Hear Amrit Ramnath and Amira Gill’s EP ‘JĀGO’
The Chennai singer-producer and New Delhi singer-songwriter are releasing their record in a piecemeal fashion
In 2020, when Chennai singer-producer Amrit Ramnath and New Delhi singer-songwriter Amira Gill came across each other’s music on social media, the two hit it off instantly and found common musical interests. What initially began as a collaboration on a single, took shape into a five-track multilingual (Bengali, Tamil/Tamizh and Hindi) EP entitled JĀGO, which the pair are releasing one song at a time.
In this interview with Rolling Stone India, Ramnath and Gill talk to us about their newfound friendship through music, the tracks on JĀGO, collaborators and more.
When did work on the EP begin and what was the writing process like?
Gill: The EP writing process began in February 2021, an entire year ago, on Seaward Road, Chennai. I had recently returned from the US and Covid had taken a toll on plans that eventually fell through. I was not feeling inspired and felt stagnant. Amrit had been rediscovering music outside the realm of Carnatic classical music singing and concerts. He was spending time sharpening his production and arrangement skills that were putting him on the path of being able to independently make music for himself and other artists.
Ramnath: The entire writing process was incredibly organic and natural. When we met, the music created was a byproduct of a lot else. We were learning about each other’s lives, musical backgrounds, having conversations over meals and filter coffee, having discussions with other musicians and stalwarts in the field and truly developing a trusting relationship that lent itself to the music that was coming out of that friendship and newfound creative bond.
What can you tell me about the songs on the record?
Gill: ‘Jāgo’ is a call to those who seek to be awoken, and ‘Nām Iruvar’ describes the journey of two people who come from very different worlds and the magic that takes place when they create music together. ‘Asman’ embraces the expanse of the lyric. ‘Ennul Inikkum Inbame’ speaks of the omniscient, omnipresent power that is felt.
What was the recording and production process like?
Ramnath: Everything was recorded and produced in primarily three places in Chennai. The bulk of the recordings and production was done at my home studio. We also recorded at Offbeat Music Ventures and Saurabh Joshi’s home studio. All the premixes were done by me. For two songs out of the five, we chose mix engineers that better fit the style and sound we were looking for. ‘Jāgo’ was mixed by me and mastered by Aswin George. ‘Asman (Acoustic)’ was mixed and mastered by Anindo Bose. ‘Nam Iruvar,’ ‘Asman’ and ‘Ennul Inikkum Inbame’ was mixed and mastered by Saurabh Joshi.
The production for each song was very personalized. The compositions for the songs and arrangement decisions were made by both Amira and I.
What can you tell me about the other musicians featured on the EP?
Ramnath: This entire EP came to take final shape under the hands and creative perspectives of the collaborators we had on. MS Krsna is an incredible multilingual singer-songwriter, guitarist and music producer from Chennai. He has a very unique way of understanding harmony in relation to melody and his guitar arrangements are very lush and detailed. Abinandan David is the second guitarist on the EP. Rithu Vysakh is a strings player, composer, musician from Kerala. The violins in ‘Ennul Inikkum Inbame’ were played by Sayee Rakshith. MT Aditya Srinivasan is an incredibly diverse percussionist from Chennai. Saurabh Joshi is an accomplished multi-percussionist and sound engineer hailing from Dehradun. Munir Hossn is a producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist and he played and arranged bass, electric guitars, and tama for ‘Asman (Acoustic).’
What plans do you have for promoting the EP?
Gill: We would love to perform live if things open up as we have a completely different live set prepared. We’ve already released a music video for the first single and title track of the EP. We would like to also do high production videos for two more songs on the album when it’s safe to have a large crew in one place. We would love for our songs to get endorsements from brands that relate to the music sonically and through the lyric message. We are also hoping to get our songs on commercials and TV shows that premiere on OTT platforms.
What’s next for you guys?
Ramnath: We know that our bond as friends and collaborators is extremely strong and we complement each other’s musicality. This project is just the start of much more to come.
Gill: Individually, we each want to continue making independent music and exploring and solidifying our sound.
The third track “Asman” releases on February 16th.