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Nikhil D’Souza Returns with Two-Track EP ‘People’

The latest release from the country’s original singer-songwriter poster boy sees him sing in Hindi and English

David Britto May 11, 2020

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Nikhil D'Souza. Photo: Andrew Whitton

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Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Nikhil D’Souza has been writing music at breakneck speed for the last couple of years but has so far only officially released his four-track EP Simple Kind of Love in 2018 as well as a bunch of singles including “Silver And Gold” and last year’s “Sitaare.” The reason for the delay in releases, D’Souza says, is because there was originally a plan to release an album in 2017. He adds, “Then, the entire management and A&R team of the label [U.K.-based East West Records] changed. When the new people came in, they said, ‘Okay, we’re going to start from scratch.’”

At the time, the label requested D’Souza to come up with new song ideas. “I spent the next few months just writing songs and then meeting new producers and writers,” says D’Souza. One of the songs born out of those sessions was the easygoing listen “People” which the musician has now released as a twin-track EP with an English and Hindi version.

The singer-songwriter confesses that he was tired of writing love songs and instead wanted to shift his focus towards something that seems more current in world politics, regarding the divide between people. “People are not so tolerant of each other anymore,” he says. While addressing the problems in the world, the musician also wanted to make known that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. He says, “We should look at children. When we were little kids all we thought about was having a good time playing.” D’Souza adds, “We weren’t aware about the divide that exists between people on class, race and religion and all of these things. These things were imposed on us in time by adults.”

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Although D’Souza originally penned the song in English, he’s also recorded a Hindi version of the track. The artist tells us that the melodies of some songs lend themselves well to be sung in other languages and “People” was one of them. After getting in touch with a few lyricists to have the song translated, D’Souza says, “A lot of them were unable to tackle it somehow.” He met with lyricist Pinky Poonawala last year, discussed the song at length and finally found someone who was on the same wavelength as him. “The thought is also slightly different in Hindi but overall it’s the same message,” says the singer-songwriter. He adds, “There’s an element of melancholy to the Hindi one, which is not in the English one.”

D’Souza recorded “People” at London’s RAK Studios under the watchful eye of producer and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Quarmby, who also mixed and mastered the track.

While everyone is in quarantine due to the current coronavirus pandemic, we learn that the musician is one who prefers isolation and being indoors. However, he tells us that as time passes by he’s realizing how important human contact is. “You miss that and when you go through an extended period of two months without that it starts feeling really weird.”

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Next, a music video for “People” is going to be released very soon. “We’re seeing what really works best right now,” says D’Souza. Following that the musician will start planning the release of his three-track English EP titled About Deserts And Highways which has already been mastered. “Those songs are a little left of center and little more alternative,” he says.

Stream ‘People’ on Spotify below and click here to hear the EP on other platforms. 

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