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Hear Mumbai/Brooklyn Pianist-Producer Karan Viegas’ Funky New Jazz Single ‘Moot’

The instrumental track also features horn player Oskar Stenmark and guitarist Aleif Hamdan

David Britto Nov 27, 2020

Mumbai-bred pianist-producer Karan Viegas. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Even if he wanted to, Mumbai-bred musician Karan Viegas couldn’t escape from music growing up. Born in a household filled with choir conductors, orchestra performers as well as his highly acclaimed classical pianist grandmother Blanche Viegas, he took to the art form from an early age. He says, “My grandmother gave me piano lessons since I was five.” Along the way, Viegas picked up the drums and even started producing music of his own.

Viegas moved to New York City a few years ago to study at Columbia University and has since made Brooklyn his home, where he currently holds a tech job. Music however continues to be a staple in his life and he released his debut three-part single “Bicyclesong / The Triphonies” earlier this year, and is now out with his latest offering, the eclectic jazz fusion track “Moot.”

The new song is a colorful expression of Viegas’ musicality. The track brings together the best he has to offer from his jazz sensibilities with quirky and marvelous keyboard hooks, glorious horn sections by Oskar Stenmark (from Brass Against) and elegant guitar parts from Aleif Hamdan (of the Berklee Indian Ensemble). The innovative producer also sampled sounds of the hustle and bustle that is New York City, from honking to cheering essential workers and even Black Lives Matters protest chants from across the world. There’s also syncopated percussion parts.

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Viegas says, “’Moot’ means irrelevant or pointless due to impracticality. My reflections over the past few months revealed a myriad of things that the pandemic has made moot for us – making a living, getting married, reuniting with family, working from a coffee shop, the summer, to name a few.” He adds, “Overall, the pandemic has imposed on us a disorienting dichotomy of emotions, which is exactly what I’ve tried to portray in ‘Moot.’ On the one hand, inescapable uncertainty, loneliness and grief; and on the other, the unexpected hope and joy of working in PJs, reconnecting with old friends and global social movements.”

The pianist-producer mixed the song himself and got it mastered by Daniel Alba, who has previously worked with late American rapper Mac Miller and singer-songwriter Norah Jones.

Due to the pandemic, Viegas has seen some of his close friends have to leave New York due to lost jobs, housing and closing borders. “They were a big part of my journey here so far,” he says. However, the musician is optimistic and tells us he will survive. “The pandemic has been a great equalizer in some ways for many of us – we’re finding new ways to work, new ways to celebrate and new ways to create,” says Viegas.

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There’s lots of new material on the way from Viegas. He’s currently prepping a new collaborative single exploring animal rights and also plans on dropping his debut EP in 2021. “While I do enjoy my day job, more importantly, it allows me to take creative risks and retain artistic integrity with my music,” says the pianist.

Stream “Moot” on Spotify below and on other platforms

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