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Tajdar Junaid Calls on Blackstratblues For Stirring Instrumental Track ‘Reach Out’

Among India’s ace guitarists and composers, the longtime friends release a studio collaboration for the first time

Anurag Tagat Sep 08, 2021

Tajdar Junaid (left) with Warren Mendonsa aka Blackstratblues at NH7 Weekender in Bengaluru in 2013. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Between rock bands like Cognac and SPAN in Kolkata and Zero in Mumbai, Tajdar Junaid and Warren Mendonsa aka Blackstratblues cemented their place as the most soulful guitarists in the Indian indie space since the early 2000s.

After more than a decade of friendship that’s seen them perform together for festivals, all-star gigs and charitable causes alike, Junaid and Mendonsa have collaborated on a new track called “Reach Out.” The wordless, beatless guitar conversation between the two greats was written during the lockdown by Junaid with the intention of “reaching out” to loved ones.

Junaid adds in a statement, “It was a difficult period. I wrote the piano and string parts and recorded my guitar in Calcutta.” He wrote to his old friend Mendonsa soon after, asking if he’d like to be a part of the track. “He added his wonderful guitar parts and harmonized a few lines of mine. The music flowed very easily and wanted to communicate the feeling that ‘everything will be alright in the end,’” Junaid adds. The song is the guitarist-composer’s first independent release since his 2013 debut album What Colour Is Your Raindrop.

Fresh off the release of his new album Hindsight Is 2020, Mendonsa said in his statement, “Taj is one of my oldest musical buddies, and I relish any opportunity to collaborate with him. Though we have guested with each other’s live projects many times, I believe this is the first time the both of us have recorded together. It turned out so well, it led me to wonder — what took us so long?”

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The song is accompanied by a trippy visual created by New York animation artist Jason Ting. Junaid says about the music video, “I wanted to have movements, flow and visceral images and I was in touch with a few animators, coders and artists. [Jason’s] work is very ethereal. He got the vibe for the song immediately and it took us about three months to complete the video.”

Watch the video for “Reach Out” below. Stream the song here.

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