Indie musician NOUMAD AKA Noumaan Anwer opens up about his latest single and his debut EP

NOUMAD breaks down his new single, 'Lost', gives a sneak peek into his debut EP, set to release next month and how his music is unrestricted by genres
Noumad AKA Noumaan Anwar
Noumad AKA Noumaan Anwar

Kolkata-Mumbai boy NOUMAD AKA Noumaan Anwer started his indie musical journey with an acoustic guitar. As time passed, he adhered to his process of noting down words on paper and letting himself be free on his favorite instrument for the melodies. This led him to produce some bangers like Udd (with a hip-hop artist named Joesjoint).

This process has also enabled him to create his latest track, Lost. With a constant willingness to experiment and discover, Noumad has also been working towards the release of his first EP. We rope the singer-songwriter-guitarist to learn more.

What is your latest single, Lost, all about?
At its core, Lost is a lament for memories and relationships wasted away in our youth. It is also about the feeling you’re left with in the aftermath of separation and heartbreak—bitterness, isolation, and regret. So ultimately, the song is also a realization—that remaining stuck with regret is not an option. The movement of Lost is what makes it powerful and yet different from most songs about breakups, I would say.

What made you zero in on the score for this track?
As a thumbs-up rule, I don’t believe in being restricted by genre. Seemingly contrasting sounds can fit together if they’re used tastefully. It’s something I’ve learned from so many influential, world-conquering artists I’ve followed over the years. With Lost, bringing synth production and heavy electric guitar work together seemed to create the perfect, searing, melancholic atmosphere I was going for.

Also Read: Samantak & Mates release their first indie song album

What's your process of approaching a new track? 
My journey in music began 15 years ago, with just an acoustic guitar in hand to accompany my voice. Even after all this time, I’d say the most natural, effortless songwriting for me continues to follow the same recipe as it did in the beginning. Start by putting words down on paper, melodies captured on voice recordings on my phone, and chords on the guitar. The writing is usually about things that move me - personal experiences, observations, and insights about the world. I just try to give things a humane, emotionally relatable perspective. One that can be felt, and grooved to at the same time. Since I also produce my music, this can be challenging at times. But I find that with the most honest, emotional tracks, the translation from rough, acoustic ideas into a full-fledged production is pretty much seamless. The music just guides me, I don’t have to.

You’re also working on your debut EP, which will be released next month. Tell us about the same.
I’m so excited to tell you that Places We Could Stop, a collection of five tracks I’ve written over the past 7 years, is finally dropping this year! The songs talk about bittersweet memories, nostalgia, depression, and the fear of loneliness—meditative sonic pictures were taken at a time when everything seemed to be about moving faster, competing, and staying hyper-connected. But as much as they’re an exploration of melancholic themes, they’re also a way to cope and become something better. At least, I hope so. The title of the record is a testament to this: I believe there was a time when we knew how to be good to each other, to love better, and to know places where we could stop and just be. But in the rush of the present, we often feel disconnected from that collective, calming feeling of home and comfort. Genre-wise, it’s tough to put the record into a bracket, as is often the case with my music.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I draw inspiration from all kinds of music, and I think that’s reflected in my work so far. Artists that tie together intimate songwriting, tight instrumentation, and a lucid production & soundscape, like Fred Again and Monolink Phoebe Bridgers, John Mayer, Tom Misch, Lizzy McAlpine, Radiohead, Nirvana and Porcupine Tree blend these elements, moving you and flitting between heady highs and shattering lows, just like life is. From India, I think a lot of indie acts, like Parvaaz, Mali, Nanku, Philtersoup X SAT, Aswekeepsearching, Prabh Deep, Peter Cat Recording Co., Karshni, Siddharth Bendi, and Rounak Maiti, have completely changed the way I approach songwriting and production. I feel proud to call people from our scene inspirations! Last but not least, from the Indian mainstream, I’d say Shankar-Ehsaan Loy, AR Rahman, and Amit Trivedi are composers who I look up to, they’ve challenged the way we make music here. Innovation and limitless creativity are key, and there’s a world full of inspiration out there; you just have to know where to look.

Also Read: Kaakarattan took me on a trip down memory lane: Rajalakshmi Senthil

As an independent artist, what are some of the biggest struggles you have faced?
There are so many, but the one thing that deserves mention is getting people to listen to you when you’re just starting independently. Indie artists don’t have the backing and limitless resources that giant record labels and film production houses have to promote releases. The biggest challenge for indie acts is also our biggest strength—we're not doing this just to profit off of our work. And if we keep persevering with what we’re doing, I believe people will eventually find us and connect with our tunes.

What else is in the pipeline for this year? 
Besides the EP, there are a bunch of collaborative projects with supremely talented artists from across the scene. This includes super exciting, genre-bending releases with my friends Amenn Wihaan, MC Heam, and Fnx, aside from some exciting surprise collaborations. I’ll also be releasing a couple of other 3-track EPs, exploring my acoustic and electronic fascinations, respectively. Finally, I’m going to be playing a lot more shows next year. A new live set bringing the NOUMAD experience to all of you is ready, and I can’t wait to get started! 

Lost is available to stream on all audio platforms.

Related Stories

No stories found.