Solos from Solan: Hear Sutej Singh’s Operatic Debut ‘The Emerging’
The guitarist talks about Himachal Pradesh’s music community, collaborating with prog band Haken’s drummer Raymond Hearne
If the early days of finding like-minded musicians involved classified ads in magazines or (later on) online forums, for Solan, Himachal Pradesh-based guitarist Sutej Singh, it was Instagram. “It was my artist finder app,” he says.
For his soaring, arena-ready prog rock debut The Emerging, which released on June 1st , Singh tapped musicians ranging from U.K. prog band Haken’s drummer Raymond Hearne (on the epic title track) and bassist Kylan Amos to Swedish guitarist Peter Henningsson (“Timeless”), Australian composer Leon Ross for orchestral elements and American flautist Gina Luciani. Drums for the rest of the eight-track album were completed by U.K. veteran drummer Scott Higham (once part of prog veterans Pendragon). Singh adds, “All the parts except for drums and bass were written by me in their demo stage and then everyone shared their ideas.”
What started as a childhood love for classic rock that led him to pick up the guitar, 25-year-old Singh has spent about four years making The Emerging. He says the music community in Solan was equally encouraging. “The talent per square feet is the most in this city in India right now. There are a lot of guitarists, bassists and musicians.” With the album gaining followers, Singh plans to take the record live, eventually hoping to scale up to have a full-fledged string section which can add to the grandiosity of The Emerging, which channels everything from Dream Theater to Pink Floyd and Steve Vai.
One of his newest fans, to everyone’s surprise, was Bollywood star Katrina Kaif, who posted about the album via Instagram in May. “I was just having lunch and saw my phone show a notification which said ‘Katrina Kaif wants to send you a message.’ I thought it was fake or spam. But it was the official account and I was in shock for five whole minutes,” says Singh.
Listen to ‘The Emerging’ below.