When sci-fi fans make music
After touring the US, Mumbai-based band Shubhangi Joshi Collective to launch debut album named after a character from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
When author Douglas Adams introduced us to the Babel Fish — a small, yellow creature that translates any language to one you understand if you stick it in your ear — in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, his iconic series, those who haven't got a knack for picking up new languages wished the Babel Fish actually existed. Some fans of this creature include a group of musicians based in the city, who have dedicated their debut album to their love for sci-fi and will be launching it in Andheri on Saturday.
"We are all science-fiction nerds, so it made sense to call our album Babel Fish. Besides, symbolically, it also portrays how the members of the band process what happens around and translate it into songs," explains Shubhangi Joshi, ahead of the last leg of their India tour, which incidentally has been rescheduled from Thursday to the weekend owing to a private party (not something you want to hear at a time when performance venues in the city are shutting down). Besides their love for science-fiction, it was their love for music that organically brought the band members together when bassist Titus Pinto came across a Led Zeppelin cover by the now 30-year-old Joshi. Soon, Aamir Ismail (drums, percussion) joined and the trio performed for a while before Nishant Nair (keys, melodica) came on board.
(From left) Aamir Ismail, Shubhangi Joshi, Nishant Nair and Titus Pinto
But this album is more of a representation of Joshi's exposure to music, which started with Bollywood songs from the '50s and '60s when she was growing up in Delhi, to tinkering around with the harmonium at home when she was seven years old and moving on to guitar lessons when she was 12. "That's when the seed was sown, though I did my MBA and worked in a corporate job," she explains. But it was also this corporate job that brought Joshi to Mumbai in 2015, where she got enough support (even financial via voice-over jobs) to switch to music full-time.
And so, the songs are a collection of turning points in Joshi's life — there's one called Last Ticket Journey that talks about letting go of the dead weight that holds people down. "It could be someone else's opinion of you that you've internalised to such an extent that you believe it. Cutting off is crucial. There's also a tongue-and-cheek take on toxic relationships where your partner makes you feel like they are doing you a favour by being with you, but can't digest the fact that you have moved on, so they come back to mess with your head," explains Joshi, highlighting the need to believe in yourself.
ON September 21, 8 pm
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