Independent artiste, Vilen’s new EP, Handmade is overflowing with pristine feelings

The song talks about the excitement of discovering and reigniting love

Delhi-based songwriter and composer Vipul Dhanker, aka Vilen, established himself as the versatile musician that he is with his 2018 single, Ek Raat. Vilen is much admired for blending his songs with electronic and Indian classical musical elements often featuring acoustic instruments such as guitar, piano and harmonium.

Dropping his EP, Handmade which includes songs like Fir Mile and Sehra, Vilen, who usually discusses toxicity, disturbed marriages and child abuse in his music, has streamed his jovial feelings into this one. “These songs are hand-picked with a lot of care. They symbolise a hand-painting, except that, instead of a canvas, my work has to do with music,” he tells us, adding that in a departure from his usual thematic concerns, Vilen’s recent collection marks a shift towards more introspective refrains. Each track, he asserts, is nuanced and personalised, reflecting his dedication to making songs that resonate on a sincerely subjective story.

Within his EP, Vilen introduces a subtle exploration of love through Fir Mile and Sehra. The former emerges as a quintessential love song, brimming with fresh emotions and the exhilaration of love’s discovery or rekindling.

On the other hand, Sehra delves into the complexities of love, epitomising an individual’s struggle with articulating their feelings. “ The dichotomy between the straightforward joy of love and the convoluted silence of unexpressed emotions adds depth to my work. The paradox of love is always present, but perhaps, not seen and talked about as much,” he shares.

Maybe, there’s a slim chance that Vilen, during his solo trips has encountered a person — someone ephemeral. Perhaps, he has learned to harbour a newfound appreciation of impermanence. “We might meet someone whom we know, wouldn’t be seeing twice. We may also not stay in touch. I tried discussing this sense of detachment within Handmade — that it is completely fine if one does not try to stretch any connection that long if that person knows that falling prey to oblivion is inevitable,” adds Vilen.

Hailing from a Haryanvi background and rooted in the traditions of a joint family, Vilen brings a rich arcade of values and customs into his music career. Despite the fast and often challenging environment of the music industry, he remains true to his heritage, not letting the pressures and changes suppress his cultural identity. The grounding in his Haryanvi roots can be subtly felt in the themes he explores, the storytelling in his lyrics, and the incorporation of traditional musical elements alongside modern sonic scenes. “My upcoming projects include some soft-rock, dark and Sufi tracks. One can find the vibe of a Coke Studio piece in them,” he shares.

Handmade is streaming on all platforms.

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