Premiere: Hear Vocalist Mrs. Ippi Celebrate the Joy of Childhood on ‘The Ferris Wheel’
The Texas-based, New Delhi artist teams up with New York-based saxophonist Keith Daniels and pianist-songwriter Kyle Hassien for a pop-jazz offering
In the two years of moving to study (and subsequently teach) music in Denton, Texas, vocalist and songwriter Ipshita Roy aka Mrs. Ippi has been trying to create a follow-up to her 2018 EP Love, Life and Melody but a lack of time and finances did stand in the way. “Music school is pretty expensive, even with scholarships,” the New Delhi-bred artist says.
Nevertheless, Roy says her time in Denton has been incredible, being surrounded by the “finest educators and musicians” around. She adds, “As I am sitting here right now in the music building typing this interview, from my right hand side I can hear the classical vocalists’ choir, I can hear drums from the drum room below me and towards my right I hear big band jazz rehearsals. This place still overwhelms me but it’s amazing and I love it! I guess I can finally call myself a music nerd now.”
Her jazz course’s songwriting classes late last year spawned a song called “The Ferris Wheel,” which is now her first release since moving to the U.S.. Initially aided by pianist and songwriter Kyle Hassien, the song quickly ballooned to include the many new ideas Roy had picked up in music school. “As Kyle started playing the changes, I was thinking about my niece who was barely a year and half and the lyrics were inspired from her innocence and her simple life,” Roy adds.
Ushered in by a gilded brass section, “The Ferris Wheel” is a letter of encouragement to her niece Xanthe, addressing joy, innocence and playfulness. Roy teamed up with arranger Keith Daniels, whom she met in Denton but is currently based in New York. Daniels says it was natural for them to collaborate since they’d known each other for two years. Wrapped up in two weeks over Zoom calls, Daniels adds, “The challenge of writing music that lives in both the pop and jazz languages is in trying to make it sound sincere. In this respect, I am interested in blending elements from both worlds in a manner that allows for Ipshita to deliver her message through her lyrics and her singing.”
The duo are planning to work on more arrangements that might just build up to an album. Roy, for her part is planning the next Mrs. Ippi single with friends from Berklee College of Music and Boston-based production house Talking Labz. The as yet untitled track features Roy singing scat over raag Bhairav with a jazz harmony and Afro-Cuban grooves. She adds, “I am really excited about that one too because it blends two musical worlds for me that I have never blended before especially for an original song.”
Watch the video for “The Ferris Wheel” below.