If you’ve lived in Mumbai about five years ago, then the voice of Mihir Joshi may be one you recognise from the airwaves. Having started his career as a Radio Jockey (RJ) about nine years ago, Mihir’s jump from interviewing music artists to becoming one, has been an interesting journey for him. In the city recently to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe, Mihir tells us more about his band, why being an RJ will always be a great gig and his upcoming album.
On the airwaves
I was an engineering student but music was always special to me. When I graduated, I decided to make the shift. Since I couldn’t sing as well or play an instrument, I thought why not talk about it? I used to RJ for Radio One and FM Rainbow and got to meet many artists --- both Indian and international. My first interview with an international artist was with Engelbert Humperdinck! That was awesome. I got to meet all these great people and was able to promote so many more independent bands in the country, it was great. I was an RJ for eight years before becoming a musician and would still love to do a show.
Mihir Joshi and Band(s)
I started a few bands in the past, including The Works that got disbanded, and The Bombay Rock Project. The latter, which is still active, is a fun project where we take old Bollywood songs redo them with a blues and rock feel. Though I’ve grown up with English music, for an independent artist to survive in this industry, you need to do some Hindi songs as well. The current band, Mihir Joshi and Band has Sanjeev Aguiar on the guitar, Ishaan Krishna on the bass and Virendra Kaith on the drums. These boys are some of the best instrumentalists, who also play in other bands. While I do write songs and have a basic idea about how I want it to sound, the tempo and so on, when these guys start on it, they take it a whole new level.
Music I feel
The original music that we score has mostly a blues and rock feel. We are four different guys with different musical tastes. As for me, I grew up with music being my best friend. A cassette of Roger Whittaker given to me by my uncle and watching Elvis Presley perform was what made me want to become a musician. My favourites also include Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and the likes. When we perform, we also do covers of Jimi Hendrix, Scream, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Beatles (who I also just love). We also do a lot of classic rock.
Being out there
I love performing. I think you are one person when you are on stage and another when you are off. I think Hyderabad has a better audience than most places. In fact, one of my most memorable performances have been in this city at Extreme Sports Bar. We were supposed to play for 90 minutes, but we ended up playing for three hours straight. The crowd was just great. This one chap actually hoisted me on his shoulders and took me around.
Packed in a CD
We’re currently working on an album that we’re hoping to release by April 13. I know that’s a specific deadline. We’ve tentatively named it Mumbai Blues or Indian Blues. It has about eight songs. I was thinking of having about eight or nine songs, so I might just jot one down on the flight back. The songs are not written from an autobiographical point of view; they are just what an everyday guy might feel. Like there are always songs about how a girl is feeling better after breaking away from a bad relationship. I thought, why not a guy sing about it for once? Then there’s one more which Mumbaikers will really identify with – and actually anybody from a metro – being stuck in traffic. That one’s called the Travelling Home Blues. Then there’s Pothole Blues (I know that’s another title with Blues in it!), and also one called Mayans Didn’t Know Nothing. Some of them are fun – there’s one about a guy waiting for his girl to get out of the changing room, and another about telling his girlfriend I’ll give you anything, just let me finish watching the cricket match!