Premiere: Swarathma Keep the Faith with ‘Mushkil Mein Jeena’
The Bengaluru folk rock band’s latest is a soothing, sparkling take on getting by in tough times, with a vertically-shot music video featuring family members
Swarathma offer a reminder of the gift of music on their latest song “Mushkil Mein Jeena,” which released today. The song, featuring lyrics by friend of the band Puneet Sharma, is a gentle yet refreshing take on how to navigate difficult or stressful moments by remembering nature, music and fellow human beings.
Vocalist-guitarist Vasu Dixit says in a statement, “We composed it in a few months ago when the country was going through a grim time with the protests, but then we went from the frying pan to the fire with COVID-19, and the idea of staying positive and remembering to live became even more relevant.”
Recorded in part at guitarist Varun Murali’s The Red Music Box Studio, “Mushkil Mein Jeena” plays to Swarathma’s soulful storytelling strengths, incorporating a guitar solo as well as a violin solo from Sanjeev Nayak. The accompanying music video, shot in vertical format, involves not just Dixit, Nayak, Murali, bassist-vocalist Jishnu Dasgupta and drummer Joel Milan Baptist holding up lyric pages, but also their family members in the frames. “We thought of having family members somewhere in between, because during the lockdown, they were our strength and support. We thought it was the best way to represent them in this period,” Dixit says.
The vocalist explains that the idea for the music video first came from being confined to lockdown rules which prevented the band getting together. “The only way we could all shoot in a similar format and resolution was through our phones,” the vocalist-guitarist says. He does admit however, “I think sometimes many of us are lazy to make it full-screen and watch. I do it myself sometimes.”
Considering Bengaluru is one of the few major cities to have rolled back a lot of lockdown restrictions, bands like Swarathma are allowed to jam together and even record more material. Murali terms it a “bittersweet experience,” pointing out while it’s great to see your bandmates again in the same room, but it’s not the same as what it used to be. “We need to wear masks and maintain distancing. It’s a bit weird, we’ve never done this before. It’s a bit dicey but nevertheless, I’m glad and happy we’re all safe and well in this time,” he says.
While they’ve done a few livestream gigs, Murali and the band are working to figure out the best fit for them in terms of technology to broadcast out of Red Music Box Studios. Swarathma are looking to open up their services to other artists looking out for virtual gigs as well. “It’s not the same as playing an actual gig, but as a band we need to adapt to the changing times and fight the challenges instead of sitting in a corner and saying we can’t do anything. I’m glad we’re able to do that as a band,” he adds.
Stream “Mushkil Mein Jeena” below on Spotify and more platforms here. Artwork by Ekta Bharti.