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Music thrills from the hills

THE STORY OF HIS LIFE Is in his music. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

THE STORY OF HIS LIFE Is in his music. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.  

Blues enthusiast Aditya Manral gives insight on why a visit to the hills is important for every artiste

Singer-songwriter and blues enthusiast Aditya Manral may come across as a regular musician —talkative with eyes gleaming with enthusiasm. It is when he picks up his guitar and starts strumming a song that real magic happens. This wizard of music from the hills of North India touches your heart with music. Born in Lucknow and trending in Mussoorie, the young artiste with an infectious smile and a guitar tattooed on his arm was in the music capital recently.

The blues enthusiast who blends Hindi and Western soundscapes made soul ties with Bengaluru during his visit. Here’s what he shares with MetroPlus about his journey.

Aditya was in advertising before he took off on his musical trip. “After two years I decided I couldn’t do it anymore and went to Missouri. I moved to a school and became a dorm parent. For the last five years I’ve been handling high school boys and loving everything about the hills. The quietness there is something you miss when you live in the city. Life in the hills also changes perspective and now I’m on a path where my music is leading me.”

On how his journey began, Aditya says music has always been around him. “Even when I was in college, I had a band. I eventually moved to the hills to dedicate more time to music and over the five years, I had time to work on my skills as a singer-songwriter. Living there has inspired me in a lot of ways to become a better musician and find my music. The passion has always been there but I had more time to focus in the hills. I would encourage every artiste to give the hills a try.”

To best describe his sound, Aditya says though he composes Western and Hindi songs, his music is largely his own. “I’m very blues inspired. Most of my original compositions are reflections of my own life and journey as well as things I’ve experienced in my life on the hills. While I enjoy singing blues, it’s really hard to categorise my music. I’d rather call it the story of my life.”

At the heart of his music, “It’s just me. I’ve understood that any form of art has to be an honest reflection and connect with people. The whole point of writing something that means something to me and being honest is what my music is about.”

Aditya loves to talk. “I do a lot of talking and in every gig I do, I talk about myself, my journey and the inspiration I’ve drawn from the hills. I share stories about why I wrote a song and how I’ve come to where I am so my audiences understand my music better.”

A project that means a lot to Aditya is a music festival he’s been working on in the hills. “It’s called the Big Gig. I felt this is the time I should push it as a singer-songwriter, come out of the small bubble in the hills and step into the world. By exposing myself and reaching out to people, I can help take the festival forward. It’s a small celebration in the hills and a must visit for anyone who loves music.”

“I’m just stepping into the scene,” says the 29-year-old. “As an outsider, the whole indie industry is very welcoming and united. There is always a helping hand. Even in Bangalore I had a really good time. It’s a great feeling to come across people who are ready to help others and support musicians.”

On his perspective of Bengaluru, Aditya says: “The Bangalore scene is very evolved. I’ve travelled across metros and I’ve been meeting loads of artistes. But I haven’t found such an evolved scene anywhere else. Arts are very much appreciated in Bangalore. People and venues are conscious to promote arts and supporting artistes. It’s a very easy-going and friendly city.”

To fellow musicians, he appeals to them to be honest. “You need to find yourself. You don’t need to imitate people. If it’s not my art, then I’m not creative. Evolve your own style and signature and give your music your own reflection.”

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 1:48:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/music-thrills-from-the-hills/article6799153.ece

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