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Hriday Gattani Releases Mellifluous Acoustic Pop EP ‘Jukebox Of History’

The five-track record is packed with crisp guitar work, catchy melodies and breezy vocals

David Britto May 18, 2022

Mumbai-bred singer-songwriter Hriday Gattani. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Mumbai-bred singer-songwriter Hriday Gattani recently released his charming new five-track debut EP Jukebox Of History. The record includes Gattani’s melodic songwriting work as well as some crafty instrumentation that brings the songs to life. In this interview with Rolling Stone India, the artist breaks down his new EP, what he’s got in store next and more.

What was your musical calling?

I grew up in Mumbai, and I was exposed to the world of music and entertainment from an early age. I remember going for one of my first concerts at the age of three and coming back home mesmerized. I was told I had a flair for music because I was always the source of entertainment in the living room, performing for guests that came home, whether they liked it or not. The connection with live entertainment is because of my father Deepak Gattani who has directed and produced numerous events. I think that’s one of the things that pushed me toward wanting to become a musician.

What are some of the projects that stand out for you?

Each project taught me something different and challenged me differently. I think I have tried to build a very different skill set as a musician in the last few years with supervising projects and assisting music directors to collaborations with renowned artists or producing for TV, movies and independent music. In music there aren’t any set of rules and there never will be. So, each project was differently approached, and my spectrum of knowledge only got wider at the end of every project. The latest project that I was involved in was truly special though. Shekhar Kapur and A.R. Rahman came together at the Dubai Expo 2020 and put on a state-of-the-art live-action musical; it was a stunner. As the music supervisor for this project, I was able to see a whole new world of technology, wisdom, creativity and work culture and that really molded me differently.

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When did work on your debut EP Jukebox Of History begin and what do you recall from writing it?

I Remember this EP came together super organically, and it was so sporadic because there was no end goal. I had just decided I wanted to pursue music, so I packed my bags and moved to Chennai to learn further at KM College of Music and Technology. It was then that I was bursting with ideas and surrounded by music and musicians. It was a truly inspiring phase of my life. I had sleepless nights writing and noodling on the guitar. This EP was born amidst all of this and became a part of the voice-note folder in my phone. I remember trying to understand the concept and goal of songwriting. I still haven’t cracked it. But what I learned for sure was it was about telling a story from your perspective and how it should still connect with everyone no matter how different and unique it gets presented in.

What can you tell me about the songs on the record?

The idea of the EP lyrically is pretty vast. It’s actually a collection of stories and feelings that have been vividly described from my eyes. From themes like the pursuit of passion in oneself to compromise in love and also a theme that relates to most people in today’s world about just running away from all their problems and responsibilities, it’s a pretty vast dissection of society.

Sonically, the EP has evolved with time. I think the sonic space is the juxtaposition of pop meets cinematic because of the hooks meeting the intensity of what I was talking about. 

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 What was the recording and production process like?

This has been a project that has been going on for a while. A bunch of musicians and I got together seven years back and recorded demos of these songs at Cotton Press Studios in Mumbai (now defunct) to help me find myself a producer to shape the album. Somehow it stayed in my archives for a few years, until I reopened one of the sessions in the studio and started playing around with the production for it. By this time I had gained a ton of experience and was actively producing. So, the momentum picked up and I got a few people to get on board a few songs like Kush Upadhyay on Electric guitars and JK on keys in the song “Parasite” and another friend, Karthik Ramaswamy who got on board “Broken Wings.” But the lockdown helped me escalate this EP and lock all the productions because I had time to dive deep and reimagine all the songs with all the material I had. It ended up being entirely produced in my bedroom and then shifted to my production setup post the lockdown for finishing touches.

What’s next for you?

I have been wanting to break the ice with this EP for a while now and I’m so happy with the way it has been received. Now there is no looking back. Apart from my commercial projects, tons and tons of independent music is ready for release and I am working towards getting it out in Both Hindi and English. I am going to be touring with this EP as well.

Stream ‘Jukebox Of History’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.

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