Bhargav Talukdar and Writam Changkakoti, also known as BNW, were part of a now defunct progressive metal band called ‘Chamber’. Whilst there, Bhargav recorded a solo track called ‘What Money Can Say’, which featured three musicians including Writam, Dishankan Baruah and Sun Singha (all from Chamber). Later, after the band had disbanded, in December 2013, Bhargav approached Writam with a rough idea to produce his new song. ‘We ended up doing the whole track within a day and uploaded the track titled ‘What If’ on SoundCloud ‘. A few months after its release, the two decided to form a duo. ‘We would call ourselves Bhargav and Writam for a while, but somehow we were not satisfied with the name. Once, while we were having a discussion on this matter, my cousin Priyam was present. He suggested that we could shorten the name and stylistically write ‘BNW’. We liked the idea, and finally came up with this name.’
Writam is a full-time musician. He composes, arranges and produces music and also keeps doing live gigs with other bands and artistes. Bhargav, on the other hand, works as a music teacher.
Share with us the journey of the band since its first stage appearance. Also when did the band perform for the first time?
BNW, since its formation, was aimed at being more of a studio project than a live band. That’s how it was for around two years. In September 2016, we made our first public appearance at a pub. Since then, we have mostly been performing at pubs. Though, once we did perform at Goodstock this year.
Share with us the experience of the making of the band’s first album.
We started working for our debut album in 2014 and after Bhargav had gone to Bangalore to pursue his master’s degree, we continued working during the semester breaks. We were done recording our demo tracks in July 2015, but as both of us were in our final year of post-graduation, we had to take a year off to focus on our studies. After Bhargav’s return from Bangalore, we sat down and decided to finalize the production, and we also got into rearranging and modifying many of the tracks with recent ideas that struck us. Finally now, we are done producing the tracks and are set to launch our album on 30th July.
What can we expect from the upcoming album? Will it introduce the listeners to a new dimension of the band?
All the songs have different tastes all together. We have tried to make each song different from each other. Besides doing the programming, we have used acoustic guitar, keyboards and piano, which are prominent instruments throughout most of our songs. We also incorporated slide guitar, though it was actually played on an acoustic guitar and processed with distortion. Electric guitar and bass guitar were also used in a few tracks, and two of our tracks also feature a Ukulele. Besides, we have also used samples of different Indian instruments like tabla, flute and tanpura.
Our album will be an amalgamation of both acoustic and electronic music. And we hope the listeners will have a good time listening to our album.
What are the perks of recording with a home studio set up?
No studio charges, and we get more freedom in a home studio setup. Also, we get enough time to experiment/try out different ideas.
A principle/opinion/choice/goal which keeps the band together?
Our ideas in music coincide, and we both try and give each other creative independence. Besides, we are good friends, and have a great time working and performing together. And these we believe, keep us together.
Dream venue/festival that the band wants to play in?
Well, it may sound funny, but we haven’t thought much about it. We have been more focussed on our debut album and the gigs we keep doing. So maybe, we will think about it eventually.
Major threats/problems that the band faces or might face.
Getting exposure is one major problem. Also, it’s difficult to find sponsors who would want to invest in our work. Sponsors are more into commercial music –mainstream music. English music out here is yet to gain that position. Also, finding the right kind of listeners for our work. These are not issues only what we face, but most independent bands/artistes face them.
What are the future plans of the band?
Firstly, we want to keep doing music and be heard by more and more listeners. The rest, let’s see.
By Mrinal Paul