Tejas Menon on how The Archies album pays homage to the rhythms of Riverdale

Growing up, Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Tejas Menon was a comic nerd, something that helped him in lending his vocals for five tracks in Zoya Akhtar’s The Archies...
riter Tejas Menon has sung for Archies in the Zoya Akhtar-directed film
riter Tejas Menon has sung for Archies in the Zoya Akhtar-directed film

With the recent influx of violent and gory content at the cinemas, The Archies by Zoya Akhtar offered a little break from the intense stuff and shifted gears towards a more laid-back viewing experience. While the debut of starlets like Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, and Agastya Nanda continues to dominate social media feeds, one thing being appreciated through and through is the refreshing album of the live-action musical. Mumbai-based artiste Tejas Menon lent his vocals for five out of the 16 tracks of the musical.

For Sunoh and Va Va Voom, two of the Netflix film’s most popular tracks, Tejas brought his signature brand of English pop music to the forefront. We speak to the singer-songwriter about the musical elements of the album, delving into the world of ’60s rock ’n’ roll and lots more…

<em>In Frame: Tejas Menon</em>
In Frame: Tejas Menon

What was the mood board that you were given for the tracks?
The style of the music and well-established genre of rock ’n’ roll from the ’60s were more than enough references for me to indulge in as a singer. The whole movie, being a period piece, helped slot the music into place as well. I just had to make sure I had the energy of a 17-year-old, even though I’m double that age!

Tell us a little about the influence rock ’n’ roll music had on you and how that helped you with The Archies.
In my high school years, I used to be an Elvis impersonator, and I am just a huge Elvis fan in general. So that helped on songs like Va Va Voom and Asymmetrical.

Which one would you say was the toughest track to crack in the five songs that you sang?
I would say all of them had their challenges. I think Jab Tum Na Thee was hard because of the high key and Va Va Voom because of the rapid lyrical delivery and energy that had to be maintained throughout. Also, the Hindi was a bit tricky for me to begin with, and so were the keys of the songs considering it was for a young face like Agastya Nanda. Watching Shankar sing this stuff back to me with ease was incredible. To be honest, all three of them (Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy) are true masters of their craft. Additionally, Ankur Tewari pushed me to try and stylize the vocals to be more like Shammi Kapoor and get that Mohammed Rafi vibe.

What were some of the comic books that you grew up reading?
I am a proper nerd more than anything else. I read a whole ton of comic books growing up from Marvel to DC and of course, the classics like Archie, Tinkle, Tintin, and Asterix. I used to love reading Batman, X-Men, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Spider-Man and then I later got into graphic novels like Watchmen, Y: The Last Man, Scott Pilgrim, Green Lantern, and Persepolis. I still try and find the time to read graphic novels.

What are your upcoming music plans in 2024?
I am mainly focused on continuing with my releases and will have my new record titled Museum out soon. It is a personal one for me and a bit of a departure from the sound people know me for but I am extremely excited for it.

The Archies is now streaming on Netflix.

Mail: muskankhullar@newindianexpress.com
X: @muskankhullar03

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