When you’re in the mood for some pop music and positive lyrics, chances are that Indie musician Nischay Parekh’s tunes will hit just the right note. The 21-year-old festival regular is always performing in bright coloured pants with matching suspenders, making music that gets crowds cheering and smiling at the same time.
Strum chaser: Parekh’s gigs get audiences to smile and cheer
Come October, he’ll be taking his brand of happy to Tokyo, where he’s been selected to attend the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) this year. The Kolkata musician is one of the 60 participants, from over 6,000 applicants, who will learn from top artists like James Murphy, Flying Lotus and M.I.A and play his own compositions at after-parties across town.
Composer and vocalist Sonal D’Silva, mohan-veena player Jeet Gupta and drummer Jivraj Singh have previously represented India at RBMA “People who have been there have told me it is one big party for two weeks,” says Parekh.
Childhood memories of watching talking animals in cartoon shows, and listening to pop have remained with Parekh. “I am also an admirer of William Blake’s romantic poetry and Disney movies,” he says. “I like things that make you smile, so I create such music.”
Parekh also draws influences from his surroundings. His home in Kolkata and the green landscapes around are responsible for the cozy, homely, warm feeling that his first album, Ocean (2013) brings.
Will spending time in high octane Tokyo change his sound? “I don’t like concrete jungles and industrialised settings. But all I can do is wait and see what Tokyo has to offer,” he says. “Tokyo has a global audience, and I think my music will go down well with them when I’m performing at clubs.”
The academy has taken in participants that represent 34 countries and some like Ah! Kosmos from Turkey experiments with sounds that bounce off walls and other obstructions. In comparison, Parekh’s compositions are easy melodies.
So we can only wonder what kinds of collaborations will ensue. “I am keen on working with [UK artist] Mumdance, as he is one of the participants whose work I am already familiar with. His music is quite raw and I think that will create interesting melodies.”
And you needn’t worry that he’ll lose his cheerful side to Japan. “The real me is a fine balance between being optimistic, and sad,” he says. So perhaps the far eastern country might open up the side of him that we haven’t seen yet.
From HT Brunch, August 17
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