“Chandu ke chacha ne Chandu ki chachi ko….” rings a familiar bell? The quartet who famously made us all dance to the tunes of this Indian tougue twister. Yes, ‘Aasma’ was it!! From what may make for a resurrection moment into something as beautiful as one an imagine is the gorgeous Vasuda Sharma from the same team coming of her own and commanding a well deserved comeback on the scene. She stirs my senses with her new album ‘Attuned Spirits’ that spells Nirvana of sorts on making its way to the ears. Needless to say, it called for a hearty chat.
- What kept you busy after Aasma’s astounding success?
After Aasma, I was exploring what I wanted to do for myself. I did not have a set plan as I was trying everything that came my way. Tried a bit of acting but realized it wasn’t for me or to be precise, I wasn’t for it 🙂 I soon started working on creating music for theatre and films. That included composing music for a play at Prithvi theatre in Mumbai and a Bollywood movie called ‘Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu’ directed by Mr. Makrand Deshpende which gave me an opportunity to experiment with the music I was creating. That led way to working with legends like the Late Jagjit Singh ji and Shankar Mahadevan, a dream I had cherished for long. I got appreciation for my work and this gave me a chance to meet Govind Nihalani ji, a much acclaimed and respected senior director who gave me a chance to compose for his animation movie. Even though Aasma as a band was doing love shows, we had branched out to find out our respective individual callings.
- Briefly highlight the underlying theme of your new album, ‘Attuned Spirits’.
The album is very close to my heart. My idea behind naming it ‘Attuned Spirits’ was coming together of musicians from different backgrounds, countries, cultures, languages and playing music in sync and in tune with each other. What was amazing about this experience was that in spite of language being a barrier, all these musicians understood the emotion behind every song and played so beautifully on the album. It was music that brought these spirits together.
- How did you weave your current collaboration on the album?
I had honestly not even planned an album. When I went to study at Berklee College of Music for a year, I met many wonderful musicians from across the world and we became friends. We would often jam together and exchange ideas in music. Over time, a couple of us formed a band and we played my songs that I had written and arranged for college events in Boston. It engaged a very positive response. And when it was time to come back, I wanted to keep a memory of my wonderful experience there. So I booked a studio and decided to record all the songs we had played together. That’s how the album came into being.
- With many avenues of expression now open to indie artists, where do you see your kind of music going?
Indie scene has come up in a big way over the last few years with a larger canvas available for the kind of music one wants to pursue. My debut, ‘Attuned Spirits’ is a mix of Indian raag and folk based composition married with western contemporary music. Such associations are seeing acceptance in a big way. I am currently dabbling with Ableton and producing some electronic pieces. The evolving avenues are leading the way for a bigger audience.
- How did formal education at Berklee College add to your already burgeoning talent and would you recommend the same to anyone seeking a career in music?
The decision of going to Berklee at a point in my life when I was already active in the music scene in India was a big and a tough one but I took it because I yearned to learn. It was not just formal training in western music and its theory that drove me but also the opportunity to meet wonderful and dedicated musicians who work hard each day to better themselves that fermented my decision. And that, indeed did become the core of my stay at the school. The whole idea and approach to music is completely different there. It not only pushed me to aim for the better but also made me realize how important it is to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself each day. I strongly feel anyone who wants to pursue music should experience what a formal training has to offer.
- Your dream project would sound like?
Writing, arranging and recording a capella album with 50 plus vocalists!
- Do we see Aasma reunite on a venture? Audiences would be thrilled.
Yes, we have been planning this for sometime now. May be a single soon 😉
Tune your spirits and set them free with this song from her collaboration. It is sure to take you on a high! And for the rest of the album, you will indeed see yourself making way for it into your playlists.