‘Beyond Your Blues’ is Chirag Todi’s third single which is part of his upcoming EP ‘Panodrama’. The song was composed during the lockdown as a sketch through online collaboration and then got developed over time. The collaboration entails indie artists across India including Vrnda Dhar (from The Revisit Project who sang, wrote the lyrics and co-composed the melody), Raag Sethi (the founder of Compass Box Studio who produced the track and played bass), Prayaag Barooah (who played the guitar solo), Shivang Kapadia (on drums) and Kandarp Kavishwar (on keys). The song was produced and arranged by Raag Sethi, recorded at Compass Box Studio and mix-mastered by Protyay Chakraborty. The artwork is designed by Nishad, video shot and conceptualised by Tushar Kejriwal & Raag Sethi and my solo project is managed by The Alt Bright.
Chirag Todi is a songwriter, composer and guitarist based in Ahmedabad. He is the founding member of Heat Sink who were selected by Nexa Music as one of the top original English acts in the country and earned themselves an opportunity to work with maestros like A.R.Rahman and Clinton Cerejo. He has been featured on the Rolling Stone India Magazine Cover along with his band and A.R. Rahman. His compositions blend genres with elements ranging from jazz to progressive rock while deriving influences from artists such as Larry Carlton, Hiatus Kaiyote, Tom Misch and John Mayer. He loves experimenting with vocal melodies over intricate harmonic and rhythmic variations while keeping the composition easy (pleasing) for the ear. He released his debut single ‘Desire’ during the lock-down through online collaboration with indie artists across India which topped the Apple Music Charts and got aired on VH1 India. He has also been selected as one of the Radar Artists by Spotify India.
What is the song, ‘Beyond Your Blues’, about?
A musician/ performer struggling to understand themselves completely and struggling to belong somewhere, and they’re reaching out to something that’s real enough, something that would eventually make them feel like they’re loved genuinely, for who they are.
I miss the days when I played music purely for the joy of playing and learning. Now, my intentions are getting wavered by audience expectations, reach, reputation, money etc.. Back then I used to play for hours and jam with anyone without thinking much. Now it’s strictly related to work. In spite of receiving some of the recognition and validation, I am not completely satisfied.
I think the end goal is to embrace the artform and play purely for the joy of playing and improving. I just want to go back and play for myself. This song is a product of this vision where I take a break and just focus on creating the music I love.
‘Beyond Your Blues’ is a jazz-fusion song that has interesting harmonic, melodic and rhythm variations. It is very dynamic and expressive as each instrument was recorded live and played almost like an improv. The intricate melody is accompanied by playful guitar lines and carefully constructed drum grooves. The unpredictability of this track is something we all dig as musicians and we wanted to keep it very genuine to our vision and feel.
What genres/artists is it influenced by?
The song is influenced by artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Pat Matheny and Snarky Puppy. It is a jazz-fusion song with elements from pop and soul. Other artists that have influenced my compositions and playing are John Mayer, Larry Carlton and Tom Misch.
How did the collaboration come about?
I composed a chord-melody on guitar during the lock-down and asked Vrnda Dhar (from The Revisit Project) to sing over it for an instagram video collaboration. That inspired me to work on the sketch further and make it into a full song. I met Vrnda constantly on zoom calls and wrote the melody and lyrics together. I asked Raag Sethi (the founder of Compass Box Studio) to produce the track, play bass and arrange it. Shivang Kapadia (who played drums), Raag and I met a couple of times and jammed before recording at the Compass Box Studio. Prayaag Barooah (from Guwahati) recorded a guitar solo from home, Kandarp Kavishwar played the keys at the studio. The song was then mixed & mastered by Protyay Chakraborty.
Are there more songs in the pipeline from you as a solo artist?
‘Beyond Your Blues’ is my third single which is part of my upcoming EP ‘Panodrama’. The EP consists of 6 songs all different from each other in terms of style and artist lineup. It ranges from jazz to progressive rock. Each song is a unique collaborative experience with artists across the country and is supported by music videos.
Follow Chirag Todi’s music here: https://linktr.ee/chiragtodi
Chirag Todi – Composition, Guitar
Vrnda Dhar – Vocals, Lyrics, Composition
Raag Sethi – Production, Bass, Slide Guitar
Prayaag Barooah – Lead Guitar
Shivang Kapadia – Drums
Kandarp Kavishwar – Keys
Protyay Chakraborty – Mix and Master
Artwork – Nishad
Tushar Kejriwal – Music Video Direction, shoot, editing
Recorded at Compass Box Studio
Management – The Alt Bright (Saloni Adeshra & Lay Vakil)