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Exclusive Premiere: Rounak Maiti Reminisces on ‘The Whole World Is Watching’

The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter turns to dreampop and shoegaze on his upcoming album ‘Waiting on the Comedown’

Anurag Tagat May 05, 2019

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Rounak Maiti. Photo: Alicia Afshar/Courtesy of Pagal Haina

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When you watch the camcorder-shot footage of an North Indian wedding in Rounak Maiti’s new music video “The Whole World Is Watching,” it’s easy to assume the L.A./Mumbai singer-songwriter is somehow connected to it. But he’s not.

Maiti says over the phone from L.A., “My friend Karanjit (Singh) worked on the video. His background is in documentary and filmmaking. I was at his house last winter and he was going through hard drives in his dad’s office stuff. He just stumbled upon this wedding video of someone who, I guess, worked for his dad at some point.”

The video for Maiti’s second single off his upcoming album Waiting on the Comedown (out via Pagal Haina Records on June 7th) is striking because the visuals of a shy, quiet bride and general wedding merrymaking fit well with the slow, wistful tone of the dreampop track. The singer-songwriter says the song had already existed by the time they found this unknown couple’s wedding video.

Maiti, who writes about communication and relationships on the follow-up to Bengali Cowboy (2017), says this song is about “being scrutinized and analyzed by other people.”  He adds, “The spotlight is on you, and I felt that pretty strong thematic connection to this woman in the wedding. I can’t assume how a person is feeling, but just from watching it, from no context whatsoever, in my mind I was putting the two together.”

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Anyone viewing this video would perhaps have the same first impression as Maiti, who says it was “captivating” to watch. He recounts how camcorders often had onboard effects one could add whilst recording. “You can put a vignette effect, blur out the background with the subject in the center. You can take a subject in the center and make it kaleidoscopic. This guy [filming it] was going ham, he was using all the effects on the bride. It’s very surreal.”

Check out the video for “The Whole World Is Watching” below. The song will release on all platforms tomorrow.

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