Musician Tejas talks about his new single Lead, the upcoming album Outlast, and his love for pop culture
THE COVER ART for Mumbai-based singersongwriter Tejas Menon’s new single Lead really struck a chord on social media with its high fantasy- and sci-fi-inspired style. “Lots of people have loved the art, I hope this song lives up to it too,” the singer jokes. The single is part of his upcoming album, Outlast, a pop and R&B-inspired eight-track album.
Lead, which is out this week, is the first track on the album and is close to his heart. “I usually take a long time to write my music. But this song came to me very easily. It was very instinctive. We used the first draft of the vocal recording in the album, as it felt so natural and raw,” Tejas says. He adds that the song is about his experience of moving to India from Dubai (where he grew up) and how he initially felt like an outsider and had to build a lot of things from scratch.
The song, and the art, is part of a world that the artiste is trying to create with Outlast. Each song will have its own artwork that will be released over the next few weeks. “The artwork has been done by Bengaluru-based artist Vibhav Singh. We are both nerds and love Isaac Asimov and I like how that’s reflected in the art,” says Tejas who also hosts Geek Fruit, a podcast about pop culture.
The album features Adil Kurwa on bass and drummer Jehangir Jehangir, who has also produced it. Musically, the album draws from electronica, pop and disco. Although he doesn’t want to reveal too much, Tejas confides that this is his most concise album yet. “This album is very cathartic and gives me a sense of closure. You can think of it as the end of a trilogy,” says Tejas whose previous two releases are Small Victories (2014) and Make It Happen (2017). The themes in Outlast are patience, being a late bloomer, and the importance of following your dreams at your own pace. “A lot of people feel that if a song is an upbeat number, it cannot have heavier themes. That’s not the case with my music,” he adds.
Although the majority of the album was recorded just before the lockdown, the mixing and production had to be done virtually. As for promotions, instead of gigs, Tejas is going to let the album do the heavy lifting. “We’re trying to reach out and do more creative things through the digital platforms available to us. I am mostly focusing on delivering authentic performances to people who genuinely love the music and can relate to it,” he signs off.
Lead is out on June 8. Available on online streaming platforms