Mumbai Harpist Nush Lewis Releases the First Song She Ever Wrote
The musician talks about her new-old single ‘Spilt Milk,’ her upcoming second EP and why she likes recording with different kinds of people
After releasing her debut six-track EP Fused in 2015, Mumbai-based harpist/vocalist Nush Lewis is back with her latest offering, the contemporary pop track “Spilt Milk.” Although the musician is labeling it as a new release, the song was actually the first she ever wrote, back in 2011, and has been a mainstay on her set list at gigs ever since. “I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this song because the writing, in a way, is very predictable,” says Lewis. “I just started writing at the time, it may not be as artistic but I think there is some honesty to it.”
On Fused, Lewis sings about some of her most personal thoughts and experiences and calls the record “extremely emotionally heavy.” “Spilt Milk” is no different. “I think I am a very melancholic person and thrive on moodiness and darkness,” she says. “It’s my thing, I don’t even know why.” The new release is extremely special to the singer-songwriter, not only because it was the first song she wrote, but also because it was the first time she felt that her harp was able to bring out an emotion she had not felt before. “Earlier my [connection] with the harp was more on a learning basis, I had nothing to put words to,” says Lewis.
Lewis recorded “Spilt Milk” at Mumbai producer Ayan De’s Midicore Studio along with vocalist Mallika Barot, bassist Nathan Thomas and drummer Linford D’souza (from Mumbai alt rockers BLEK). De also mixed and mastered the song. Barot – who Lewis met at Mumbai’s True School of Music – joined the harpist as a full-time member after the pair performed together at Mumbai singer-songwriter Ramya Pothuri’s ‘Living Room Tour’ in September last year. “I genuinely think she’s got the most beautiful texture to her voice and there’s a lot of soul that comes with it,” says Lewis.
As far as Thomas and D’souza go, Lewis mentions that she has floating drummers and bass players as she finds it hard to manage a band. The harpist has also worked with drummers Saurav Ghosh and Harsh Karangale (from indie pop act Sky Rabbit) and bassist Shalom Benjamin from punk rockers The Lightyears Explode. “I like playing with different kinds of people, it brings about different sounds,” says Lewis.
Lewis has also started work on her yet-to-be titled second EP. “Everything for the new EP was written on the piano first, so it gave me a different perspective on composing,” she explains. The singer-songwriter also mentions that there was a certain lack of experience on Fused, she says, “It was straight up songwriting and very vertical.” For the upcoming record, Lewis plans on collaborating with producer Jamblu from New Delhi and Mumbai’s Kumail.
Up next, Lewis is working on a music program called Offset along with De which is set to launch this month. “We are trying to see how we can help share information that can better the industry that we are in,” she says. “It is about sharing, educating and also having an active listening vertical for bands where they can receive feedback.” Offset will also include gear reviews, vlogs from vocalist/guitarist Ankit Dayal of Mumbai alt rockers Spud in the Box as well as workshops and master classes. The harpist is also planning on putting together a small monsoon tour in July. “I’m excited for the gigs with the band. Ayan will also be triggering samples from the board too,” she says.
Listen to “Spilt Milk” below.