Exclusive Premiere: Composer Duo Eeshan : Kaushik Soundtrack The Himalayan Expanse in ‘Khoye Pal’ Video
Mumbai-based producer and vocalist Kaushik Ramachandran from prog band The Paradigm Shift and keyboardist Eeshan Tripathi team up for a new project
The premise for producers Kaushik Ramachandran and Eeshan Tripathi to create a new project was entirely straightforward. Ramachandran says over a video chat, “Every song that we have collaborated on have been films in our head.”
The Mumbai duo came together in 2018 – when Ramachandran was still plotting out the completion of prog rock band Paradigm Shift’s second album Sammukh and Tripathi was performing with and writing for Bollywood artist Aditya Narayan. They met at Benchmark Studios in Thane, although Tripathi had contributed to Ramachandran’s other duo project – Rahul-Kaushik, with composer Rahul Kannan – for a track called “Pehchaan” in 2016.
But the day they met and eventually jammed was April 9th, the date christened as a working title for what would become their debut single “Khoye Pal.” Tripathi says the project came about at a time when he had realized all his “learnings have happened because of collaboration.” Ramachandran, for his part, clarifies that they didn’t want to expand the duo into a separate band since they both believe they’re in the “perfect kind of space.” The vocalist adds, “We also are people who love collaborating with different people on each song. That’s a sort of selfish intent, to collaborate with different musicians.”
The debut track is thoroughly cinematic, even as it bears Ramachandran’s inimitable vocals. The duo brought on drummer Lindsay Dmello, guitarist Milton Daniel and bassist Biswajit Chakraborty to take the direction into roving sonic expanse. While they were writing “Khoye Pal,” the duo honed in on ideas of vast expanses and how the human species is, in fact, insignificant in the larger scheme of things. “There is a guy who just wants to visit nature at its truest form, and find himself. While doing that he doesn’t end up finding himself, he has an epiphany on how inconsequential human beings are,” Ramachandran says. While it might be a heavily existential theme, Tripathi sees it another way. “If human beings are conscious towards their reactions to emotions, their life can be saved. If human beings develop the mountain top perspective, things can have a very different point of view,” the keyboardist says.
Considering they do intend to approach each song as a soundtrack to a hypothetical film, Eeshan : Kaushik called on filmmaker Varun Gathani to direct a spectacular music video for “Khoye Pal,” shot entirely in Spiti Valley in the Himalayas. Showcasing a biker traversing valleys, rivers and camping out to witness the starry expanse of the mountains, the film also includes a cameo by the composers. Ramachandran simply sums up the video as a “challenge,” but Tripathi was the one who had a connect to Gathani as a friend who heard “Khoye Pal” and pitched them the concept. While the duo joke about how they originally wanted to go to a nearby hill station like Lonavala, Gathani made it abundantly clear that to drive home the humongous aspects of nature, they would need to go to a place that gives off that impression.
In the process of traveling to Spiti and also making the video (back in 2019), the duo say they gained a whole new perspective that made them live the intention of “Khoye Pal.” Up next, there’s at least four songs written by the duo ready, but they’re looking to give each track its own video treatment. Their next release is likely a track called “Karwaan” and over Zoom, the duo created “Kahaniyaan,” written as an unsettling portrayal of hope, is set in fictional realm of a young girl caught in a child trafficking ring, bent on breaking free. Tripathi says, “It’s a lullaby sung by the devil.”