EVERY new week exposes me to…
a fresh part of the world. I have been speaking with the Indian artist Dhruv Visvanath about his musical upbringing and his latest single, Wild. He talks about his early years and why he considers Bombay to be his hometown – I ask about New Delhi and what it is like being there.
Visvanath talks about the three albums that mean the most to him; whether there are any gigs coming up; what he would advise new artists coming through; if he has any plans regards coming to the U.K. – I ask whether there is more material coming before the end of the year.
Hi, Dhruv. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! Well, the last week has been rather hectic, actually! I’m finally traveling the world bit by bit! I’m currently in Canada and had a great time playing at the Canadian Music Week! I’m now in Montreal and looking forward to enjoying a few awesome performances here before I head off to New York for a nice holiday!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a singer-songwriter and a percussive-acoustic guitarist. I’m a solo percussive acoustic guitarist (or S.P.A.G. for short) and I love making music! I currently live in New Delhi, India and I hope to make music that touches people’s lives all over the world.
Wild is your current single. Can you tell me how the song came together and what inspired it?
Well, to be honest, the song was just a simple idea I’d held on to for over a year. The chorus was something that would keep repeating itself over and over again, through every little moment of my day, for over a year. When I’d finally sat down to finish it off, I knew that, no matter what I wrote, I knew that the story that would be Wild needed to hit me square in the chest every time I heard it.
What was it like putting the video together? It seems like it was a fantastic experience? Where did the experience of using sentient mops come from?
To be honest; every bit of creative thought and energy that went into creating the video was all thanks to my director Tanvi Gandhi. The video was shot and filmed in Mumbai while I was in Delhi or touring around India. The idea of the mops in today’s world was all her idea and filming the mops was definitely an amazing experience. With the crew having gone through a lot of effort to make functional prototypes of the mops, the entire video is worth it!
Is there going to be more material coming down the line?
Well having just released an album in April I think first things first I’m going to take a little holiday! But, I’ve got more material in tow and I want to try to take a bit of a break and recharge the batteries before I get on tour and start recording more new material again!
New Delhi is your hometown. Tell me how music came into your life and what form it took. What is the city like in terms of sounds?
Well. I live in Delhi now, but I’ve always considered Bombay to be my hometown, to be honest. Music has been in my life for a very, very long time. I was seven-years-old when I started playing the piano and I’ve spent a lot of my childhood in many different parts of the world. I feel like I’ve l learnt to absorb different sounds and sensations from every environment I’ve been in! Being in Delhi has given me a lot of stability, of course.
I’ll always be grateful to the city that gave me my first start!
Did your father’s passing, when you were sixteen, impact your course and reason to stick in New Delhi?
Well. He passed away in England when we were living there - it was only after that when we were forced to move on and try to start our lives (my family’s) all over again. It was hard, but being in the city really allowed us to focus and start all over again. Losing my father was difficult, but my mother has been a pillar of strength and she singlehandedly changed mine and my brother’s life. I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Which artists would consider as influences in terms of the music you make?
I always look up to artists like Andy Mckee, Antoine Dufour and Don Ross for their musicality. However, as of late, I’ve really come to appreciate the talent and skill that John Mayer possesses. I honestly think that he’s the best singer-songwriter in the world. I also love bands like Snarky Puppy, and Foals - and my all-time favourite, Alter Bridge.
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
Well. I don’t know about outside the country, but I hope to set up a nice auditorium tour in India with a possible international tour in 2019. I want to do it right and be patient. I’ve worked hard to put my music out there and give it the best possible platform to be heard; I just want to make sure that when I do go on tour, I want it to kick ass!
Might we see you in the U.K. at any point?
I can’t say for the moment, but I do hope the stars align!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I really want to recharge my batteries and get to writing newer songs and making some great soundtracks! I really want to get to tour internationally and properly this time! I do hope that I can make it to the U.K. and Europe! There’s a lot to look forward to already; I don’t want to jump the queue!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
One of my favourite memories is when I’d just started playing the piano and my mum and dad both sat on my bed while I played utter nonsense on a toy Casio keyboard. They smiled and jumped with joy when I’d figure out songs in front of them. I’ll never forget that day or that feeling.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
One Day Remains - Alter Bridge
It completely changed the way I looked at the guitar. Hearing Mark Tremonti kill it on the guitar completely made me want to shred like anything.
Meteora – Linkin Park
The first album I bought with my own money. I’ll never forget that they were the first band I ever saw live. What a thrill they were to watch live and at the best possible point of their careers. I feel super-lucky.
Phil Collins - Hits
By far my favourite artist of all time. To me, this man can do no wrong, and listening to Another Day in Paradise would always make me feel so sad. I wanted to be like him; I even covered In the Air Tonight in my own way. He’s always going to be at the top of my list.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I think I could use plenty of advice, to be honest!
The only thing I can really say is that one must always be prepared to work hard and really, really create the best work that you possibly can. Writing as many of your ideas down and making as much music as you can will always keep you happy! Always take some time off when you can!
IN THIS PHOTO: Kacey Musgraves
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I do spend a lot of time at home, sending emails and working a lot! However, my favourite thing is to play video games! I love being the protagonist and traveling through a world filled with lore and quests and, of course, eating some amazing food.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Wait Up – Roosevelt
Follow Dhruv Visvanath