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Surat Rockers Journey to Nowhere Soar on Debut EP ‘Rihaa’

The four-piece band experiment with prog elements, synths and more across the six-track record

David Britto Dec 01, 2020

Surat rockers Journey to Nowhere. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

While musicians such as bassist Jeet Pathak, vocalist-keyboardist Mihir Bagdawala, guitarist Nandish Chorawala and drummer Niklesh Mavapuri were all playing in Bollywood cover bands and teaching at music schools in Surat, they felt a void as artists. Bagdawala says, “Each of us were individuals with no real drive.” That’s when they decided to band together in 2017 and form experimental rock outfit Journey to Nowhere as a way to let their creative juices flow. “We formed because we wanted to make our own music. That was the sole motivation,” the vocalist adds.

The idea of setting a record in place came about in 2018 once the band felt they could write their own music, not just for themselves but also for listeners to connect to. They packed their gear and headed to the mountains in Himachal Pradesh to refine their sound and began putting the puzzle to their music together. Recently, they released their debut six-track skyrocketing EP Rihaa.

According to the band, the songs on the EP are an extension of the title track. “The pain and angst of our experiences poured into the lyrics,” says Bagdawala. Over the course of 22 rousing minutes and genres including alternative, psychedelic, post and indie rock, the record covers acoustic spoken word by Claudia Parapara (“Esperanza (Prelude)),” sublime heaviness (“Raah”), dynamism (“Bolo”), eerie rock (“Khoj”), guitar solos galore (“Azaad”) and the midtempo title track. The vocalist adds, “The songs signify the journey from frustration and shackles to freedom and belonging. Revant Shergill, the lyricist for the songs, managed to translate what we were thinking into really apt lyrics.”

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Due to the pandemic, the recording process for Rihaa was slowed down. However, the band persevered and under the watchful eye of recording engineer Gaurav Kapadia, tracked a majority of the EP at Surat’s Studio Fifty-Three studio while they also worked on it at Mortar Sound. Lucky Sharma mixed the songs and Anurag Singh mastered them.

With the world slowly opening up again, Journey to Nowhere is looking for opportunities to begin performing their material live. Simultaneously, the band members are also working on their solo projects too. Bagdawala says, “We are collaborating with each other and other local musicians with the hope that we can create a good enough scene of independent music in our city.” He adds, “We are hoping that with each release, individually and as a band, we can expand our horizons in terms of the soundscape that we are trying to traverse.”

Stream ‘Rihaa’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.