To Tokyo, And Beyond: In Conversation With Nischay Parekh
“I don’t see myself as ‘singer-songwriter’ in the traditional sense. I write songs and I happen to be singing them.”
Songs that twenty-one-year-old Nischay Parekh will soon be singing in the iconic East Asian metropolis of Tokyo, having been selected to participate in the upcoming edition of the annual Red Bull Music Academy. This multifaceted music laboratory will involve lectures, workshops, and participants at the academy getting the opportunity to perform at some of the city’s most prominent venues.
With a second album currently in the making alongside highly versatile percussionist Jivraj Singh aka Jiver and a trip to Tokyo on the cards – Nischay has quite a lot on his plate at just twenty one. His performance with Jiver at the Covelong Point Surf and Music Festival this past September was a unique meeting point of two creative worlds and artistic sensibilities – Nischay’s demure, sweetly soft-spoken sonic reveries, Jiver’s forward thinking, edgy electronica-infused rhythms.
IndiEarth spoke more with Nischay about these reveries, and the direction he plans on taking them.
IndiEarth – What is your very earliest musical memory? Of your first contact with music.
Nischay – It would have to be the music on the animated movies that I would watch on cassette. There was a Spider-Man movie, where all the music was rock arrangements. Then there was the grand harmonic world of The Lion King. Classics!
IE – Describe the different ideas/themes you’re trying to communicate with your music and on the album Ocean?
Nischay – The themes were rather typical. Love, longing and the other usual suspects. A cocktail of teenage emotions.
IE – For you, what is the significance of the process of collaboration – bringing your perspective together with other artists and their world views/creative visions? How does this impact your songwriting/creative process?
Nischay – Well I hardly play acoustic guitar, and I almost always employ an army of effects and textures! My musical world is only complete due to the presence of Jivraj Singh. He is a collaborator in the truest sense. Honestly, he contributes more than 50% to the music. I love bands, and I believe that I’m playing in a really good one at the moment.
IE – Tell us more about the collaborative process with Jiver, and how you two work together? And more about your collaborations with Jayashree Singh & Amyt Datta?
Nischay – It’s very organic. There are a lot of discussions – both of us are very verbal and love communicating our ideas. I think intrinsically, we’re both designers. So we’re very specific about the sounds we make and why we make them. Amyt and Jay were fabulous to work with, we played one show with them. Would love to do it again. They’re incredibly sensitive and dexterous musicians.
IE – Tell us about winning the opportunity to go to Tokyo through the RBMA – what this means for you, what you hope to get out of the experience and bring back to India?
Nischay – It’s a great honour – I hope to broaden my horizons. I really don’t know what I’ll bring back though. I’m sure it’ll be good whatever it is!
IE – A bit about your experiences performing in Chennai at the Covelong Point Surf & Music Festival?
Nischay: My first time in Chennai ! It was beautiful. Great location. I would love to come back.
IE – Biggest challenge you’ve faced as a musician to date – and how you’ve overcome it?
Nischay – I guess it would have to be self doubt. I never know if what I’m doing is good. I guess I’ve stopped worrying as much about it. I still never know.
IE – Any future plans you’d like to share?
Nischay – Jivraj and myself will begin recording album number two, hopefully by the end of the year!