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Mumbai’s Inayat Launch Charming Debut Fusion Song ‘Dehi’

The band officially launched their project in mid-2020, bringing sublime Hindustani classical vocals and wavy guitar melodies

Anurag Tagat Jul 26, 2021

Mumbai group Inayat - Tanay Shah, Abhishek Venkitakrishnan and Ritik Mehta. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Originally incepted around 2017 and performing in various iterations until 2020, Mumbai-based group Inayat announced the formal launch of their project in August 2020. Just less than a year later, they’ve released a joyful debut song called “Dehi.”

Comprising guitarist-producer Ritik Mehta, vocalist Abhishek Venkitakrishnan and songwriter Tanay Shah, Inayat ruminate on an “ode to the soul” and a “world where humanity is our only religion” in the diverse fusion-informed song. Venkitakrishnan provides affable vocals throughout to set off on his classically-trained path, aided by Mehta’s springy guitar licks. Subtle but clever elements – like konnakol rhythms, a meditative guitar bridge section, a hint of electronic beats – are an indicator of the group’s influence from master composers like A.R. Rahman as well as new age music.

The song was originally created while brainstorming for Instagram Reels content ideas, becoming a full-fledged song that they believe “encapsulated and represented the sound and spirit of their band.” Mehta says in a statement, “I gave Abhishek, [author] Devdutt Pattanaik’s Bhagavad Gita — a book I was intrigued by and asked him to pick a random word from any random page. He landed on the word Dehi and took an aalap on the two notes I was playing on the electric piano.”

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While each of the members of Inayat have their own bents – Mehta is a photographer who also runs a media company, Shah is a dancer/choreographer and Venkitakrishnan has shown off his classical training with covers on social media – they say that bringing “Dehi” to fruition in the midst of the pandemic was “nerve-wracking.” Although Venkitakrishnan feels they’ve had “ambitious dreams” with “Dehi” in terms of release, they’re well on their way to becoming a refreshing new voice in Indian independent music.

Listen to “Dehi” below. Stream on more platforms here.

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