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News |  23 Nov 2015 19:47 |  By RnMTeam

Enter Achint's Shalimar: Discover the musician who's out on a self-discovery

MUMBAI: Not many, especially musicians, would disagree that the two most unswerving and imperative factors for the release of a debut (or any) album are- right people and the right time. And to achieve both, World/ Electronic artist, Achint, continued his search and incessant research to execute his musical ideas that began in San Francisco. Achint’s musical appetite craved for ‘cinematic’-styled story-telling, and the hunger only grew when the Mumbai-based musician managed to leap beyond Rock, but to his benefit and pleasure failed to distance himself from Indian aesthetics. Achint, also a guitarist, felt particularly impassioned about his homeland, or its specific elements at least. “San Francisco was an important phase in the birth of my debut album ‘Shalimar’. I had the education, resources and all I needed was the direction. Back in the States, I spent most of my time listening to stuff that reminded me of home” said the 25-year-old.

A self-confessed fan of The Beatles, one of the brains behind his former band- Rosemary, was desperate to branch out of his comfort zone, bringing about ‘Forest Fires’ in 2012- his first track from ‘Shalimar’, that features flautist Naveen Kumar. Achint certainly offers something distinctive through the album- its structure, shape, flow and the impeccable usage of vocals.

A minute and 20 seconds after you ‘Enter Shalimar’, the composer has already helped you travel into sounds and melodic intensity that demand one’s ‘unexposed-to-diverse-sound attention’ asking for more. Wait for twenty more seconds, and the sound gets a bit more ‘worldly’ allowing itself and the listener to expect elements of unpredictability through the rest of the album. That Achint has an open mind, habit of experimenting and exposure to more and more styles of music, stands as an example of how effectively he used the vital building blocks to his solo project. While the album is filled with dissimilar styles, at no point does the sound seem crammed with instruments ‘for the sake of it’.

Many words- “refreshing”, “ambitious”, “like it, hate it, but cannot ignore it”- get thrown around to exemplify new albums; but every track- sonically or even deeper- compliments other tracks on ‘Shalimar’. And Achint’s readiness to make the most of the subsequent freedom that came with going solo permitted the album not fall into a particular bracket as such. What started as a ‘self-discovery effort’ evolved into an album revolving around the concept of cinematic storytelling through constant inspirations from Hollywood and Bollywood film music. Into the ninth track ‘Exit Shalimar’ and one probably concludes the intelligence behind the project.

“I was sort of nervous before the launch,” confessed Achint, who no longer associates with the emotion, and is set to performing his first ‘open venue’ at Bacardi Enchanted Valley Carnival on 19 December 2015. Having played at blueFROG and Hard Rock Café in Mumbai already, the composer believes that an open venue would not require a lot of major changes for his sound. “I am sure it will translate well,” he said adding, “It would not be an issue” when he once again takes the stage with Ajay Jayanthi, Viraaj Saxena and Suraj Manik.

Since quitting his progressive outfit Rosemary, Achint has played with sounds and ideas collaborating with Saurabh Roy from The LightYears Explode, and releasing ‘Reinventions’ – an EP involving remixed tracks by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Radiohead. He also extends the habit of throwing some remixed tracks into his live set.

Achint was much beyond half-way in the completion of his album when Times Music realised the potential that the 10-track album carries. “It was obviously a huge boost and since then things have turned out how I expected them to be,” he said. Achint, who took a few months to accept and love Radiohead’s sound, agrees that some sounds are too experimental and ambitious, and they take longer to be acknowledged. “The album will take time to grow on people,” something that the composer does not mind. He waited three months before managing to rope in Grammy winning sound engineer P.A. Deepak for mixing responsibilities.

Over the course of time, Achint made patience his best friend and refusing to compromise on quality has paid off with contributions from Neeti Mohan, Bhutte Khan and Multan Khan on vocals. A year or more in the studio rightly occupied most of Achint’s time, but he cannot wait to display that enthusiasm and creativity during live sets. Many more gigs? “Yes, I will now be focusing more energy and time into playing my music in as many places as I can,” he added. That starts this December, when the music video for ‘Impressions’- a track from ‘Shalimar’- will be released.

The New Year will start with several shows and festivals for the 25-year-old; and the songwriter hopes that his latest product, released at the right time, with the help of right people and gained the right direction, will only further lead to an upward trajectory, receiving the right amount of success and appreciation.