A step back
The thing about music and art for me that has always been a challenge is it’s dual nature of being so personal yet so social in a non linear way. In both states it’s always been a way for me to exercise vulnerability – partly in my capacity or abilities to create art and also about why and how I wanted to share the creations.
The last few years as an artist were, quite honestly, rather juvenile. Music was made, released, written about, art was created, critiqued, ignored, collaborations were had, some that have grown stale, others that disappeared but seem to have found their way back, performances happened with good sound-checks and disorienting sets, lots of fun, too much smoke, music videos, photos, heck even some merchandise, but it was really all-over-the-place. Not very sustainable me thinks….
The truth is, as an artist and I suppose even as a person, I’ve consistently found my degree of connection either with myself or with others (collaborators and audience) often a little imbalanced or misplaced. I attribute this to chance, really, neither positive nor negative, but surely I believe it’s a blessing to be aware of this and even more so that I feel naturally compelled to improve this. I’ve had my moments of weakness and frustrations but really at the end of the day, I do look at my past as lessons to reflect on. Things have gotten better but certain patterns are yet to be broken.
My dreams of being an artist are modelled around some rather tough acts to follow – the most important one being @linkinpark . Eventually I discovered @stevenwilsonhq @twentyonepilots , @aperfectcircle , @mrbillstunes , @editbeats , besides some 30-40 odd artists whose art and persona I looked up to, but the one that I am clinically certain is number one, it’s Linkin Park – they had the whole package from the get-go: starting small, playing smart, getting huge, sticking together, working hard, doing their own damn thing, connecting with people for who they are, in-house cool art, surreal music videos, great interviews, funny dudes, brilliant business, successful charities, the list goes on….I haven’t come to terms with the fact that I will never them live, as things stand today. I have been very lucky to meet a few of the people I admire to this degree, but I really feel a hollow inside me knowing I will never meet Chester. But their influence on me will always been a guiding force to navigating my life as an artist.
(Hey @m_shinoda , I could use some advice…)
Over the last year in particular, I think I’ve grown in many ways that I’ve wanted, and in many more ways that I’ve had to. It’s been bitter-sweet to extremities. Love, family, friends, travel, music, and everything else had their own big crests, troughs and plateaus, dancing with each other to push me through each day. It’s the first time I’ve found myself with as much music on my computer that’s so close to completion but can’t seem to give them closure. I aspire to be prolific and this is a sign of something not running quite right, according to me. It’s the first time I have all the tools I really wanted for a long time but couldn’t seem to put them all to use the way I imagined I would due to various circumstances. ( I do want more gear, btw….) So, something has got to be done…
A quick shout out to all the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with: THC Cassette Xiii Live – @navneeth.k (drums), @niteesh.mp3 (guitars) [ @treehuggerzclub ] @supriamancherla, @culture_de_sac @atandtea SHARAM MASALA: @aishanvali (XCPT), Sameer Ul Haq (@alamokshmusic) UN_OWN: @amanmahajan_ (synth), @archytype.x (drums). BARE WITNESS: @peter.joshuah (Drums), Guests: @_akrti_ (voice), Aishan Vali aka XCPT (rap), Manas Ullas aka @sic.ra (rap), Aman Mahajan (keys) OTHER COLLABORATORS: @appupen , @chaxster @polar_dub , @ramchandruni, @franticlimbs , @akshat_ajay , @artoramaramani and everyone else who has humoured me with your minds along the way! And also, very important – my sincere gratitude to all the people who’ve shared many a kind word and constructive feedback that has kept me going!
The other thing I wish to talk about is identity – I have always believed in being amorphous, and I always wanted to explore music and art like a vagabond, and I must admit that it’s been fun and empowering in many ways, but I’ve really never managed to comfortably wrap my head around how to translate that feeling to my audience – the thing with identity, and artistic vulnerability is that sometimes it’s hard to tell how what we project is perceived and how to let that perception impact what we project. In this dialogue, I noticed that I tend to mould anonymity, ambiguity and abstraction as bedrock to my social vocabulary, but I don’t think it’s entirely representative of what I want to say or how I want to say things. My suspicion is that these are answers which need to found within.
Now, getting to the point – I have come to the decision of taking a break from social activities online indefinitely. It’s been one of the most wasteful processes when I use it without structure, as I have till now, and I suppose I am in too deep to just add structure. I think a clean break from it for a solid amount of time should give me the space I need to figure out the wiring in my head a bit, to declutter and re-map some of my thoughts and beliefs. During this time, it is unlikely I will release any new music or participate in any events as No Hero, at least nothing that I will spearhead. I also want to clarify that I believe social media is a great thing – I personally love the fact that it exists, is accessible and has a variety of platforms to be on, but it is a bit overwhelming for me at the moment to know how I want to be social on the internet.
I will continue to work on music and art, of course, but I hope I will be able to get a different perspective on where it all fits into the grander scheme of things. The scene over at @thesoundswithin are looking positive with both @kyojinmusic and @sidharthbendi about to get into creating their sophomore albums, with Rahul Menon also set to put out some of his solo material and from what I hear, @navneeth.k solo material and collaboration with @prathik.bendapudi is likely to grace your ears as well in 2019! I also believe some really fun stuff is due to come through @braindedindia . If you’re looking to pimp your feed with some sardonic comic relief, you should be following Brainded. So, yea…see you guys in a bit! I hope the new year bring you guys exactly what you need to get whatever you want in life!