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The Supersonics’ Lead Vocalist To Go Solo

Ananda Sen is readying his debut solo album alongwith The Mavyns’ keyboardist

Shamik Bag Apr 25, 2013
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Vivek Nair (left) and Ananda Sen Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

Vivek Nair (left) and Ananda Sen Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

Earlier in March, Ananda Sen, singer-songwriter of the Kolkata rock act The Supersonics, had a fun time under the sun in Goa. For close to a month he stayed put in a resort with friend and fellow musician Vivek Nair, keyboardist of the now defunct Mumbai band The Mavyns. Other than the intake of impressive amounts of beer and smoke, and rounds of swimming and night-long jam ups, the take-home from that trip has been a gritty determination on Sen’s part to work on his solo album. Now, Nair is expected to be in Kolkata for a few weeks between April and May to give concrete shape to the project, which is yet to be titled.

While it’s still a little unclear how the solo album will eventually play out, what Sen knows for sure is how badly he wants to do it. Other than Nair’s involvement, also certain to be part of the album are bassist Stuart Munro and guitarist Shaukat ”˜Chuku’ Ali of the Kolkata-based Saturday Night Blues Band. Other musicians from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, Sen expects, will also join in as part of the collaborative album, which is likely to be produced by the London-based Miti Adhikari, a veteran of the international music scene and now an influential backroom player in the Indian indie scene.  

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The association of The Supersonics drummer Avinash Chordia with Sen’s project ensures that half of the former band is on board too. The vocalist reiterates that The Supersonics ”” despite the many fault lines running through the band ”” will stick around and are committed to record their next second full-length album. Sen adds, “For The Supersonics album, we can only work with 10-11 tacks. But there’s a lot of other new and old unused material.”

His solo work, Sen says, are songs that didn’t make it to The Supersonics list. Those are in hundreds, mentions Sen, while running through a long list of tracks on his computer. Not involved with any other band, unlike the other members of The Supersonics, Sen has been prolific in his domain of songwriting. Those tunes need an outlet, feels Sen. “There are songs that we tried with the band, and some that we didn’t.” 

In Kolkata for a month to work on the album, Nair thinks what works for him is the “enormous amount of soul” in Sen’s music. “In Hindi we call it apnapan. In his music I find home. It’s something I like listening to and that is all the more reason I would like to be involved,” says Nair. While the album is in the blueprint stage, the duo, especially while in Goa, went over their common influences in the music of the Beatles, Dylan, the Stones and the Dead to find what Nair says is common ground. Adds Nair, “There are no external factors pushing us to do this album and we would like to do this for music’s sake.”    

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Now 31, Sen has been a musician for around 15 years. Almost all of those years, he found a collaborator in Chordia ”” a relationship that has seen them through the “comfort zones” of bands like Sound Check and The Supersonics. “I have these songs, this producer and these wonderful musicians willing to work with me,” says Sen. “It’s an opportunity I don’t want to let go. I want to push my own limits with the solo album.” 

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