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Watch: Parvaaz’s Thought-Provoking Music Video for ‘Shaad’

The Bengaluru psychedelic/prog band raise questions about identity, aspirations and rural-urban divide on their stunning new single

Nirmika Singh Apr 03, 2017
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"Shaad" Poster: Courtesy of the artist

“Shaad” Poster: Courtesy of the artist

People rarely value what they have till they lose it. This time-tested truth seems to be the basic thought running through Parvaaz’s latest music video “Shaad.” The Bengaluru band are known to marry profound Urdu poetry with psychedelic/prog, and with this music video, they also seem to have discovered a new, almost cinematic visual language for their music.

It is possible you could mistake “Shaad” for a short film—it is a depressing tale of a series identity crises that a man goes through as he leaves his home in the village for greener pastures in the city, only to return to the rural misery. An alter ego is shown to traverse the reverse path: from the city towards the hinterland in a bid to find his roots. There’s a stunned wife somewhere in the picture who can’t make sense of the rapid changes, in a way also personifying all the material and emotional attachments that the man has to relinquish and later reclaim.

Although the band didn’t set out to make obvious social commentary, “Shaad” subtly touches upon contemporary issues such as the urban-rural divide, farmer distress and the general identity crises among the youth in modern India. “The video is basically about loss,” explains Khalid Ahamed, the band’s vocalist and guitarist. “It looks like an interplay between two people, but it is actually the story of only one person’s journey.”

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The video for “Shaad” came about when Bengaluru filmmaker Gokul Chakravarthy, who, while producing Parvaaz’s live auditorium show Transitions in 2015, was so arrested by the song that he decided to shoot a film for it. Ahamed tells us that it was only after Chakravarthy’s video was shot and edited that they recorded the song in a studio; the latter had used the live version as reference. The filmmaker, on his part, feels that the video tries to capture the delicious play of sounds and silences on “Shaad.” He says, “This video is more of an interpretation of the sonic journey of the song as opposed to a literal representation of its lyrics.”

“Shaad” is the first of the two singles Parvaaz will release this month before they start work on their second full-length studio album.

Watch the video for ‘Shaad’ below:

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