Dream comes true

Jan 10, 2019, 09:19 IST | Karishma Kuenzang

A bassist's new single, which releases today and features Shubha Mudgal, brings a college band together after a decade

Dream comes true
Gaurav Balani

The summer of 2008 saw two cousins — Gaurav (b­a­ss) and Tarun Balani (dr­u­ms) — come up with a tune while they were jamming. They even performed it a few times with the band that their third brother, Aditya, was in, which included Nipun Cheema (keys and accordion) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi).

A decade later, the five full-time musicians entered Gaurav's studio, Inalab, and recorded the same song, now called Khwaab, adding the legendary Shubha Mudgal's vocals to the track. And it was one hell of a nostalgic trip, learning experience and eye-opener all at once.

Suhail Yusuf Khan
Suhail Yusuf Khan

"This is the first song I ever wr­ote when I was in college in Delhi," Gaurav reminisces, ad­d­ing, "Back then, playing with Ad­itya opened my ears to diff­erent kinds of harmonies beca­u­se with pop, rock and even Bo­l­lywood, there's a particular pr­ogression of melodies that fo­llows through the song," sa­ys the bassist who refuses to st­ick to a genre.

He's currently pe­rforming with Parikrama, Ad­iti Singh Sharma and Shubha Mudgal, along with playing se­s­sions with Them Clones, Ba­n­dish and Bollywood artistes like Armaan Malik and Divya Kumar. Of late, he has go­ne heavily into electronica, an element that's prominent in the song, especially in the bass and drum segments towards the end.

Nipun Cheema
Nipun Cheema

"The song was quite acoustic back when it was first conceived. Even now, the whole vibe is the same. But we have all grown a lot as musicians, which clearly reflects in the song. I've also added a synth bass in the last outro sara­n­gi and voc­a­ls solos, which I co­uldn't ha­ve done earlier as I have grown a lot as a producer in these 10 years," Gaurav says.

He adds that the single is about the hopes and dreams he had when he was starting out as a professional musician. "It was a happy time. We were all very hopeful, wanted to do well musically and play a lot," he laughs. Tarun had na­med the track I Dream initially, as he felt that the song refl­ected Gaurav's aspirations.

Shubha Mudgal
Shubha Mudgal

"Ironically, when I played this track for Shubhaji for the first time, she called it 'khwaab', without knowing what it was earlier called. She read into the song and then added her own element to it, which completed the composition," narrates Gaurav.

"I have a line for Gaurav's tr­ack, which talks about how our dreams can take us on the most exciting and unpredictable journeys. I have also improvised in certain sections, using elements from Hindustani classical music like aalap and taans," says Mudgal, who is currently in Australia to perform at the Sydney Festival. Back home, Khawaab will be featured in Gaurav's upcoming multi-genre debut album, set to release by September-October.

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