With his latest single, Raman Negi sets up the release of his first album, Shakhsiyat
It is never easy to break free. Raman Negi (in pic, below) knows it better than most. Having founded one of the more successful rock groups in the last decade, Local Train, the singer-songwriter parted ways with the band officially in December last year. Since then, he has been on a journey to discover his own musical self.
In 2022, Negi released Gaayab, Mehroom, Koyla, Ek din and the latest, Lullaby for the anxious bones under his name. “I wanted to create something. These songs started happening naturally. I wrote 14 to 15 songs which were the juice for this album,” he tells us over the phone from Delhi. The album, Shakhsiyat, will drop on November 18, and marks his first composite release since the split. The 10 songs, Negi tells us, represent the many experiences he has gone through as an artiste and person. These include the fun Mastani, a rock ballad in Mehroom and an experiment with blues in Shagird blues. “Shakhsiyat means personality, and it refers to where I am as an artiste, what my musical influences are and how I have projected them,” he adds.
The album, created with producer Gaurav Chintamani, has also allowed the singer freedom to experiment. “I believe an album presents the larger story of an artiste. I like to see how the songs come together to tell the story. You notice the sounds, and evolve and adapt when creating the larger album.”
Each song, he remarks, was born out of his personal experiences. The latest single, Lullaby for the anxious bones, captures the struggle of a musician battling anxiety and questions of self-doubt. The soft rock composition, which was released on November 5, stands out for its balanced acoustic and percussive rhythm. The singer’s vocals are suited to the poetic despair in his lyrics. “We experience high pressures at work; this was my way of expressing and finding a voice for that struggle,” he explains. The single will find its way into the album on Friday.
He admits it is not always smooth sailing, but the process is enjoyable. “There are no regrets about leaving [Local Train],” he says, adding, “It felt like the right time to move on as I wanted to explore my growth as an artiste. I wanted to be a better guitarist, a better musician.” This, he says, can sometimes go against the identity of a band as it grows popular. “There are limitations that come with fame as a band and as a unit. You are identified by their sound; your ability to experiment and try new things is limited.” The year promises to end on an exciting note for Negi. The album release will be followed by performances at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune. “You can expect a live performance of my debut album,” he signs off.
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