Sidd Coutto: ‘I’m Just Making Music for Myself’
The seasoned Mumbai-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist talks about his new EP ‘Glow,’ 25 years in music and more
Over the last 25 years, Mumbai-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sidd Coutto has done it all. He sat behind the drum kit for indie rock stalwarts Zero, fronted bands such as Helga’s Fun Castle and Tough on Tobacco, teamed up with guitarist Randolph Correia aka Func to form electro-rock band Laptop, performed extensively as a solo artist and more importantly has been a torchbearer for the music scene in India. Ask him about a moment that stands out from the last quarter of a century? He says, “40 images popped into my head and just the feeling of joy.” Coutto adds, “There are amazing gigs with thousands of people, when you record something great, when a new band pops out and when you write a great hit song, so many moments.”
Now, Coutto is out with brand new music. He recently released a three-track EP titled Glow, the first of 12 EPs he plans on putting out over the course of the year. With material dating back to 2008, Coutto explains that for the longest time he didn’t feel the need to put his music out. Some of the factors for this was due to the changing landscape within the music scene. He says, “I felt out of place.” However, with the way the world has evolved due to the pandemic, Coutto is less disarranged and just wants to make and release music for himself. “I’m 41 years old now. If you like my music, great. If you don’t like my music, great,” says the artist.
The easy-going Glow revolves around the theme of love and opens with the jolly title track before we hear the passionate “You And Me.” The record closes on a more melancholic note with “Stay With Me.” Talking about the songs, Coutto says, “I like to paint pictures that are really simple, but you can then paint yourself into that picture. Because I leave it open, as vague as possible. It’s more about the emotions in the event.” He further adds, “Love isn’t the perfect picture of happiness.” Produced by Coutto himself, Glow quite brilliantly bursts with well-arranged instrumental sections, catchy and hummable melodies, sing-along parts as well as the musician’s dynamic vocals.
The other EPs that are to come out later this year include music styles such as reggae, ballads, blues and more. The records set to follow immediately after Glow include the pop-rock-sounding Deux which will include vocalists Manasi Scott, Anushka Manchanda and Aditi Singh Sharma while Sow will see Coutto get a bit heavier and rock out with his electric guitar. Other guests across the records include keyboardist/bassist Suresh Mendoza, multi-instrumentalist Jose Neil Gomes and drummer Suyash Gabriel. Coutto says, “I’m going to do even less playing over the next year because I’m trying to delegate, trying not to be so rigid and hands-on with everything.” He adds, “For two reasons: One, I get different ideas and sounds from different people, and two, it gives me more time to work on other things.”
Away from the EPs, Coutto is also putting together an all-star lineup to record his humorous track “The Mayans Know,” which is about the world ending in 2012 and includes the melody from the popular masala song titled “Ya Ya Mayaya.” It’s set to feature electro-rockers Pentagram’s Shiraz Bhattacharya on percussion, multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale handling tabla duties, bassist Nathan Thomas aka NATE08 (of live electronica duo Drum Ani Bass), the 50-piece Salvation Singers choir and more. Coutto jokes, “I think that I’ll break the record for the most amount of star performers on a chutiya song.”
Stream ‘Glow’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.