Zain Calcuttawala aka Bulli Bainbridge is a Mumbai-based artist who stepped into the industry as an artist manager and gig programmer. Working at Blue Frog and OML, he has worked closely with artists like Megadeth, Nitin Sawhney, Imogen Heap, T-Pain, and many more. Since 2014, Zain has been recognised for his outstanding music production and sound engineering.
Zain who composes his own music is also known for producing and engineering independent musicians such as Second Sight, Bhrigu Sahni, and Raghav Meattle. Apart from this, Zain also creates catchy music for ads, mobile games and short films. ‘Marbles Lost & Found,’ Zain’s brainchild, is India’s first mental health awareness podcast. The podcast has found acclamation from Vogue Magazine and The BBC Cultural Frontline.
‘Seasons,’ his debut album released on the 13th of January, is a collaborative seven-track record powerhouse recorded after the experience of the lockdown. It houses many talented artists such as Shalmali, Trichia Grace-Ann, Bobkat, Ankit Dayal, Siddharth Basrur, and Adey and a remix by the Bombay Dub Orchestra. A complete shift in sound from his previous sound, ‘Seasons’ asks the tough existential questions. Feelings of numbness, self-doubt, grief, anger, and triumph that are part and parcel of coping with mental health issues are boldly addressed in this album. With influences of rap, R&B, and orchestral music, every track in ‘Seasons,’ features a different artist thus creating a dynamic atmosphere for the listeners. It was released under the label imprint of Bohemia Junction Ltd founded by composer/producer Andrew T. Mackay.
Starting off the album with a powerful song, ‘Sweet Stories’ is a song that talks about breaking free from wanting to fit in the box of society and the mind. The song beautifully explores human’s need to categorise things, thus celebrating the bliss of detachment. The celebratory sounds of firecrackers, trumpets and heavy drums perfectly support the catchy song that talks about unshackling from the fear of judgement.
Next in line is ‘Monochrome,’ a song that talks about finding clarity after breaking the chains of monotony. As much as we all hated the pandemic, the song also sheds light on how it helped us see that there’s more to life than a comfortable routine. The dynamic and powerful vocals of Nushious in the song are just the cherry on top of this lovely song that talks about living life colourfully.
The third song ‘The Queen,’ embodies feminine confidence. Trichia Grace-Ann’s sassy vocals are a vibe we didn’t know we needed. A roar at patriarchy in society, the track, as the name suggests has the perfect badass energy.
‘Perfectly Still,’ a total shift from the previous song asks you to search for the stillness within you. The soothing beats and meditative quality of the arrangement complement Siddharth Basrur’s voice perfectly. The bass-heavy song talks about thoughts and feelings being temporary and the permanency of the stillness within us.
‘Better Place,’ the fifth song in the album is a song that talks about finding warmth after winter. While the music and the lyrics are enchanting, Shalmali Kholgade undoubtedly steals the show in this phenomenal track.
The sixth song of the album, ‘Seasons,’ is representative of what the album talks about – mental health and its adverse effects feature two amazing artists, Ankit Dayal and Adey. Delving deep into the minds of people with mental health issues, it explores challenging emotions like anger, grief, apathy, desperation, and despair.
Closing off this epic album is ‘Do You…?’ With the ambience that makes you feel like you’re away from the world, the song is the perfect end. The distorted vocals ask questions like ‘Do you see me standing?’ ‘Do you hear me screaming?’ The song talks about the helplessness that people may experience at times.
‘Seasons,’ therefore, is an album that explores several themes in the most melodic manner possible. Housing many talented artists with Zain’s brilliant production, it perfectly captures the lockdown mindset thus making it a memorable album.