REFLECTING ON RHYTHM WITH PRA SID
Talking to Prasid Rajopadhyay was like cracking a tough shell. Almost like breaking ice door to find blooming hydrangeas -Prasid is a passionate artist focusing on his musical journey. His works are mostly his state of mind. We could say he is a believer of originality. His dream is to have a studio that signs artists based on their talents and keep their authenticity intact. We sat down to a mid-day warm chat at his place, listening to his work afterwards.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO MUSIC?
It seems the only rational explanation when I say, I express my thoughts better when I am singing. My songs are my deliberation and reflection of what I see and how I see. It is the only way I can articulate myself freely.
DO YOU THINK THERE IS A RECURRING THEME IN YOUR MUSIC? WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?
I reckon, it’s all my experiences. I write what I feel -if I am happy today, I write of my happiness. Or I may be reminiscing about past sad happenings and write about that. I even write about my friends -most songs are about my “friends”, you know people who gaslight you, manipulators and all. Conclusively speaking, the recurring theme in my music should be anxiety.
WERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES IN YOUR CAREER? WHAT MEASURES DID YOU TAKE TO OVERCOME THEM?
Let us not say that I have a career right now, because I am still working on it. But talking about challenges, first and foremost, it family. They complained that it was disturbing. My practice sessions were distracting them. So I shifted away, shifted here.
The other challenge, which is pretty much incessant, is about pubs only sanctioning bands playing dance numbers. The pub owners and the audience, they all want groovy beats once they are intoxicated. The bar owner prefer artists doing mainstream songs for the inebriated customers, to please them -I am just not into that.
It is a big challenge for me. I’d go from bars to bars, requesting for people to let me play. They’d ask for my list and reject me saying they have not heard half of the songs. This sucks but okay.
WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER AS YOUR FIRST NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR JOURNEY OR IF THERE IS A MOMENT THAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE A MILESTONE?
Not yet. I have not had any such experiences. But if everything stops right now and I need something to remember by, it would be my songs. I consider my songs to be my achievements.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE? HOW DO YOU GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON PAPER?
The writing process is pretty anything that pops in my head. I think about anything, random. And I try to compare it with other “popular lyricists” and what try to do is build a gap between my thoughts and see if people can relate to my thoughts. If people still relate to me despite that interstice between mine and mainstream thoughts, that’s good.
I RECENTLY RELEASED THE
SONG “GLAANI”, I DIDN’T
EVEN KNOW, SO MANY PEOPLE
RELATED TO IT BECAUSE IT’S A
SONG ABOUT ANXIETY. THAT’S
THE BEST FEELING WHEN
PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AND
SAY THEY LOVED THE SONG.
I’m posting my second album now; I recently released the song “Glaani”, I didn’t even know, so many people related to it because it’s a song about anxiety. That’s the best feeling when people come up to me and say they loved the song. The appreciation that I get for it, even though the listeners don’t pay attention to the lyrics…
The creative process sucks sometimes – at times I first create music and then I write the lyrics because the song has to be perfect in every way. Sometimes I am a perfectionist and sometimes not. Therefore it is a struggle. Writing is not me putting myself in other shoes and me writing through his perspective; that is a huge no-no for me. I write purely based on my feelings, what am I experiencing.
WHAT DIFFERENCES DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DEALING WITH AS A COVER ARTIST AND AN ORIGINAL SONGWRITER?
There is a differences … say one is a cover artist, when this cover artist is into originals they have their taste. They are damn sure about what they are doing -they know their inspiration. Basically when I sing in the pubs, I mostly covers because my originals have barely been known to them, and in a way, they are rarely interested in it because my originals are kind of sad. I feel the need to bridge the gap between mainstream songs and what people call good music.
WHAT OR WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR MAJOR INFLUENCES IN MUSIC AND HOW HAS IT HELPED YOU TO FIND YOUR SOUND?
It’s kind of a long story. I started music when I was in grade six. We were doing tryouts for the choir group to perform for the parents’ day. It was decided to not include me simply because I was too tall for the team. The same year, during the dashain I got my first guitar. I was in a band too when I was in grade nine. After grade twelve, we disbanded. Then I started playing music for myself only. None of my bandmates are in the country right now; all of them are abroad for their studies. So yeah, I was into Metallica, Slayer, and Lamb of God. On the pop culture side, I was into Avril Lavigne, Green Day, One Republic -I listened to them a lot while growing up. And then I was into Eminem as well. I rapped as well, I had his song lyrics word perfect. I was a typical fan boy, you know putting up posters, regarding him as a God. I had a mentor who mentored me for a year on Classics, so I was into Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as well.
The genres now are changing slowly, we aren’t even acquainted with what is coming up. Let us go ten years back and the artists then are my inspiration. They helped me find my sound.
INTERVIEWED BY ABHIGYA SUBEDI
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SARAS STHAPIT SHRESTHA