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Exclusive Premiere: Hindi-Urdu Act Madmast Meditate on Self-Belief in Poignant ‘Ae Dil’ Video

The Mumbai band comprises members from Coshish, Shubhangi Joshi Collective, Dionysian and more

Anurag Tagat Jul 23, 2021

Mumbai band Madmast. Photo: Umesh Mittu

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A heartrending story of growth and hope unfolds on Mumbai band Madmast’s debut offering “Ae Dil,” a spirited, folksy song which also has a powerful music video along with it.

Vocalist and founder Vaibhav Sharma describes the song as one about “pulling yourselves out of the hole, it’s a song about not giving up.” He adds, “We as a society need this kind of music more than ever at this time, when everyone is really looking for positivity and hope.”

In the music video directed, written and edited by Vidar Joshi from Semicolon Films, we’re dropped into a household of strife and how it has driven the protagonist (Lehar Khan) to dangerous depths of her mind. Focusing on her journey from a child to adult and beginning to heal through art, the music video for “Ae Dil” is a heartfelt letter of encouragement to those living through their trauma. By the end of the video, a painting is finished as a metaphor for liberation but not entirely shown to the viewer. Sharma points out that this was deliberate since it was an “abstract” created by artist Shubhangi Sakpal. He adds, “That’s exactly what we wanted. We wanted the painting to be more subtext and not too much in the foreground, it needed to signify the liberation of the protagonist from rock bottom to finally making peace with their past and taking control of their life, which it did, with a vivid use of strong colors to make a bold statement. We did not want to over emphasize the painting and we have kept it open to interpretation.”

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Formed in 2017 by Lucknow-bred Sharma, the band currently comprises bassist Anish Nair (from prog band Coshish), guitarist Keshav Parthsarathy (a live guitarist for Anand Bhaskar Collective), drummer Saurav Dutta (from erstwhile metal band Dionysian) and keyboardist Nishant Nair (from Shubhangi Joshi Collective). Sharma originally moved to Mumbai in 2014 to make it in music and soon began writing songs for the Hindi and Urdu project.

The song and their upcoming album Gumshuda Ki Talaash was recorded starting in July 2019. Bassist Nair says, “By March 2020, we were half way through the mixing process, this is when the pandemic broke loose and we lost a good eight months in between. We started in October 2020 again, and with all kinds of setbacks, we finally got the masters ready by April 2021.”

Releasing in a staggered manner to sustain interest (considering “the live scene is in a cold sack,” as Sharma puts it), Madmast plan to put out three songs this year. Nair mentions that one track is their “own tribute to demonetization on its fifth anniversary.” Sharma adds, “At this time we are aspiring to release music at regular intervals and build a fan base for ourselves.”

Watch the video for “Ae Dil” below. Stream the song here.

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