Aman Jagwani Returns with Eclectic New Album ‘This Place’
The record is the Mumbai-bred drummer/composer’s follow-up to 2019’s debut full-length ‘Essentially Entangled’
After the release of his 2019 debut album Essentially Entangled, Mumbai-bred drummer/composer Aman Jagwani played gigs in India, Spain and the U.S. where he was also studying Drum Set Performance and Electronic Production and Design at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He says, “I also started experimenting with new sonic and compositional ideas especially inspired by Cuban grooves, neo-soul tunes and electronic textures.” After moving to Goa last year during the pandemic, the musician marinated those new sonic explorations to create his just-released seven-track sophomore album This Place.
Jagwani tells us that the record’s title is a pun on the word “displace.” He says, “The album essentially empowers the listener to displace to their ideal place.” Taking cues from life around him during the lockdown, the musician explains that each song portrays this message. The artist says, “Since we didn’t have very fixed schedules during the lockdown time, it was easy for me to be spontaneous whenever I came across inspiration. Half of these songs, in fact, were written within one day.”
While This Place retains Jagwani’s jazz sensibilities we heard on Essentially Entangled, there’s a definite evolution when it comes to groove. The new record is filled with the musician’s influences that include jazz, R&B, soul, Latin grooves and electronic production. “This album consists of sophisticated jazz harmony, complex but easy-to-listen-to rhythmic ideas, lush vocal arrangements while still being accessible and relatable for all audiences,” he says. Songs such as “Palm Tree” and “Rain On My Shelter” feature unconventional instruments in the context of electronic textures; they include acoustic upright bass parts juxtaposed quite well with floaty synths.
This Place also features a sublime lineup of artists that have helped bring the album to life. One of the main collaborators on the record is Mumbai vocalist Anubha Kaul who has sung on all the songs and delivered an exquisite performance. Assam-bred and Berklee student himself, pianist Ron Cha brings his talents to the table with luxuriant keys as well as vocals. Other musicians who’ve lent their skills to the record are Boston trumpeter Jason Palmer, horn player Milena Casado, New Delhi guitarist Pritesh Walia and Mumbai pianist Anurag Naidu. “I have been lucky to play with and make friends with some great artists from around the world and this has allowed me to meet the vision of each of the songs through a unique combination of these peoples’ voices,” says Jagwani.
The drummer self-produced and recorded the album at his home studio while working with his collaborators remotely. The LP was then mixed by Dishaan Gidwani while additional mixing was done by Aaron Pereira on “Elastic Slumber.” This Place was mastered by sound engineer Ayan De.
When it comes to promoting the album, Jagwani is mostly looking at sharing performance videos, visualizers and lyric videos and is even working on production and drum breakdown clips. “When the situation with the pandemic gets better, I will definitely try to organize some shows,” he says. Next, the musician is going to focus on a few collaborations and is also plotting a solo live electronic/drum project that will kick off once he returns to Berklee in a few months. He adds, “I will be graduating [from Berklee] in May next year.”
Stream ‘This Place’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.