Multifaceted Artist Aakash Mehta Releases Debut Album ‘What a Life’
The Mumbai-bred artist worked with Baroda musician Shashwat Bulusu on the record
Growing up in Mumbai, writer, podcaster, producer, stand-up comedian and musician Aakash Mehta tells us that his family was into music but “in a weird way.” He says, “We used to have all these cassettes of all the movie songs but never watched the movies they were from.” Mehta picked up the drums and played in the school band, but his folks weren’t keen on his artistic direction. “They’re just not from a background where an artistic career is possible,” he says.
However, that didn’t deter him and he kept pursuing the arts in various forms. Mehta stumbled into comedy while attending law school 10 years ago, and now he is ready with his eight-track full-length debut album entitled What a Life.
In this interview with Rolling Stone India, Mehta talks to us about the making of the record, working with Baroda musician Shashwat Bulusu and more.
When did your debut album begin to take shape?
Well, this album is mainly songs written between 2010 and 2013, with arrangements coming together in 2020. So yeah, it’s been a while and mostly thanks to Shashwat [Bulusu]. If it weren’t for him, this would just be songs in a notebook and underutilized air molecules in my lungs.
It started with Shashwat convincing me to record “Yellow Dress” as a one-off. But, it was the pandemic that really made me look at it as a real option. I didn’t want to risk dying without finishing the sonic image for each song in my mind.
What can you tell me about the album overall?
What a Life is a journal of moments and feelings that wouldn’t have made sense if presented in any other way. The beauty of art is that one can encapsulate these intangibles into something you can hold on to and relive and sometimes even process altogether, and really that’s what’s at the core of the record.
What was it like working with Shashwat Bulusu on the record? And how was the recording process for you?
Imagine your best friend becoming your annoying little brother and then suddenly becoming the protective, knowing big brother. I don’t think this album would ever have been made if Shashwat hadn’t conned me into it. I’ve always been a fan of Shashwat’s music specifically, and the production process generally. Especially since stand-up is such a solo pursuit, I spent the first few days just adjusting to the joys of a collaborative effort. It’s truly very humbling, especially as a songwriter, that people were giving me their time and expertise to help round of these songs I’ve carried in my pocket for so long. It was about three-fourths of the way through that Shashwat, and I knew this is certainly not the last album I’m putting out.
What plans do you have for promoting the album?
I honestly have no idea of how to promote this album. I had no intentions of doing so either. I’m still getting over the fact that I can listen to my songs without having to sing them live there and then.
What’s next for you?
With Omicron hovering over everything, there isn’t much stand-up to be done. I think some writing projects will pay the bills while I work on the Rap EP and the next album.
Stream ‘What a Life’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.