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Nischay Parekh Plots Full-Length Album

Frontman of Kolkata pop/funk band, The Monkey In Me, says he recorded his solo debut album, Ocean, in bedrooms, kitchens and gardens

Anurag Tagat Jan 25, 2013
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Parekh and drummer Jivraj Singh at NH7 Weekender, Bengaluru. Photo: Vivek Manek

Nischay Parekh has just finished tracking for his debut solo album Ocean, but the 19-year-old is confident that his album is “82 percent done.” Parekh puts that exact number on his progress, citing that he still needs an album cover, which for him is equivalent to binding for a book.

Parekh is better known as the frontman of Kolkata-based pop/funk band The Monkey In Me, which has now taken a break since its members are spread out in different parts of the country, and, in Parekh’s case, the world. The young singer-songwriter is currently studying contemporary writing and production at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

About his upcoming album, Parekh feels he has taken a big risk with the title. “Ocean sounds like a dicey word to use, because it’s actually a playful pop record,” he says, adding there are elements of electronica that “probably go unnoticed” on his eight-track album.

Ocean features Jivraj Singh, drummer of Kolkata experimental band PINKNOISE, and is produced by UK-based producer Miti Adhikari, who has previously produced albums for top acts such as The White Stripes, Radiohead, Coldplay, Madonna and others. Parekh takes on vocals, guitar and synth for the album.  

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In fact, Parekh made his stage debut with a 45-minute set at the Big Ben in Kolkata, playing to the likes of Adhikari. “My first gig was with Jivraj when I was 17. I was scared to death, because till then I had only played with school friends.” More recently, the musician brought his eponymous project to stage at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Bengaluru last year.  

Some of the songs on his upcoming album, such as the title track “Ocean” and “Ghost,” have been in the works for over four years now. Parekh also asked some of his peers at Berklee to contribute to Ocean. “Two of my friends from Canada and Portugal”” Dylan on piano/backup vocals and Pedro Zappa on bass guitar [respectively], helped write material for a couple of songs like ”˜Newbury Street’ and ”˜Panda.’” says Parekh, adding that they exchanged files over the internet.  

What makes Ocean unique is the fact that the songwriter “didn’t enter a single studio” to record it. “We recorded mostly in bedrooms, kitchens, gardens and even hallways, but we still haven’t compromised on the sound,” says Parekh. With his semester over, the Kolkata artist will head back to Berklee only in May this year. By then Parekh hopes to release Ocean and even complete the album’s promotional tour of India. “I’m in the process of getting some gigs in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai at the end of February,” says Parekh.

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Nischay Parekh and Kolkata rock vets Skinny Alley perform at Tollygunge Club on January 25th, 2013, from 8pm onwards. 

Listen to the demo version of the song “Ocean” here


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