R&B/Soul Artist Alexis D’Souza Offers Solace on New Record ‘You’re Nobody, You’re Perfect’
Featuring producer-bassist Leslie Charles, guitarist Ramanan Chandramouli, drummer Prabhu Muraleedharan, the album traverses pop, jazz, rock and more
When pop artist Alexis D’Souza released her debut EP Back to the Start in 2015 with her band, she went in the absolute opposite direction in terms of promotion. The band stopped performing, the social media accounts went inactive and the music was eventually gone from streaming platforms except YouTube.
Even today, with the launch of her recent record You’re Nobody, You’re Perfect, the artist may come across as an anti-thesis to everything an independent musician ought to do, but she remains truly unfettered. She says, “I didn’t even want to make music. The stuff just came. There was no trying to write anything with this. I didn’t even have a plan to release it. I just knew I have these songs, and the next step was to record them. That’s it. I made it purely just to listen to it.”
That easygoing, wholesome sense of contentment is exactly what flows through seven tracks. The album features a familiar trio of Bengaluru musicians – producer-bassist Leslie Charles (from rock band Thermal And A Quarter), guitarist Ramanan Chandramouli and drummer Prabhu Muraleedharan (both from alternative act Blushing Satellite). The threesome has worked with artists such as Mahesh Raghunandan as well as Blushing Satellite’s 2017 record The Union. Charles says, “The core of the project was done by Alexis. These are really good songs and I think what the rest of us brought in are mostly sprinkles on it.” Chandramouli adds that although he’s used to getting a heads-up and doing homework before showing up to record for a project, You’re Nobody, You’re Perfect was a product of jamming and going with the flow. “Just to be creatively naked in front of other people, I think that was a great experience,” he says.
Muraleedharan says that finding out “phenomenally similar tastes in music” with D’Souza helped him bring his best to the table. “I think it was a very slow-paced thing, we didn’t really overthink, only finding the right place for what we’re going to do. “ It was also one of the first sessions to be conducted at the recently set-up studio Stained Class Productions LLP, with producer Mrinal N. “I couldn’t have asked for a better first project to start off with so I wanted this to happen at any cost,” he says with a laugh.
There’s glowing self-reflection that remains simple at heart in D’Souza’s lyrics on songs like “Beyond This ‘You and Me’ Thing,” “I Love You” (which could be gospel or a personal love song) and “What Good Am I?” She says the lyrics would often appear in “flurries of inspiration” from contemplative states. It also reflects D’Souza’s move from “noisy” Bengaluru to Gokarna, where there was a lot more calm to draw from. Charles adds, “We weren’t trying to sound like anything else, just us.”