Let the music play

Singer Vyaasa M, a Mumbai-based Malayali, talks about his well-received new single Wajood-e-Sabab and his musical journey  
Let the music play

KOCHI: On an idle morning, Mumbai-based musician Vyaasa M was skimming through videos on YouTube when he came across a commencement speech by American talk show host Oprah Winfrey at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2013. “Once your personality meets your purpose in life, nobody can stop you,” she said during the inspirational talk.

Those words spoke to Vyaasa, and he immediately got in touch with Shamsher Singh Beniyaaz, his friend and lyricist. With help from producer Himonshu Parikh, they made a song called Wajood-e-Sabab. “Wajood means existence and Sabab translates to reason. So the Urdu phrase stands for ‘the reason for existence’.” he says. 

The opening shot shows a long-haired, bearded young man running down a dark street looking wry. He runs home, looks at himself on the bathroom mirror, and what he sees there disappoints him. He rushes out and starts looking through his phone. Soon, he breaks into a song. “But then he does not sing in public due to his self-doubt,” says Vyaasa. Adding to his insecurities is the emotional abuse he faces at work—a mean boss and monotonous job he has no interest in. Saturated, he decides to quit the job and take up singing, finally giving his talent a shot. He approaches record labels who brush him off saying “You’re good, but not great.” 

He then uploads his song on Facebook, Wajood-e-Sabab and asks for a team to shoot the video. The culmination of Wajood-e-Sabab is at the release of this video and the protagonist’s establishment as an artist. With Vyaasa’s hypnotic vocals and well-produced electronic elements, the song, like all good ones, grows on you the more you listen to it. Apart from Vyaasa, the song also features vocalist Vivek Hariharan.   

Vyaasa wanted to tell a story that would resonate with everybody. “There are many comments on YouTube and Instagram where people say they have a friend like a protagonist or know someone like him. That makes me happy,” he says. A Malayali, Vyaasa grew up in Dombivli, a suburb in Mumbai. Throughout school, music didn’t matter to him. “I lived in an environment where education was regarded as the most important thing,” he says. It was after joining the Institute of Hotel Management And Catering Technology, Kovalam that he started taking part in competitions and music festivals and realised that he had a talent for music. 

After graduating in 2012, he returned home and told his parents he wanted to be a musician. “They thought I was joking,” says Vyaasa. He worked for a couple of years to clear off his student loans, and then embarked on a full-time music career. He has assisted in song arrangement for multiple projects. “It is a competitive industry. But I am glad I am on the journey,” he says. 

Vyaasa is hopeful of the growth of the independent music industry. “After the 1990s, there has not been a better hour than this. There is a vast digital platform for showcasing your music. We can now create a content parallel to the mainstream.” Vyaasa’s next single, ‘Kyu Tumne?’ will be released soon. “It is a love song about heartbreak,” he concludes. 

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The New Indian Express