Baiju Dharmajan To Release New Single “Moham”
The Carnatic guitarist is also planning a tribute album to film composers such as Johnson and Illayaraja
It’s been a good 20 years since guitarist Baiju Dharmajan started performing and writing music, first with prog rock band Motherjane between 1999 and 2010 and later with his solo project, The Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate. The guitarist is now looking back beyond his early days, back to his childhood for inspiration on his new single “Moham,” a guitar rendition of Malayalam song “Moham Kondujaan” from the 1980 film Shesham Kazhchayil.
The song’s composer, Malayalam film music director Johnson, was one among several influences for Dharmajan growing up in the Eighties. Says Dharmajan, “I grew up with all these masters playing in my house ”“ Johnson, Illayaraja, Naushad, R.D. Burman. At the time, I had started learning to play the guitar, and my father had a very good collection of film music and ghazals.” Dharmajan says he’s composed a different, instrumental version of “Moham Kondujaan,” which is set to release on July 20th online.
After recording “Moham,” Dharmajan says he’s started planning an album paying tribute to film composers. The guitarist says he will perform his version of his favorite songs by 12 different music composers, including R.D. Burman, Naushad and Illayaraja.
To celebrate completing 20 years as a guitarist, Dharmajan and his manager Rahul Gandhi are also plotting 30 to 40 shows, with a second full-length album in the works. The follow-up to his 2012 album The Crossover is a group effort by Dharmajan and his band, The Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate. Dharmajan jokes that the only reason the second album is taking a lot of time is because it involves inputs of the entire band. The guitarist adds, “It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s good.” The band has currently finished recording six songs for the yet-to-be-titled second album, which is slated to release later this year.