Singer-songwriter from New Delhi, Vishnu Kumar is part of the alternative band May Island. Recently, he also released a solo debut EP ‘Sitting In The Same Place’. We talk to the talented musician about what he likes to write about, his EP and the possibility of performing live in the Northeast.
What got you interested in music?
When I was 12, my best friend introduced me to popular rock/metal bands from back then. I was hooked. I picked up the guitar next year and would spend hours learning my favourite songs. The two of us went on to form a metal band called IAFWAY when we were 15 or 16 and that’s when I became seriously interested in composing music.
What do you like to write about? Do you remember the first song you wrote, what was it about?
I usually write about things I’m going through at a given time. There are some themes I connect with more easily, such as finding your way as an individual or dealing with uncertainties, and I guess I end up writing about these things more often. The first song I wrote was actually just last year. This was a simple romantic song called “Memory Man”.
Something I find fascinating and want to do more is step out of my own head and write from the perspective of someone else, i.e. talk about their feelings the way I would talk about my own. That lets me tell stories I probably would not be able to imagine otherwise. I did this while I was writing songs for my current band May Island’s upcoming EP, which is also a story based-EP.
Tell us a little about your debut EP and the songs.
“Sitting In The Same Place” is my first EP as a singer-songwriter. I’ve been a guitar player for a long time and have been on the alternative metal/hardcore side of music for the most part. When I started singing, I was drawn towards an unplugged, acoustic setup.
Last year, I got down to write and compose four songs, which I released in the SISP EP. I also worked with a fantastic production team in Bombay to make my first ever music video for the title song, and that was super exciting!
How has the response been?
The response on this EP has been very positive, and I’m really happy that people have nice things to say about the music. That gets me all excited about writing and releasing more songs this year.
If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?
Easy listening, emotional and melodic
Have you heard artistes from the Northeast? Any plans of coming to the Northeast?
Of course. I had an EP launch gig at Summer House Café Delhi, where I shared the stage with singer-songwriter Taba Chake, who is originally from Arunachal Pradesh. Taba’s music has a lovely vibe, and his live set makes you want to instantly get up and sing along. I also liked Joker’s Whoop from Assam when I saw them play in Delhi. Their energy on stage is fantastic and I think they have some very catchy songs.
I’d love to play in the Northeast. It’s probably too early to say if I’ll be playing there anytime soon, but if there’s an opportunity, I’m going to be there for sure.
As told to Meeta Borah