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Utsavi Jha Channels Blues Rock on New Single ‘Picnic’

The Mumbai singer-songwriter’s sophomore single comes a few months after her debut release ‘Amsterdam / Thousand Miles’

David Britto Feb 11, 2021

Mumbai singer-songwriter Utsavi Jha. Photo: Vatsal Shah/Sushant Kulshrestha

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Once her debut dream pop single “Amsterdam / Thousand Miles” was released this past November, Mumbai singer-songwriter Utsavi Jha began writing more material. While she’s been busy working on five singles simultaneously, Jha says, “It’s crazy coordinating so many songs with their obstacles, requirements and timelines but I’m trying to manage them all because I want to put the music out.” The artist is now out with her latest offering, the blues-rock track titled “Picnic.”

Jha penned the new song after she had an epiphany while receiving exciting news. At that moment the singer-songwriter found herself not to be gleaming with excitement but just casually taking it in. She told herself, “This is good but Utsavi don’t feel too happy because someday like everything else what if this too goes away? Then you’d be a fool to have felt happy.” As frustration crept in, Jha realized she couldn’t let the patterns of dealing with happiness in such a detrimental manner get to her and put her feelings down in a song. “I thought about all the small and big fears that bothered me,” she says.

The musician decided to take the song into a blues-rock direction after consuming plenty of the genre last year while also tuning into ace guitarist Ehsaan Noorani’s clips of him playing blues licks on Instagram. “He [Noorani] once said on a livestream that musicians should listen to diverse music they wouldn’t normally to enrich their musicality which made me want to experiment and create ‘Picnic.’” Jha admits that writing a blues song was intimidating at first, however, after feeling the intensity and passion of the genre, she powered through. She says, “Writing a blues song seemed ambitious, but I am glad I could while also having fun.”

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“Picnic” opens with rustic guitar stabs and a strong drum groove as Jha throws in her steamy vocals and channels some of the greats such as Janis Joplin and Beth Hart while musician Anurag Kamle floats about beautifully with his saxophone parts. The song was produced, mixed and mastered by Mumbai rockers The Koniac Net’s guitarist Jason D’Souza. As the sessions were done remotely, Jha recorded her vocals in her bedroom. She says, “This was my first time working with a music producer and Jason too. But through working and reworking, additions and subtractions, we landed on the feel I had in mind for the song, thanks to Jason.”

As Jha preps to release more songs, in English and Hindi, she also wants to expand the visual element to her music and work with more videographers, photographers and storytellers. “I will try to keep conceptualizing ways to create as coherent a universe for each song as I can, so people have context,” she says.

Watch the lyric video for “Picnic” below and stream the song on other platforms

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