Hear Lakshya Bhatnagar’s Country-Informed New Song with Fiddle Player Jenee Fleenor
The singer-songwriter pens a gentle ballad on intimacy, featuring the American artist
Recounting a time when a fan interaction “went really north” for him, Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Lakshya Bhatnagar reached out to Nashville-based fiddle artist Jenee Fleenor via Instagram during the recent lockdown and found a reply come his way.
He says, “I told her how much I adore country music and how I was honored to be chatting with her.” Fleenor, a Country Music Association awardee for Musician Of The Year in 2019 and a regular instrumentalist on the U.S. singing competition The Voice (whose Indian counterpart, coincidentally, Bhatnagar was part of), conversed with the singer about his music and agreed to add fiddle and violin parts on the singer’s new single “Zaroori.”
With this tender song about relationships, Bhatnagar joins a pretty esteemed list of musicians who have called on Fleenor – Blake Shelton, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride – to record or perform with her. The multi-instrumentalist agrees that she’s always got offers to record for artists from all around the world, but India is a first and calls it “exciting.” She says about her process, “We tossed around some ideas on the phone and once I heard the song I knew exactly what he meant. I always say a song ‘tells’ you what to play – musically and lyrically – but in this case, the lyrics weren’t in English.”
Bhatnagar sent her the English translation of the lyrics and Fleenor says she was more than happy to hone in on the right parts. Bhatnagar adds, “She played a morph between a fiddle and a violin which sounded so distinct, so country yet so relatable to the feel of a Hindi composition. The song got the sound that it needed.” There’s additional guitars by Pune-based Vicky Hajeri, production duties helmed by Ankith Sinha and mixing by Yash Singh Rathore at WhiteWine Studios.
The song — released on the artist’s own label Up NXT — follows Bhatnagar’s early 2020 debut collection of songs, Kal Aaj Aur Kal, which showcased a sonic diversity for the artist. “Zaroori” adds another hue with its country styling and lyrics about intimacy and distance. Listen below on Spotify and on more platforms here.