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Hear Mohit Mukhi and Banat’s Vulnerable New Collab ‘Idaho’

The singer-songwriters meditate on comfort and tranquility on their first collaboration together

Anurag Tagat Feb 13, 2021

Mumbai-based singer-songwriters Mohit Mukhi and Banat collaborate on the former's new song "Idaho." Photos: Nirvair Singh Rai (Mukhi), Ryan Crasto (Banat)

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The American state of Idaho might evoke different associations for everyone, owing to its place in pop culture through films, songs and other contexts. For Mumbai singer-songwriter Mohit Mukhi, although he’s never been there, he always thought of it as a comfortable place that would be home. He says, “I got my interpretation of the word Idaho through references made in movies and titles.”

While writing his latest release “Idaho” – off his upcoming record Who’s Sizing Me Up – Mukhi did consider replacing the word with “home” or “island” in the chorus, but left it the way it was. “I wanted to drive home the idea of what the chorus and actually the song in general is trying to get at. Eventually I settled on Idaho ‘cause it just felt right and it didn’t take away from the meaning of the song, in my opinion,” he adds.

Mukhi called on fellow singer-songwriter Banat Kaur Bagga (who goes by her first name) to provide lead vocals on “Idaho.” Although Mukhi does add his own vocals, it’s in a subtle way that comes in after the  track dives into a stirring instrumental portion with lead guitar, string arrangements and roomy beats. Dedicated to Japanese philosopher Daisaku Ikeda and Sufi artist Hazrat Sain Oshaq Ali, Mukhi first performed the song for Banat and she sent over a recording of her singing a piano-aided version. He adds, “A song so personal was initially a little hard to not sing on but Banat very naturally took on what I was going for and brought so much vulnerability and innocence to the table that I decided this is the way the song is going to be.” Once recorded, Mukhi says he didn’t miss singing on it, reassured that Banat had told the same story he wanted to with “Idaho.” He adds, “I feel she has put a permanent stamp of sorts on the song.”

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Following the title track’s release in December 2020, Mukhi is prepping for the full release of the four-song Who’s Sizing Me Up, which is co-produced by Mumbai/Kolkata artist-engineer Soutrik Chakraborty. The singer-songwriter calls it his most ambitious record, offering pop, blues, country and folk with modern sensibilities. He’s not holding anything back when it comes to the record, but at the same time, he’s carefully plotting out its full release. He adds about upcoming plans, “I’m just taking it as it comes. I want to put this album out, there will be a couple of music videos, write new music and play some gigs. These are the things that bring me joy and lasting happiness, so I want to focus on that.”

Watch the lyric video for “Idaho” below. Stream on more platforms here.

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