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Ambition And Restlessness Led to Kenneth Soares’ New Single ‘Cigarettes’

The track is off the Mumbai singer-songwriter’s forthcoming EP ‘Is Smoking Cool Again?’

David Britto Nov 25, 2022

Mumbai singer-songwriter Kenneth Soares. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Mumbai singer-songwriter Kenneth Soares’ parents had enrolled him for piano classes since he was six. However, he first recalls being captivated by music when he turned 13 after being mesmerized by his choirmaster Abel D’Cruz. It was around then that Soares began playing guitar. “I’d bunk the last two hours of my school day for about three semesters to pick up guitar and learn music,” he says. By the time he reached college, the musician began writing his own songs. With a couple of singles and a five-track EP called Table for Two under his belt, the singer-songwriter is now out with his latest breezy single “Cigarettes.”

According to Soares, “Cigarettes” is the “product of ambition and restlessness.” He adds, “It’s a song that says I can be so much more, but will I?” The musician penned the song after he finished college and life seemed bleak. “I had gone from being the music kid in college to a doe-eyed, unemployed 20-year-old – it felt like rock bottom.” Sonically, the track draws from indie rock, pop and Soares’ influences such as Still Woozy, Phum Viphurit and Courtney Barnett as well as artists closer to home like Azamaan Hoyvoy and Tejas.

“Cigarettes” is neatly woven with funky guitar stabs, chunky and groovy basslines, lively drums, sparkly keyboard parts, melodic guitar lines and a sizzling solo as well as Soares’ timber voice. The singer-songwriter worked with guitarist-producer Apurv Agrawal (from post-hardcore act Pacifist) on the track. “Apurv really should receive his flowers for the vibrant energy he lent to not just the music but the sessions themselves,” says Soares. The artist also called upon his longtime collaborator David de Menezes to handle the low-end while Ahmedabad-based singer-songwriter Meera Desai (part of indie jazz band Heat Sink) orchestrated vocal harmonies on the song as drummer Shashwat Karkare (of alt-rockers Unohu and rock outfit St. Cyril) lent his skills to the song too.

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Next month, Soares plans on releasing his sophomore EP Is Smoking Cool Again? With “Cigarettes” set to be housed within the record, the singer-songwriter says, “The upcoming EP talks about all the ways you might find yourself after having loved and lost. I’ve found smoking, as a habit, to be a window into disassociation.” He adds, “It’s what you do to be left alone, it’s an empathetic excuse to find time for yourself. It’s very much the conjunction of taking control and giving up control or accepting your fate or mortality.”

Stream “Cigarettes” on Spotify below and on other platforms.