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Hear Shubha Mudgal, Blackstratblues, Nikhil Mawkin and Hashbass Soar on ‘For Anita’

New Delhi-based bassist and producer Harshit Misra marks his solo debut single with a heartfelt tribute to his late mother

Anurag Tagat Oct 20, 2020

Harshit Misra aka Hashbass performing with DCF_Shapes at Fandom, at Gilly's Redefined in Bengaluru. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Harshit Misra aka Hashbass has been amongst India’s versatile bassists fitting into varied ensembles (hip-hop artist Prabh Deep, alternative vocalist-composer Sid Sriram and covers outfit Bollyjazz) and also a synth artist and producer who can bring high energy music (DCF_Shapes). With his debut single “For Anita,” the New Delhi-based artist not only further solidifies his genre-fluid intentions, but also crafts a heartfelt tribute to his late mother.

Released on October 20th — one year to the date of her passing — Hashbass called on veteran vocalist Shubha Mudgal, guitar ace Blackstratblues aka Warren Mendonsa and multi-instrumentalist Nikhil Mawkin on drums for an unbound, lightheaded and emphatic fusion-informed track. Taking about eight and a half months to complete the track, Misra says “For Anita” is as good an opening statement as any about his workings as a producer. He adds, “I sent this to Warren, then to Nikhil, then to Shubha ji and I just told them all, ‘Do you.’ Everybody on the track is a legend in their own way.”

Mudgal weaves together lyrics about love and loss, being involved in the project since she was Misra’s mother’s favorite singer. Plus, the bassist was performing with Mudgal a night before his mother’s passing in October last year. The vocalist said in a statement, “I wish I could have sung for Anita ji in person, but sadly, I was unable to ever meet her in her lifetime. Having lost the opportunity to meet her, I am grateful to Harshit for having invited me to be a part of the track ‘For Anita.’ For a musician, love and loss are best expressed in song, and that is exactly what I have attempted to do through my tiny contribution on the track.”

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Misra cites legendary American producer Quincy Jones as one of his formative influences when it comes to approaching a track. “What also mattered was being open to everyone’s interpretations,” the bassist adds. While Mendonsa’s guitar parts added the first layer and structured the track a bit, Mawkin — who also regularly performs as a vocalist — brought in the right grooves to set a flow. Misra says with a laugh, “The magic happened happened in their own rooms, since everything was done remotely. I picked all the parts and arranged them.” The track was mixed and mastered by sound engineer John Davis in New York, while additional engineering is credited to Mendonsa as well as Chandigarh-based Ranbeer Sidhu.

Hashbass steps into releasing solo material as an artist who doesn’t want to be categorized neatly, with the producer-bassist eyeing mixtapes as his next release. He’s also lined up a few collaborations with hip-hop artists like Bengaluru’s Hanumankind, hoping to “step up as a producer.” Misra adds, “I’ve written a ton of music.”

Listen to “For Anita” below. Stream on more platforms here

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