It is surprising to note that singer/songwriter Amartya Ghosh‘s stint with music started only after he witnessed a live gig in his home town, Jamshedpur. If it hadn’t been for those musicians from Calcutta who had performed at the event, we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to see (or rather hear) Amartya embrace his musical side and make a mark in the local music circuit, like he has, with his debut EP – Broken Compass.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you thought about pursuing music?
Well, I grew up in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and I’ve been living in Delhi for the last four years. Jamshedpur is a pretty small town and there aren’t a lot of professional musicians around. It wasn’t until I saw some musicians from Calcutta perform at a local event in Jamshedpur that I began to dream of my own career in music. Me and my friends put together a band and played wherever we could. Once we stated taking things seriously, a couple of us decided to go to Calcutta for lessons and that’s where I saw/met more musicians. I started writing music as an outlet for everything that I was learning. Then I came to Delhi in 2013 and that opened a lot of new doors for me. I had a few more songs now and soon I had a band. There were songs that didn’t quite fit in with the band and that’s how the solo project started. A year into the solo project, the band broke up and I graduated from college. This gave me a lot of time by myself and eventually led to Broken Compass.
Tell us more about the EP and the songs. What is your song writing process like?
The EP has six songs and all six of them were written in different times. Lone Dancer, which is the last track on the EP and is one of my oldest songs. I’d say it has a mellow vibe to it. I’m happy that I picked the songs I did because it has made this EP very diverse. The songs go from contemplative moody songs to love songs and there’s even one about food!
You can always tell when a song has been written just to put a name to a musical idea, and there’s nothing wrong with that but I try not to do that. Songs are very effective tools for expressing oneself and that how I like to use them. Each song I write is a memoir of the time and place I write it in and more importantly of how I felt at that moment. I shelf musical ideas that don’t go with what I feel like expressing and pull out old ones if they match.
Why did you name your debut EP ‘Broken Compass’?
Broken Compass is a reference to one of the songs on the EP – Explorers. Explorers is about losing one’s way but somehow keeping hope alive. It deals with love and the love for being lost. I wrote this song when I was living by myself and I desperately wanted to take my music somewhere but I didn’t know where to start. I felt that naming my debut EP after this song was a good idea and I went with it!
One song that you can listen to on repeat all day
Tough call between 2+2 = 5 by Radiohead and Jesus the Mexican Boy by Iron and Wine
When you are not making music or performing or practicing, what do you do with your time?
I can sleep a LOT! I like to follow period dramas, eat food from restaurants that are hard to find and paint empty wine bottles when I feel like it!
Any plans of playing gigs in Northeast India?
Well, the first thing I did after the finishing the EP was getting a band together. I guess the next logical step is to take it to as many places as we can. So Yes, Yes and Yes!