Paraj Singh releases his debut EP, Inara, an ode to to the women in his life
MUSICIAN PARAJ SINGH has been a guitarist for over a decade, but always had the desire to sing. “I started vocal lessons in 2017 and it quickly became evident that I was going to be a much better singer than I ever was a guitar player,” he tells us. After playing in Bengaluru-based bands such as Flaw and Order and Rainburn, the artiste now turns singer-songwriter with his debut EP, Inara.
The artiste’s musical influences are deeply rooted in progressive rock. But as Paraj, his solo project, the music is going to be ‘worlds apart,’ he says. With Inara (which is Arabic for ‘heaven sent’) he explores the acoustic guitar . “I found that I was able to express myself far better with an acoustic. I think that the solo music will primarily be acoustic guitar-driven prog-alt rock with emotive tenor vocals essaying poetic lyrics against a backdrop of almost-cinematic production,” says the artiste.
Paraj lost his father when he was only two, and was raised by the women in his family. “I was sensitised to women’s issues very early on and have since beenoutspoken in my support for the feminist movement. The art on the album cover is based on the strong feminine presence in my life, which has been instrumental in shaping everything about me and has also inspired many of the stories that I aim to bring to life through my music,” he shares.
While you can still feel the distinct prog influence that Paraj’s work is steeped in, there is also a very mellow and soft side to the EP that is brought out through his writing. The opening track Dawn is inspired by the first ray of sunlight that hits one’s face in the mor ning. This is followed by Continue, which is about 2020 and how difficult it has been for everyone. The next song Adrift is an anthem of hope. “It is about drifting aimlessly in a sea of uncertainty, and talks about the existential crises that people go through. It also aims to give the listener hope that an uncertain path is still a path,” Paraj explains.
The Bengaluru-based musician admits that he is not the biggest fan of online gigs. “There’s this electric energy you get from performing live in front of people, that can’t be replicated by any number of streams or platforms,” he says. So, for the rest of the year, Paraj will focus his energy on writing, recording and releasing new music to hone his signature style. “I’m going to work on becoming a better songwriter and musician so that when I’m finally able to take my music live to the world, I’ll do justice to the record,” he signs off.
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