BANGALORE: For over two decades, the Midival Punditz have been re-defining the soundscapes of electronica for Indian music lovers. Now Gaurav Raina aka Grain, one half of the groundbreaking Punditz, has stepped out of his comfort zone to create something entirely new by himself.
Exploring his role as a musician and a song-writer, his debut solo album, Grey to Silver, marks a significant shift for the acclaimed producer. "As far back as I can remember, I've been strongly influenced by electronic music in my life, and that was very evident in the Punditz Sound that Tapan and I created. However, I've also been strongly influenced by rock 'n roll and song-writing in general. I was waiting for a time when I could explore that side of my personality. I think there is big sense of satisfaction in having two different musical personas that represent two different sides to my musicality," informs Grain over an e-mail interview.
The Punditz have always had a particular aesthetic that had more to do with Indian classical and folk, says Grain. Grey to Silver moves away from that markedly. "I have been wanting to do English songwriting for a long time now, and this album seemed like the most logical progression for me," he says.
The album features quite a few high-profile collaborators, from Monica Dogre to Karsh Kale to Dualist Inquiry to Ankur Tewari, all of them being old friends and co-conspirators in his various projects over time. "There was a huge level of comfort in the fact that they will help me and not judge. I usually started a track with or without them and then worked with them to develop the lyrics and melodies," says Grain.
When asked about his favourite collaboration, Grain says, "That would be the song with Karsh Kale. I've learnt a lot about songwriting and music from him. He also happens to be one of my closest friends, so there was a huge level of comfort in working with him."
The album that took him two years to make was not entirely a smooth ride. Used to having a partner to work with and bounce ideas off, working solo is a lonely process, Grain admits. Hence, the many collaborators who also pitched in to help with production.
Bangalore audiences can catch Grain at Indigo Live Music Bar, Koramangala on October 17.