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Joshua Singh on Debut Solo EP: ‘The Entire Album Is Based Around Introspection’

The Mumbai-based multi-instrumentalist released his new five-track record ‘Understudy’ last week

David Britto Sep 17, 2019

Mumbai-based multi-instrumentalist Joshua Singh. Photo: Parizad D

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In a story published by Rolling Stone India last week to find out what Mumbai alt rockers Spud in the Box were up to, we learned that drummer Joshua Singh had a new five-track solo EP titled Understudy ready for release.

The multi-instrumentalist had begun working on his record 18 months ago. He tells us that he initially had a different set of songs but decided against those and instead went with the tracks on the EP which were written and produced all in the same day. Singh says, “I felt the other songs had taken more time and had got into different vibes multiple times. I just literally let them be for a different record and I’ve kept everything that is part of a free flow of sorts.” He adds, “I just wanted them to be together because at least if anything it creates a vibe for me at least.”

While Understudy is electronica juxtaposed with acoustic elements, Singh mentions that he didn’t intend to take the record in any one direction. “I didn’t choose a sound but this is what it’s come to be over many tracks that I have put together. This is the sound of this EP more importantly.” He further says, “I don’t mean to be more electronic or less electronic or more organic. For me, it’s just, I play a bunch of instruments and I am also an engineer so between things I know how to work I just make music.”

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The free flow that the musician talks about certainly comes across quite well when you hear the record from top to bottom in a single listen. On the opening almost robotic track, “Few Of Us Around,” the Spud drummer says, “[It] is about having people who you know see the world in a similar way as you.” The second track is the polished “Day 6” while the melancholic “Make Believe” spreads the message of “coping with depression or letting someone help you.” On the tranquil “Normal Is For Fools,” Singh explains, “[The song is regarding] anxiety, understanding that being you is better than being a version of you that you’d like to be.”

For Singh, the entire EP is based around introspection. On why he decided to title it Understudy, the musician says, “Because an understudy in theater is the person who is always there to replace the main actor. That person, because of that, he’ll be aware of every nuance to understand that character, the actual actor.” He adds, “It’s like a second person looking at you from behind. It’s just a very conscious effort to learn from yourself.”

Understudy also features a bunch of guest artists such as vocalists k o k u m and Rachel Singh, saxophonist Sid Vashi, violinists Ajay Jayanthi and Shirish Malhotra and flautist Rajeev Prasanna. Singh says, “I would let them play through songs and after that use their vocabulary and how they’ve played their instrument into how I would like to place it. I would never really be able to write those parts (laughs).”

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The EP was self-produced by Singh and mixed by engineers Saibu Simon, Rohan Ramanna, Ayan De and Kunal Mehta. It was mastered by U.K.-based Dick Beetham at 360 Mastering. Next, the multi-instrumentalist has a music video in the pipeline and is also working on a live audiovisual set. He says, “I am looking at how to package it nicely and put out as much music as I can.”

Stream ‘Understudy’ on Spotify below: 

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