“Do you want anything to drink?”
“Okay, water will do…”
“Uhh…do you want Glucon-D with it…”Abhishu laughed.
Abhishu is a person who does not consider himself as a well-trained ‘educated’ musician. He says that he is an ‘uneducated’ songwriter. And he does not know what he is writing about. “Maybe I know after I am done, but until then….I don’t know what.”
Abhishu Rakshit grew up in one of the many Bengali families whose artistic enthusiasm carry them across the various aesthetics of music. Abhishu had his ‘only formal’ education in Rabindra Sangeet from Surangama. As his father had a transferrable job, he was soon encouraged into the Pop and the Folk Rock of the 60’s and the 70’s. Yes, The Beatles and Bob Dylan took over. This was also the time, some time in his early 20’s, around 2004, that Abhishu had started writing his own verse and chorus.
Like most youth, he was writing about what he was being told, “you know, that phase you go through, like, shob baje shob kharap. Shob palte debo…and all that…” He would claim that his work was a lot Puritanical and naive back then. “But then, I had to show my work to Dr. Sukanta Chaudhuri…” Most of us have that one person to whom we expose our most intimate work in order to push ourselves or give our work an edge. “…I was writing about war back then, and uncle asked me, ‘have you been to a war?’ I haven’t. I knew what he was talking about…Of course, I was not writing about something that I understood entirely. It was fed by the media. I was not introspecting…” And so he did introspect.
I need not tell you what our education system does to us, I most certainly need not mention what a person pursuing a career as a CA goes through. Hence, Abhishu who was at that time doing his CA was ‘sad quite a lot and wrote quite a lot.’ And hence, came up with lyrics which would remind you of being bothered with…with yourself.
“I like stuff that break the grammar, you know. I mean, form exists to be broken.” Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Maynard James Keenan, Blur, Nick Drake, were a few names which he mentioned while he was talking about form being broken and mended according to the need of the song. To him, these musicians and songwriters were talking about a subject, reality and above all ‘insecurities’. “The entire Grunge movement, you know…The depressive movement against a system, the glorified slacker mentality, economic exploitation, they were all expanding their horizon to the ground realities and I think that is what hit me.” Grunge, which is a sub-genre of alternative rock and which had emerged during the mid-1980’s, is known for chronicling pain. Bands such as Nirvana, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains were the names which had defined Grunge music. “There is a continuous action and conflict, action and conflict…”Abhishu said, while he was talking about its sensation in the mind, “It is thought provoking.”
Abhishu never seemed to be a musician with a ‘preferred single’ taste. He spoke about Radiohead and Daft Punk. “You see, these guys were giving a whole new meaning to Electronica. Electronica is not just about electronics put together to make you dance, no…it can be thought-provoking if done right. There is so much to be read in between the lines. It has its own identity.” Not only Alternative Rock, or Grunge, or Electronica; Abhishu certainly spoke about those bands which we ‘Bong’ kids grew up listening to. “Hey the bands which are so close to us, us Bangalis, Mohiner Ghoraguli…they were a major influence for me. Also the first album of Krosswindz, Poth Geche Beke...ah, it was a beautiful one!” He says that a song should be a bridge between simple words and deep thoughts.
A songwriter of an indiscriminate taste, Abhishu says that it is almost ‘Romantic to think’ that he would live the rest of his life on a guitar and a few notes. The person who is working at the Vidorea Technologies at the moment, is actually the vocalist of a band, a band which is trying to push the elements in order to increase the merits of the song. I won’t tell you the name of the band, but I would also you to not miss out on it. With a little ‘case of luck’ I was able to listen to a few of their songs, and yes the punctuated howl of the drums taking over and the continuous reminder of the restless UFO Club was a psychedelic experience in itself. “Electro Alternative Rock Pop, oi jeta ke bolbo Hyalu…” is what Abhishu came up with when I asked him about the songs.
As a guy who believes in no barrier, be it taste or preference, he wishes to perform all over the world both in English and in Bengali. Although he at times does suffer from the “composers’ death”, Abhishu Rakshit is the Winner of the first season of Maruti Suzuki Colours of Youth. Yes, he is a big deal. I hope that the band is launched very soon, as the line-up seems promising. Also, I would ask you all you definitely check out their album once it is launched. You won’t regret it.
Do check out his song on the YouTube channel Friday Night Originals. In fact, after you are done, do check out the channel. It will treat you with a lot of fresh content, and if you like it, do subscribe.