Notes from a distance

Updated: Oct 28, 2019, 08:01 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A Mumbai-based band has released its debut single, conceived remotely by members strewn across India

Varun Dhabe, Parth Yadav and Shashank Joshi of Faasley, who composed their debut track across the miles
Varun Dhabe, Parth Yadav and Shashank Joshi of Faasley, who composed their debut track across the miles

The members of a musical outfit usually operate out of the same city. They get together in one of their homes and frame a composition bit by bit. Heck, some band members even live in the same flat, as is the case with Hindi rock biggies, The Local Train. This allows them to reach a common ground more smoothly, apart from getting more shows.

That's why the process that Faasley followed to release their debut single, Iraade, is off the beaten track. All three members — Varun Dhabe, Shashank Joshi and Parth Yadav — are kids whose fathers had served for the Indian Army. They have been constantly uprooted from one place to the other in their childhood. But their parents eventually ended up in Hyderabad in 2014 and enrolled them in the same school. That's where the trio met and even played in the school band together. But once their board exams were over, they parted ways again for college. Dhabe went to Nagpur, Yadav to Chennai, and Joshi came to Mumbai.

Two years into their higher education and they decided to pursue music professionally. And thanks to technology, distance was hardly a barrier. What they would do is that when one of them had an idea for a riff or a lyrical line, he would send voice notes through WhatsApp to the other two. They would then sit with their respective instruments and build on the idea with the help of added layers from a computer, before creating stem files — or audio files that contain a track split into four musical elements — and bouncing them back on the common WhatsApp group. That's entirely how they built the demo for Iraade, a hummable Hindi offering. And after the track's foundations were laid, they were offered the chance to record it at a studio in Mumbai, a city that all three have been based in for the past two months.

The whole process highlights the kind of digital age we live in. "We didn't face any obstacles. This is just the way we work. And technology has moved so far ahead that you really don't need to be in the same place to exchange ideas. We would in fact jam on the phone via a conference call," Dhabe says, indicating our changing times.

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