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Singer-Songwriter Tejas Plots Debut Album ‘Make It Happen’

The Mumbai-based artist talks about why he’s turning to crowdfunding and tweaking his sound

David Britto Aug 03, 2016
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Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Tejas Menon. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Tejas Menon. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Brexit effect, of all things, jinxed Mumbai singer-songwriter Tejas Menon’s chances of getting his upcoming album Make It Happen funded by a UK label. But Menon doesn’t feel the least bit slighted. Instead, he’s turning to crowdfunding for the follow-up to his 2014 EP Small Victories, to see just how much support he can get from not just his musician friends, but also the average indie fan. “I think it’s kind of a good thing because the album always felt community-based. I was writing it more about myself in the context of a group of people and how I feel being placed in a fraternity of musicians and artists.”

Due in January 2017, Menon’s crowdfunding attempt is not just about acquiring the money. He says, “I could get the money, but it will probably take me way longer.”  For Menon, who has become a hit for being that sort-of-awkward-but-funny singer-guitarist who loves his acoustic pop-rock ever since he began performing in 2011, the concept for crowdfunding is more about getting people invested in his work. He says, “The moment you put down money for something, you are automatically going to pay attention to updates.”

With a target set at Rs. 2,00,000, Menon specifically says the funds are “to only fund the album, not the design, not the promotion.” He adds, “I will be looking at the next couple of months to fund all of that myself.” A pitch video is slated to go online at the end of the month, and the campaign is set to launch on Wishberry, which has previously hosted the likes of Bengaluru psychedelic rock band Parvaaz and Mumbai-based electronica artist Sandunes. Menon is yet to finalize details of how long the campaign will run and the flexibility of the project.

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Make It Happen will be produced by Menon himself and recorded at Cotton Press Studio in Mumbai next month. The 10-track album will feature guitarist Jishnu Guha, bassist Adil Kurwa [from alt rockers Last Remaining Light], percussionist and keyboardist Aalok Padhye and drummer Jehangir Jehangir [best known for their work with jam band Something Relevant].

“The album is about a lot of thoughts I’ve been having over the last couple of years and is a spiritual sequel to Small Victories,” says Menon. The song “Foresight,” co-written with vocalist Heather Andrews will be making the album. Menon says the songs on the album are in the context of him thinking of other people. “There’s a song about my mom and a song about my dad,” says Menon.

Sonically, Menon wants to be like a proper pop musician and not set any limits on instrumentation and genre spaces. “If a song needs an electronic element I’m going to put that in, if it requires a hard-core rock kind of thing I’m going to put some heavy guitars on that.” He adds, “I’m not going to be restricted to what I can do as a musician but mostly what the song requires.”

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