Basking in the success of ‘Serenity’, Rohan Soloman busy making his next album
Singer, composer and producer Rohan Solomon came out with the music video for his single Serenity, last month. The song that talks about the importance of rest and rejuvenation has been received well by the music aficionados and laymen alike.
Making music, writing songs and singing comes naturally to him. It’s not difficult to decipher why – both his parents are singers and were members of the church choir. “In fact, my mom studied Music Hons. in Delhi University and used to sing on radio back in her day,” he says adding that prior to his birth the family had migrated back from the US to India and settled in Delhi. But they had a palpable influence of American music and movies, which rubbed on to him as well. As he says, “There were a lot of old records of artists like Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Chuck Berry and The Beatles, which were my constant companions during growing-up years,” he remarks.
His initial vocal training (informal) was in Indian Classical music, thanks to his mom who used to wake up every morning by 5 am for Riyaz. “I also used to get up at 5am and practice with her,” he says. Piano and Guitar came through self-learning initially and legendary guitar player – one of the founding members of Parikrama Sonam Sherpa later.
Rohan stepped into professional singing in 2003 when his band Cyanide played its first paid gig. “The credit for the onset of my professional journey goes to Papa Rock Amit Saigal of Rock Street Journal,” he says, informing that it was only after this gig that he went full-throttle into music releasing two solo albums, two albums with Cyanide, two EPs with two other bands, and seven singles. He is presently working on his third full-length album as a solo artist. Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us about the making of Serenity. Any reason behind shooting in Landour, Uttarakhand.
This song was written in Landour and it’s about my experience in Landour. So it just seemed apt to go and film the video there as well. I’d say we were truly able to capture the vibe and the feel of the song because of that very authenticity.
You call for a mindful slowdown in Serenity. Tell us more.
Slowing down is so important for all of us. It gives us the mental bandwidth to introspect and determine what’s really important in life. Getting busy with a daily routine is a part of life. But sometimes, when you’re stuck in a maze, the only way to actually figure out the way is to step away and take a bird’s eye view of the situation and see the path that’s destined for you and then get back and make the necessary moves to move forward on that path. For me, that place was Landour that always gave me the time and space away from life to be able to find answers. For other people, it might be some other place, that doesn’t matter. What matters is to take the time to slow down and introspect in order to be sure that we’re on the right path.
What are you working on currently? What’s next coming from you?
I’m working on some pretty exciting stuff. I’m putting together an album. Plus this is also the 20th anniversary for me as a pro-musician, so there are some cool things in the works. Some new singles and possible collaborations.
Talk to us about your association with Kiara Chettri and Aditi Iyer.
Kiara (Chettri) and Aditi (Iyer) are both so talented. My association with them has been as their producer. I was blessed to have worked with them and be able to use my experience to be able to guide the process through to help achieve their vision and make some great records.
I actually really love being a producer and audio engineer. It helps me to get outside my comfort zone and be a vessel for other artists. I’ve been so fortunate to have worked with amazing artists like Aditya Jassi, Sasha Prendes, Anderson Paak, Immortal Technique, Neel, Narco Bourgeois and many more along with the very talented young ladies such as Kiara Chettri and Aditi Iyer. I feel like having been an artist for 20 years now, it’s my duty to help tell the stories of other awesome and talented artists now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
How many hours a day do you riyaz?
About 15 minutes of vocal exercises and warm ups almost every day in the morning and also sometimes before I sleep. That keeps the vocal chords in good shape. I would play for about 30 minutes every day and sing along. It just keeps all the muscles involved in touch with the process of playing and singing. It’s very important to keep the vocal muscles nicely warmed up and worked out.
What are your other interests?
I love watching TV shows and movies. I’m a huge Star Wars and Harry Potter fan. I’m also a foodie and coffee lover. There’s nothing like that first sip of coffee in the morning to get the battery started. I’m also a Squash enthusiast. I love playing squash, I play about four days a week and do Yoga about three days a week. All this helps keep my mind, body and soul healthy and happy. I also love watching Squash and NBA and follow along in key tournaments and the playoffs (for the NBA).
Edited by Taruna Sharma