Exclusive Premiere: Pune Singer-Songwriter Parashar Joshi Characterizes the Jab in ‘Vaccine’
The synth-pop and alt-rock song “Vaccine” is produced by Onkar Tarkase
Towards the end of May 2021, when India was still in the midst of a debilitating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Pune-based singer-songwriter Parashar Joshi was in a queue for four hours to get his first dose. “Naturally, my mind began to wander,” he says.
While most people (Joshi included as well) would have felt the expected side-effects of tiredness, the artist “got an adrenaline boost” and wrote a song called “Vaccine.” He says, “I actually sat down in the hospital parking for one hour and reworked all the words and phrases into what are now the actual lyrics.”
A man of varied interests—from biker to cricket umpire to a finalist on singing reality show Indian Idol between 2008 and 2009—“Vaccine” is Joshi’s second independent single, after “Raston Se Dosti” earlier this year. While the latter was produced by Pune rock band Mannfarid’s frontman Kirit Mandavgane, “Vaccine” gets synth-pop and alt-rock flourishes courtesy of producer Onkar Tarkase.
Lyrically, Joshi uses a metaphor of the Covid-preventing vaccines as a “new prom queen” but also references true occurrences such as the global anger against China and tech-savvy folks trying to book a vaccine appointment. While the song extols the power of the several vaccines to fight Covid, the artist points out that the song is also an ode to the medical professionals, scientists and healthcare workers and companies who are “protecting humanity from this pandemic.”
“Vaccine” also arrives at a time when new variants emerge, which makes it instrumental in spreading awareness. He adds, “I guess there is a fair degree of vaccine awareness in India, but at the same time it needs to be coupled with responsible social behavior too. That is where we as a nation are seriously lacking, I believe.”