paramount.
Expecting further roadblocks ahead, he wonders when he will be able to perform live again. “Half of my earnings come from there,” he says. However, the silver lining is that his music school, Rainbow Bridge, has started online classes, with Sanjeev himself offering guitar lessons. “I think, today, an artiste has to multi-task if he/she has to survive. Although it is easier said than done, we should be willing to look at new avenues and come up with better solutions,” he reflects.
Available on streaming platforms and YouTube.
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