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Dehlvees Explore Animation and Synth-Pop On Their Latest Track

The Delhi duo’s sophomore single “Mahira” also talks about the politics of the new generation

Riddhi Chakraborty Mar 24, 2016
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"Mahira" features a female protagonist exploring a forest on her own.

“Mahira” features a female protagonist exploring a forest on her own.

Although it’s been two years since Delhi based duo Dehlvee’s last single [2014’s “Mann Basiya”], alternative rock band Them Clones’ Akshay Raheja and fusion band Advaita’s Suhail Yusuf Khan still find the perfect balance when recording a track together. “Just like all our other songs and ideas, the process of recording ”˜Mahira’ was quite organic and straightforward,” says Khan, adding, “Akshay brought a groove and a riff to the table, I reacted to it by putting melody and lyrics.”

Dehlvees. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Dehlvees. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Raheja, on his part, tells about peculiarity of fate and how the song came to be. Due to a cancelled plan of meeting a friend, he stayed back at the studio and utilized the time to come up with a riff which would eventually give shape to “Mahira”. Says Raheja, “Suhail was waiting for his flight at Heathrow airport, London when I sent him the scratch of the song and it clicked. We decided to work on it once he was back in India.” Dehlvees began recording the song in August 2015, combining Khan’s vocals and sarangi with Raheja’s touch of alternative and indie sounds. To mix the track, they brought on board Delhi producer Keshav Dhar. Says Khan, “It took months for the song to take shape sonically and compositionally.”

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“Mahira” -which is Hebrew for ”˜being brave’- is refreshing mix of Indian classical and synth-pop. The dream-like quality of the track is further highlighted by its colorful animated video which shows a young female protagonist exploring a forest on her own, conquering her fears and finding happiness while doing so. Animated versions of Khan and Raheja make a brief appearance in the video with Khan playing the sarangi and Raheja the keyboard, but the focus is on the young girl. “We wanted to experiment with the video for this one,” says Raheja adding that they were wary of their fans’ reaction to an animated video at first. “As we progressed with the creation of the video, it looked beautiful and fit in well with what we were trying to convey through the song,” he adds.

Raheja explains that the inspiration for “Mahira” came largely from what they saw in their day-to-day lives, especially the onslaught of social media.  “How often do we form opinions based on hearsay? Even right-thinking individuals lose sense of judgment and go with popular opinion,” he states.  Ask the band why they chose to feature a female protagonist in the video and Khan says, “I think the video has a very strong connection with the youth and what the youth of today, especially women, feel about their independence in our city.”

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Watch the video for “Mahira” below

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