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Exclusive Premiere: Sanjeev T Crafts Laidback Lo-Fi on ‘Not A Love Song’

The Chennai fusion artist takes a new turn with help from vocalist-producer Native Indian for the first track off his lockdown-born album ‘Future’

Anurag Tagat Jun 25, 2020

Bengaluru-based guitarist-composer Sanjeev T. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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How do you make a sprawling, big-band employing fusion record like St. (2018) and then want to turn to lo-fi hip-hop on your latest? Guitarist, composer and vocalist Sanjeev Thomas was more or less influenced by the global lockdown for his upcoming album Future, whose first track “Not A Love Song” features Chennai-based vocalist-producer Native Indian aka Siva Baskaran.

Thomas fully agrees that his audience may not even be familiar with lo-fi hip-hop, but his new material is born out of his experiments in sampling, which is what he could do on his own. He says, “Whenever I’ve done St. or [2013 album] Epic Shit, it was in a different place and it involved a live sound [recording setup] and a group of musicians. That was definitely not possible during this lockdown. I thought I shouldn’t be overtly critical of myself. More like, ‘Fuck that pressure and shit, let’s just put out some music.’ The vibe of it being lo-fi is the vibe of the situation, the way things are right now.”

Drawn to using samples as well as the guitar-centric potential of lo-fi hip-hop, Thomas put out a call for collaborators and found Native Indian. Adding a R&B-like croon to the song, Native Indian says he didn’t have any “hard and fast rules about collaborations” but enjoyed the complete freedom Thomas gave him to write his own lyrics and produce it. As the title suggests, this isn’t a love song, but it almost started out that way. Native Indian says, “Sanjeev gave me a few ideas of lockdown and love but it naturally evolved into something about self-healing, being self-inquisitive about feelings. I think that’s something that’s happening for everyone in the lockdown.”

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With a handful of ideas in the works for the rest of the album, Thomas says he’s going to get artists for every track. “Preferably hip-hop kind of artists. There’s no hurry, since we’re in lockdown, so I’ll take my time with it,” he says with a laugh.

“Not A Love Song” releases on all streaming platforms tomorrow. Listen below.

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