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Singer-Songwriter Tushar Vashisht and Producer Raghu Ramasubramanian Get Nostalgic on ‘Kahaani’

The Bengaluru-based entrepreneur was also part of a cappella group Penn Masala

Anurag Tagat Mar 10, 2021

Bengaluru-based singer-songwriter Tushar Vashisht. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

This past weekend, classically trained singer and composer Tushar Vashisht got back on stage after a long gap, to perform on home ground in Bengaluru, opening for pop stalwart Lucky Ali, no less. “It was absolutely fantastic. What made it special was that it was a beautiful venue, the amphitheater at UB City, so you get to see the audience all around you. The sun was setting as well. It was good to see people again in a communal, joint experience,” Vashisht says.

Nearly two decades ago as a student at University of Pennsylvania, Vashisht was part of acclaimed vocal group Penn Masala between 2005 and 2007, writing and featuring on their album Pehchaan. He says, “The last 10 to 15 years have been different with work – first as a banker, then I helped [tech entrepreneur] Nandan Nilekani on the Aadhar project and for the last 10 years, I’ve been running [wellness and health platform] HealthifyMe. It’s taken up most of my energy. But I kept writing songs every two or three years and put it up on YouTube. I was the go-to singer for my friends and family.”

It was only in early 2020 that Vashisht was spurred on to put out his music, when he met producer, guitarist and bassist Raghu Ramasubramanian at an edition of secret gig series Sofar in Bengaluru. It’s led to the creation of Vashisht’s debut solo offering, “Kahaani.” Leaning heavily on nostalgia, love and hummable vocal harmonies, Ramasubramanian makes folksy acoustic rock as the foundation for Vashisht’s musing lyrics.

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The singer says about Ramasubramanian, “He’s a great producer. He’s able to stitch an entire well-sounding track around my words. We fight a lot and really inspire each other as well. It’s very collaborative.” Vashisht also brought on “old friend” and producer-keyboardist Anindo Bose (from New Delhi fusion acts Advaita as well as Shadow and Light) to mix and master the song.

With his business more solidified and set, Vashisht is plotting out more material, including a track called “Udd Jaa Re” with Ramasubramanian. Vashisht adds, “I’m looking forward to collaborating with many other musicians along the way and really build an unique sound – one that uses elements of our own classical music, adds in Sufi and flavors of India but then takes a global fusion outlook to it, with elements of rock, jazz, blues. I’m looking forward to that experiment.”

Stream “Kahaani” below. 

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