Saturday, 18 March 2017

Music Diaries: Rohit Ganesh

Stepping into the third month of Music Diaries, I have been blessed with the chance of interacting with the people who have such a vast knowledge of music. The more I learn about music, the more I am falling in love with it, unable to get out of it. And do I need to get out of the hang? With a lot lined up for this endeavour in the future, this week has a wonderful keyboardist in store.

Rohit Ganesh, a very talented keyboardist of Nth Time Lucky and more such bands is the highlight of the week. A lover of Sufi music, he has been playing for quite some time now and is also associated with many more live line-ups. To those who know him, an introvert by nature, he surely speaks his heart out when it comes to music. Presenting, Rohit Ganesh unplugged…

I'll start with the basics? What was the first ever tune that you learnt? Or rather, what was the first ever tune that attracted you to your musical journey?

Rohit Ganesh—The first song that I recall listening to on loop was Dil se. The title track. The first thing I picked up by myself on keyboards was the karz theme tune. The one composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. But Dil se would be the track that actually got me interested about music.

So, how would you define the instrument that you play? In a band or in any kind of song instruments play a huge role. Each instrument has its own. How does the keyboard give in to the band?

Rohit Ganesh— Well.. in my opinion any instrument can play any role. Keyboards can be the backbone of any production. Creating the required ambience without being upfront. On the other hand it can also be very in your face. I think it's the same for all the instruments. If the musician gets the vibe of the song he can play it any way.

You have been performing live for quite some time now. How is it performing live? Stage fright? Adrenaline? Scared?

Rohit Ganesh— I had stage fright at first. But it slowly fades away. Actually it depends a lot on who you are performing with. The bands I perform with... All of us a really close friends. We keep making fun of each other all the time. So we know even if don’t fuck up on stage we'll be making fun of each other. So I just don't think that much. But the butterflies and tension is there. And it'll be there throughout the years I perform in the future as well hopefully. And anyways the amount of work that goes into performing one show. I don't really even get any time or effort left to feel scared.

Playing with a band v/s individual projects. People have their own choices. What would be your choice and why?

Rohit Ganesh— I don't think I need to choose. I like to be involved in both. Playing with a band means 70% adda and 30% serious rehearsals mainly. We're constantly pulling each other’s legs or doing this or that. But whatever less we rehearse is tight. And on stage it's a different feel if you play with your own band. We mostly know if someone's going to improvise. Individual projects are equally fun. Cause everything's mostly professionally done. And it's even better if the project is not something I have already done. Then I'll get to learn more. I'll get to know more people. Play with more people. For me it's like projects are like tuitions. There's more serious work involved but with time we get new friends and we have fun along the way. But a band is like school. No one goes and studies in a school. It's all fun. It's not like playing in a band is not serious at all. It's a serious job. And sometimes it can get more stressful than a project.

So when we are talking about this, we know that different people have different tastes in music. What kind of music do you like to play? Or what kind of music attracts you?

Rohit Ganesh—This is a tough question actually. I'm attracted to multiple genres. My playlist has daft punk, Ramstein, Linkin park, Iron maiden, A R Rahman, Hans Zimmer, ed Sheeran, Eminem Macklemore. I listen to everything almost. Anything I like or makes me feel something I listen to it. But the genre that I guess attracts me the most would be Sufi. There's a different calmness you get if any Sufi song is performed aesthetically.

What next? Upcoming projects? Gigs?

Rohit Ganesh— No upcoming gigs as of now.  As far as projects go. I have two projects I'm involved in. One is an alt rock Bengali band called bongsquad. Another one is a studio project which is still in the concept stage I guess. My band nth time lucky will start recording singles as soon as my useless bandmates get time from work. No seriously hopefully we'll be ready with two singles soon. And I'll be doing my own covers and tracks on my SoundCloud profile time to time.

What's your take on the current music scenario? You know, back in time it used to be so much band oriented but these days, no one really knows about the bands.

Rohit Ganesh— The current music scenario. Well. People do know about the good bands today. But it's just that with time music has become more production oriented. There are more studio projects now than live projects. The live crowd for any gig has become lesser with time. Human mentality itself is slowly getting compressed. Everyone wants to have a good time. No one has the will to go to somewhere, not drink and listen to musicians performing their hearts out and then pay money to watch them. And places where alcohol is involved bands start getting requests like chainsmokers or baby Ko bass pasand hai. I hope that will improve with time and more live acts. And more good events. But the scene is not all bad. People are there who are working hard to improve the scene. For musicians like us especially. Hopefully it'll be stable eventually.

Don't you think it's become very brand oriented? Rather than band oriented. Singers are given more live gig contacts than bands with their originals?

Rohit Ganesh— That has happened. But in my opinion bands are also less in number these days which are making meaningful originals. And I'm talking about the bands in my level. Which are still struggling. The ones which make good originals get their due credit in due time. It's actually very simple. The music industry in our country has no infrastructure as such. So we have to be headstrong if we want to survive in it. The scene is different today. It'll be something else tomorrow, better or worse. And for singers getting more live gigs than bands with originals. In my opinion there is an audience who likes to listen to only singers covering certain songs. But there's also an audience which likes to listen to bands and artists performing their originals. The latter audience I guess mostly has young people like us. They need to realise that we musicians also need money to feed ourselves. So paying a minimal of 100 bucks in an event to see a few local musicians perform is not a waste of time. It gives us a way of survival and people who are still unsure whether to pursue music as a profession or not the motivation to do so.

See... We musicians have become a poor race. And I mean a financially poor race. If that has to change people have to understand music is free only if you download it. Either they understand or people taking up music as a career will lessen in number gradually. And there will be more and more "DJ's" and "live EDM" producers.

I know it's tough but if at all you were to choose 1 song of yours for yourself which you would cherish then what would it be and why?

Rohit Ganesh— One song of mine? Very honestly I have not composed anything myself yet that I'll cherish. I will. Sooner or later. But not yet.

What about this one gig that you'd remember forever?

Rohit Ganesh— Well. This is a tough one. There have been lots of gigs I'll remember forever. But I guess there are three particular gigs that I'm very emotional about. 2nd year umang, we opened for Agnee. My college band ekalavya. That was a very emotional gig. Then our last performance in umang 3rd year e. The 3rd gig would be this gig I played with Durnibar o Shohochari in Tripura Agartala. I hope I'll have more gigs to add to the list in future.

Now that I've bored you, wrapping up. What would be your message to the upcoming musicians?

Rohit Ganesh— My message to upcoming musicians. I'm myself an upcoming musician. But if I have to say something to my fellow musicians it would be.... Just keep practising and keep working hard. Give all your heart into it. Be patient and keep faith. Everything falls in place eventually. There are examples everywhere. In all fields. People who have struggled beyond our imaginations and have made it big. All of us have our own obstacles and personal issues. But it's upto us if we want to keep whining about it or just get to work start doing something about it.

 So, goes without saying, if you are a musician and you want to speak about music or get featured here, get in touch with me at 

I would be more than happy to talk to you and discuss music with you. If you think that there are things about music that you know and would want to share with the whole world, don't forget to leave me a message. To help me with my endeavour, do not forget to share the post. If you have come up with a music album and would want me to review it before release or for that matter, after release, I am always there. Also, if there is a music launch and you want me to cover it (especially if it is in Kolkata, India) I am there. For the people outside Kolkata, give me the details of the launch and I would cover it for you. For the rest, as I always say, let your soul be musical.

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