Mumbai: Sounds from the bay
We catch up with Bombay boy Sooraj who's back in town to release his upcoming album at a gig this Friday
He started playing the keyboard and singing when he was one and a half, before training in Hindustani and Carnatic music, and finished Grade 8 from Trinity College London when he was just six years old. "Once you learn the keys, you pretty much get a hang of things," says 24-year-old Sooraj Bishnoi, who picked up the guitar, violin and drums while in Lilavatibai Podar High School.
Currently he's studying vocal performance at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where he hopes to get a break soon and get closer to his dream of winning a Grammy. But, Bishnoi's love for his city is evident in his upcoming LP, releasing on January 4, which comprises 11 songs. It's got a funk track, a stadium rock single, singer-songwriter ballads and hooky pop melodies.
There's one song dedicated to Bombay, called City Beat. "It's about all the things I love about the city — the pace, sights and sounds like those on a station platform, the fact that there are 12 cars parked but there's still room for one more, and that the harder you work, the more you get from this city that never sleeps," explains Bishnoi. Even the music video is a compilation of snippets Mumbaikers have mailed in.
Explaining that his songs are primarily observations about situations and people, making it a journey of sorts through his observations, he has also written one called The Actor, on fake people. "I wrote it after I went to Hollywood," Bishnoi reveals.
Tagging the Bombay music circuit as a giving and nurturing one, Bishnoi says that though 80 per cent of the music people listen to is Bollywood, they are starting to look towards independent genres. But, for now, he's heading back to LA, where he plays with an RnB pop outfit, and a theatre rock band.
ON: January 4, 9 pm onwards
AT: The Habitat - Comedy and Music Cafe, Road Number 3, Khar West.
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