When we last spoke to singer-songwriter Siddharth Basrur about his solo project, it was in the middle of summer. Although it hadn’t started raining in Mumbai yet, Basrur – who is also the lead vocalist of progressive metal band Goddess Gagged – was already under the influence of rain, or at least a girl he refers to as rain. She is also the subject of his forthcoming album. “It’s called Chasing Rain because that’s how I started chasing her, by writing songs about it,” said Basrur, adding that that’s when he realised how he felt about this girl.
Mumbai audiences can also get to feel the emotion when they watch his performance at Blue Frog this fortnight. He will be joined on stage by his friend Jishnu Guha on guitar, Adil Kurwa (of The Colour Compound) on bass and Zain Calcuttawala (of Spook) on drums. If the preview of “Rain” on Basrur’s Soundcloud page is anything to go by, it will be a rollicking gig full of songs with easy lyrics like, “The thought of rain keeps me smiling / The thought of rain gets me high / The thought of rain keeps me wanting more / The thought of rain is a treat for my mind”.
Basrur plans to release a limited number of CDs of the album, complete with lyrics and artwork that you can hold and feel. The cover has been designed by photographer Sukrit Nagaraj. Basrur liked his watercolour-like photographs so much that he used one of Nagaraj’s photos as his Twitter profile pic.
The album is being produced by long-time collaborator and the much sought-after producer Ayan De. He has also helped with shooting the music video for the song “Stay”. Catching the band on video is a good thing, because after this fortnight’s gig, guitarist Guha and drummer Calcuttawala will be leaving the country. Basrur has a few ideas about who he would like to ask to fill in after they’re gone, but he wants those musicians to hear them play first.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Sidd Coutto and Basrur have been working on some material together, but Basrur said Coutto probably won’t be one of the new band members as he is also busy with his second solo album. Incidentally, Coutto’s first solo effort Sunny Side Up was also romantically driven, with songs like “I Need You”, “Aim To Please” and “Royal Family”.
A female vocalist, whose name Basrur had not decided when we spoke to him, will be part of a duet on Chasing Rain. “The whole album is pretty mushy that way,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.” We don’t think so either, especially since Basrur’s versatile voice hits all the right notes, whether it’s on an aggressive Goddess Gagged song, a heartbreaking cover of one of Adele’s hits or a happy ditty about romancing “Rain”.
By Aditya Kundalkar on August 03 2012 4.19am
Photos by Parikshit Rao