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In Conversation with Abhinav Singh

Delhi based singer-songwriter Abhinav Singh found his calling amidst the noise of the corporate world. Aside from his great guitar playing, he has a soothing voice. He moved to Bombay to work as a corporate employee by day and an artist playing in jazz clubs by night. He draws inspiration from great poets / artists like Leoned Cohen and Bob Dylan who have the ability to crystallise complex thoughts in just a few words, which is what he strives for in his songwriting. He started off as a bathroom singer and was booed off the stage for his first ever performance. He later formed a band with his roommates but didn’t want to perform without an instrument, so he picked up the guitar. To save himself from memorising lyrics, he wrote his own songs at a young age, and that’s how he got started in songwriting.


Currently, he is into sufi poetry and believes that he is still navigating songwriting. As a John Mayer fan, he is slowly adjusting to a more simplistic approach to it.


Kyun Main Kahoon, his latest single with Hoopr, talks about traversing lonely passages, stumbling through isolation, and ultimately finding “friendship” at the end. The journey culminates in gaining self-love, being your own best friend, and not waiting around for people to enter your life to fix things. According to him, our generation’s ‘World War’ would be loneliness, and we are all fighting it. His thoughts are that there will be a time when he will not be alone, and will probably wish that he was, since that’s the only time you get for introspection.


On being asked about his thoughts on the present-day indie music scene in India, he said that he is nothing but truly impressed and very excited for the future of the indie music scene. “We have some great artists like Prateek Kuhad travelling all over the world making great songs. It’s only getting better and has become more accessible and easier to put music out. But it’s also a double-edged sword because now everyone has the option of doing it, so I need to do something special.” 


Learn more about the musician, and how he explored music while remaining true to his creative calling in the excerpts that follows:


What genre would you put yourself in?


I was thinking about this one day. On Spotify when you list your music out there, there is an option called singer-songwriter. I don’t know if it’s a genre or an identity. I am trying to sing a song about feelings and do it in a simple way. Folk is how I would want to categorise it, also pop. It’s a mix of everything, everyone is a mix of everything. 


What do you think is the best way to promote music for independent artists?


Use social media. I ask artists what they want to do with their music or their art. If you want to share your art then use social media. Your dream is already being achieved by you making your art. But if you aspire to play for an audience and get recognition then you need social media. Do it as often and do it everywhere. It’s not easy but it is a simple way. My advice would be to keep at it and the audience will come to you.


What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?


The only way to get something out of writing is to stop stopping, even when you are writing terrible things. Another thing would be to have fun on stage because when people are looking at you they want to be entertained they don’t want to see how good of an artist you are they want to see if you can perform. If I am just being me and not trying to impress anyone then the audience will automatically find me interesting.


Could you tell us something about your transition from being a corporate employee to a musician?


In this age we are right now we don’t need to be struggling to make money as an artist. If anyone is doing that, they are unnecessarily romanticising it. I would wake up, play music in the morning, go to work, come back in the evening and play again. Every song of mine was written at my corporate job. You need to buy instruments, you need to invest in music. I had to be my own rich father, make money and that was the idea behind working. As you get older you understand money isn’t everything but when you are younger all you want is money. Art isn’t age specific art. It has a long shelf life, you can be 50 and still be popular. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. You need to work, you need to make money, you need peace of mind and then you can make art. I have been shamelessly honest with myself. I want a good life and I also want to play music. That might not work out for everyone. My advice would be not to overthink it. Often, things happen when we least expect them to be.


What’s next for you?


My single will be out next month and an EP after that. I love writing and playing music. I never used to believe in fate, but now that I am getting older, I do. There is a theme to the EP and it’s melancholy. Kyun Main Kahoon is a bittersweet song but it’s more in the ‘I am okay’ zone. The EP primarily will touch similar notes in terms of loneliness but it’s not about being alone. As a 90s kid I think of how the world has moved, there is a journey to it. We have changed and the world has changed. But I wish I could go back to the way I was, when I was eight years old.


Listen to Abhinav Singh’s new single ‘Kyun main kahoon’ streaming on all platforms. You can also licence this song by signing up on Hoopr.ai.