Saturday, 1 April 2017

Music Diaries: Shibasish Banerjee

Phenomenal is the word that I'll have to use if I have to describe to someone, anyone about the love that I've received from music diaries. Thank you, everybody for being so supportive and for talking to me so frankly about it all. With every week, I promise to bring you newer perspectives and fresher notions.

This week, on fool's day, let me not fool you guys but bring to you one of the much loved music makers of today's time- Shibasish Banerjee. The man behind the widely popular #SingaSongTuesday, this man has seen the music industry from up close. With very unique answers up the sleeve and experience speaking a lot, here's presenting Shibasish Banerjee, unplugged…

I have this habit. I start with the very basics. So, What was the very first tune that you learnt to play or that attracted you the most?

Shibasish Banerjee-- The very first tune that I learnt to play was a robindrosongeet. It was Alo amar alo. I am talking about my early childhood. 6-7 years old.

I have to say this. This is one of the most unique answers I've ever got for this question. Do you ever go back to the song?

Shibasish Banerjee: I don't go back to that particular song. But I can never do without robindrosongeet.

Why the keyboard? How did you get attracted to it?

Shibasish Banerjee-- We had a piano. But I never took it seriously. I of course had an interest in music and I could also play by ear. It was when I was 13 that I got my keyboard. And I started playing it as a replacement because by that time the piano was broken. And it needed fixing.

What differentiates the keyboard from the other instruments? For the uninitiated, how would you define the keyboard or the sound of the keyboard, rather?

Shibasish Banerjee-- The keyboard comes with the sounds of all the instruments. It has every sound from the piano, the orchestra, the guitar. Everything. Whether these sounds are as convincing as their respective original source instrument would take the discussion somewhere else.

The point that I am trying to make, however emphasises on the user of the keyboard. The difference lies there. The keyboard expects its user to know how the different instruments actually sound in reality and that is when you can make use of all the sounds. I do not think other instruments come with this sort of a disclaimer.

I would really love to get back to the point you mentioned here. Can you please elaborate on your sentence? The sounds being convincing or not

Shibasish Banerjee-- Sometimes you hear a piano sound of a keyboard and you feel that it is exactly how a real piano would sound and sometimes you don't. This experience pertains to all the sounds.

So the sound being convincing or not depends on a combination of factors. 1.The make of the keyboard. The price range.
2. The person playing it.

If someone uses the guitar tone present in the keyboard and plays it like a piano then he can never emulate the original sound of the guitar and hence the result will be misleading and unpleasant.

Woah! That is so interesting. Tell us something about #SingaSongTuesday. How did it start, what does it entail?

Shibasish Banerjee-- #SingaSongTuesday is a weekly musical show on facebook and YouTube featuring curator and music maker Shibasish on the piano/keyboard and one respective singer/artist. 

The episodes are usually 3-4mins long. The show stresses the importance of words and how music can and should only make love with the words and hardly be the reason of conflict. Keeping things very basic and yet making a strong connection with the audience is what I always go for.

I was going through this difficult time. The movies that had my music were not releasing and I was basically not being able to do anything about it, because it wasn't produced by me. I had to depend on the producer.

That's when I thought of taking things on my own shoulders and I started the show. I was alone but not anymore. I have a team now.season 1 was very popular. Many others have started their own thing now and they say that they owe it to me. Season 2 aired its first episode on the 14th. And without any sort of paid promotion the episode has more than 200 shares. That's what makes me believe that honesty always gets you a connection with people.

How is life as a musician in the Bengali music industry of today's time?

Shibasish Banerjee-- I like my city. I feel empowered here. I believe that Bengal has a lot to offer. It always did. Quality is here. Yes the business aspects of the industry might be a little turbulent. But who says we can not learn.

I am primarily a music maker. But people think of me as a musician. If that was true then as a musician I have my own show. Which other city would let you have that? Life is great in our industry. I will bring about more changes, a little tweaking here and there. It will all be great.

Doing live shows v/s making your own music and putting out there. What's the major difference? And what would you prefer? 

Shibasish Banerjee-- There are many differences. Being a musician for some other act was my job. And like every job it's not just about the music. It's about how you handle situations. How you handle the pressure of touring. How you put your best for your team. Live shows require you to be adjusting, understanding.

A lot goes in into making a good live setup. Making my own music is so satisfying. It's so satisfying. I work for hours to get the perfect chord, to get the perfect sound. To have the right sound, I enjoy the process very very much. I would always prefer my music over everything else. Playing live would be so redeeming if I could play my music. And it has been everytime I have done it.

What music attracts you the most?

Shibasish Banerjee-- I think of music as feelings. So the feeling of contentment attracts me the most. Not happiness. Not being delighted, but being content. Any music that makes me feel that way attracts me.

And What are you working on right now?

Shibasish Banerjee-- #SingaSongTuesday season 2 would be done with its shooting in March. I will be working on my singles. And there will be more digital content from my channel.

For the last, What would you want to say to the upcoming musicians?

Shibasish Banerjee-- The upcoming musicians should concentrate more on what music represents to them and what it has always meant to people. COMMUNICATION. Rest will fall in place.

Isn't it wonderful knowing music up close? Do you want to share your experience? 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. If there is any music event that you want me to attend, I am just a ping away always. For the rest, as I always say, let your soul be musical.

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