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See Mumbai Singer-Songwriter Omkar Pandit Dance in A Forest with A Tambourine In ‘Highway Lights’ Video

The track is the artist’s debut release

David Britto May 12, 2021

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Omkar Pandit. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Growing up, Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Omkar Pandit drew influences from Bollywood songs while also soaking in tunes by bands such as Radiohead, the National, Vampire Weekend, Beach Boys and Beach House. “I was mostly listening to hipster stuff [and] A.R. Rahman and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy were my absolute favorites, back when movies had full music albums,” he says. A stint in Canada broadened his musical horizons to the North American indie scene that caught his fancy. Now, Pandit has taken bits and pieces from the music he adores and put it into his melancholic debut single “Highway Lights.”  

The musician penned the song in 2019 after completing his Masters in Sustainable Development in Bengaluru. He says, “When I came back to Mumbai I kind of felt lost on the highway.” Pandit adds, “[I] had a broken relationship, and left my job there. Didn’t know where I was going.” At the time, the artist would jam with a friend when he came up with the intro to what would eventually become “Highway Lights.” He says, “Then I basically wrote the song in one night.”

Through the track, Pandit sings about fears of the unknown and being alone. “The song reconciles my fears with the hope that wherever I go, the highway or the road will always remain and there is comfort in that thought for me.” The song is filled with an indie rock retro vibe with jangly guitars a well as hints of synthpop while Pandit’s moody vocals add to the experience. Pandit recorded his keyboard parts at his home while he tracked vocals at the city-based Island City Studios. Singer-songwriter duo Second Sight’s Pushkar Srivatsal performed guitars as well as produced and mixed the song whereas musician Ralph Menezes added bass parts to it. Shivang Kapadia played drums on the track and it was mastered by London-based Nick Burchall from Audio Animals.

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The song’s accompanying video – directed by Mihir Salvi – sees Pandit performing the track in a goofy and absurd manner while driving on open roads and even dancing with a tambourine in a forest. He says, “I wanted the video to somewhat subvert expectations because the song had a melancholy vibe.”

With about three more songs to be released later this year, Pandit plans to explore synthpop and lo-fi music juxtaposed with his pop sensibilities. There’s also a collaboration with Second Sight’s Anusha Ramasubramoney in the works.

Watch the video for “Highway Lights” below:

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