Stories that will touch your heart, on the occasion of Father’s Day we explore the lives of independent musicians, the relationship they had with their fathers and how some of them are introducing music to their own children.
Rajat Singh aka Ruhaan
Rajat Singh is an upcoming hip hop artist from Jaipur
I lost my father last month, he died of heart failure. I lost a person who loved and supported me for who I am and the only thing I’m happy about is that I had guts to confess to him about my lies and we shared a honest and close relation for these last two years.
“Like most small town, middle class families, where sons and fathers don’t share a close relationship, me and my father only talked about either my studies or sometimes about cricket, ‘what do you think, who’s gonna win today’. We couldn’t extend our conversation for more than five minutes because we didn’t have much to talk about. With time, the relation was more based on respect and fear.
When he sent me to Jaipur for preparing for the IIT entrance exam, I found my love for hip-hop music. I used to study really less and spend most of my time listening to music and writing songs. With time this became my passion and I wanted to do it professionally.
I hid from him that I’m recording and making music for over three years and the fear of giving up on music because of my father was always on top of my head.
Two years ago I thought that if I really want to do what I’m passionate about then I must talk about it to my father with as much honesty as possible. I wrote this song ‘Iqbaliya Bayaan’ for showing him what I do, the song was a confession of my lies and our relation. He called me two days after listening to the song and in that long phonecall he encouraged me so much that I felt guilty of not understanding him. I remember a dozen scenes where he’s asked his friends to subscribe my YouTube channel. I lost my father last month, he died of heart failure. I lost a person who loved and supported me for who I’m and the only thing I’m happy about is that I had guts to confess to him about my lies and we shared a honest and close relation for these last two years.”
Sambit is one India’s best young drummers and percussionists. He has been part of bands like What Escapes Me, Tajdar Junaid, The Ganesh Talkies, Noiseware, Sitar Metal and more!
When I was 2 years old, he got me tiny tablas to play because his were too big for me to play.
“My father is Pt. Subhen Chatterjee of Lucknow gharana. He is the first generation of professional musicians from our family. He has been nominated for the Grammy Awards and has his name in the Guinness Book of World Records. He touring and always practicing in home played a great impact on me as a kid. I never wanted to be a musician and he never forced me. But something happened when I was in class 8 and that decided my fate to becoming a musician. He always told me honesty and practice are two key things that keeps a musician alive. He always sat down and explained beats and songs to me, he made me listen to Deep Purple, The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Ustaad Zakir Hussain, Pt Swapan Choudhuri at the same time. He would also play folk instruments so he pretty much laid down the foundation for me to rise in. The earliest memory I have with him would be, when I was 2 years old, he got me tiny tablas to play because his were too big for me to play. And also we would sit all day in front of ChannelV or MTV and he would make me listen to bands like MrBig, RHCP and explain which is what!
He is the most humble and honest human being that I’ve come across and he’s always told me ego and over confidence are two biggest enemies for a learning musician and that should always be avoided!”
Sanjeev T is an Indian music producer, composer, singer, guitarist, and performer and the founder and chief mentor at Rainbow Bridge – a music school and production studio in Bangalore. He is most known for his work as a lead guitarist with A.R. Rahman (2005 – 2015) and played for movies like Rockstar, Delhi-6, Vinnaithandi Varuvaya, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Blue, and more. He has officially released two independent albums, Freewill (2012), Epic Shit (2013) and St. (2018).
In a country like India, where your career choices are directly related to the peace and harmony among family and extended family, my dad has truly stood his ground for me
“My father had a deep passion for music – we had a cupboard stacked with tapes/LP’s and video cassettes of live concerts in the living room. His passion became an ambition for me. He realized my love and attention for music at an early age, pushing me to be competitive and constantly improve. The early stages of learning an instrument is always tough when you’re young, especially when it’s a stringed instrument like the guitar. The years of sore fingers were definitely surpassed by the constant motivation from my dad. When it came to taking music professionally, He was the sole reason I could sustain a life in music with his constant support both financially and emotionally. And, in a country like India, where your career choices are directly related to the peace and harmony among family and extended family, my dad has truly stood his ground for me and has allowed me to be brave and take my time to make the right choices.
One of the most fondest memories I have with him would be him instructing me to learn a tune in the morning before I head to school at 12 pm everyday and playing it back to him on the phone while he was at office. On many occasions, he made his colleagues part of this routine, with them listening in and giving me their comments and words of encouragement.”
Janus Sayal is the Bassist for Sceptre, a veteran metal band which has completed 20 years in the Indian Metal Scene and who plan to release an EP in august to celebrate their 2 decades.
As my dad and family supported me to pursue my passion to play live music I will surely do the same for my child!
“After getting married at 29 and having a child, music never went on a back foot for me as my wife and family were always supportive towards me playing music and performing live with Sceptre. My child Evaan Sayal is now 7 years old and loves music. He also enjoys heavy metal and loves to headband with me in my car. He also listens to Sceptre and knows our tracks. We both enjoy listening to some common music and love playing games together.
Will also remember the day I got my first box acoustic guitar from furtados and the day I joined Sceptre. Time just flies and I have had a great live music experience and learned a lot through out these years. So to conclude this support is always required and as my dad and family supported me to pursue my passion to play live music I will surely do the same for my child!”
Tony Guinard is a French/American who came to India to work as a journalist in the summer of 2008. After meeting his future wife and landing a job in Delhi, he came back to the city in early 2009. He plays bass with The Ska Vengers and The Jass Bstards. Tony has also played with Tritha Electric, Still Dirty (a band with members of Indigo Children, Menwhopause, and fronted by writer/poet Jeet Thayil).
It felt like it (becoming a father) forced me to get my priorities straight, even as a musician.
“I knew music would take somewhat of a backseat once my child was born, and even before that, when my wife was pregnant. I don’t think I fully realised it until it became difficult to leave for a week, or even a weekend at a time. It really cleared a lot of things up, as I no longer had the luxury of wasting time, so I had to plan my schedule better, rehearse at more reasonable hours and also make sure I’m earning enough playing music, if I were to spend most of my time doing that! So in a sense, it felt like it forced me to get my priorities straight, even as a musician.
My son was quite fascinated with me playing the acoustic guitar for him when he was 6 months to a year old. I remember one time in particular when I played a fast, punk kind of riff and he was moving around and shouting excitedly. That and also him sitting quietly on my own father’s lap while he (my father) was playing the piano.”