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Exclusive Premiere: Vinay Kaushal’s New Single ‘Is It Sunny?’ Comes to Life with An Elegant Pole Dance

The Pune guitarist also enlists vocalist Shakthisree Gopalan on the jazz-pop track

David Britto Dec 18, 2020

Dancer Nupur Chaudhuri in a still from the video for "Is It Sunny?" Photo: Kaustubh Joshi

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Just over a month on from releasing his stirring single “Reality Check,” featuring Mumbai vocalist Siddharth Basrur, Pune guitarist Vinay Kaushal is now out with his latest offering, the chic “Is it Sunny?” The new track stemmed from an acoustic guitar progression Kaushal stumbled upon during the lockdown. He says, “I instantly heard the chords reflect a very melancholic mood.”

With his wife Uma Athale adding poignant lyrics to the song, Kaushal brought on board singer Shakthisree Gopalan to feature on the track. “We had a blast doing this remotely,” says the guitarist. Gopalan adds, “Working remotely lent itself to elements of surprise due to the nature of the workflow and luckily it was all good surprises on our journey with this song.”

Right from the get-go, “Is it Sunny?” instantly feels like a beautiful earworm. The bright acoustic guitar flavors and Gopalan’s luscious vocal textures sit perfectly together. Canada-based musicians; drummer Agneya Chikte and upright bass player Samuel Fitzpatrick provide a tight rhythm section. Kaushal says, “Sam and Agneya drove 100 miles across Canada to use a private recording set up as it was the peak lockdown, and no studios were open.” The guitarist even adds a bluesy solo to the mix to give the song a lift.

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According to Kaushal, the song is an homage to women jazz vocalists such as Nina Simone and Norah Jones while also being a gentle reflection on current times and what it’s like to miss people you care about. “It touches all those aspects; on fond memories, insecurities and simply just wanting to be with them,” says the artist. 

The accompanying video for “Is It Sunny?” is an elegant and graceful choreographed pole dance featuring Nupur Chaudhuri. Kaushal explains that dance as an artform visually makes music an interesting experience. He says, “Pole dancing has had negative connotations attached to it for a long time. What people don’t realize is the amount of work that goes into it and how physically strong you have to be.” The guitarist adds, “Nupur is an old friend and I’ve always admired her dedication to fitness and pole art. When we were thinking about this video she immediately came to mind.”

Shot at Pune’s Gray Spark Audio by Kaustubh Joshi, the video also features footage of Kaushal and Gopalan performing the track interspersed with Chaudhuri’s dance. The vocalist filmed her parts in Chennai with the help of artist/videographer Toby Joseph.

Next, Kaushal has more singles and collaborations lined up for 2021. There’s going to be a dark jazz song as well as an instrumental guitar-centric track coming up. The musician is also currently working on music for short films. As for Gopalan, the singer has been chipping away at her forthcoming EP. She says, “I’m super excited about it.”

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Watch the video for “Is It Sunny?” below:

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