Music is one of the best forms of expression, be it emotions, certain feelings, conveying personal stories, sharing ideologies, or just curating something that everyone finds relatable. Lyrics are often necessary to convey what’s intended to convey, something that one might term as the most important and structural form of a track, something that makes a piece meaningful. On the other hand, the music/instrumentals are used to support by creating an atmosphere, complimenting the lyrics, and often just to make stuff ‘vibey’. But what if I told you the same music can be used to voice the intended thoughts and channel the feelings?
From the city of Indore, a six-year-old kid started gaining a keen interest in classical music and later began practicing it. Classical Music lies in the heart of India. The sound, although old in terms of the genres we have today, is the mother of all types and styles of music, and B-Leaf understood this at a very tender age. After being exposed to newer forms of music, having been to shows, and experienced other genres, B-Leaf has had the intuition of fusing sounds inculcated into him.
When asked about his idea behind the rather quirky name, the artist had a very beautiful explanation, “B-leaf is short for a banana leaf. The reason behind me going by this name for my artistic persona is because it holds an emotional connection to my childhood. I remember visiting my grandfather’s farms and it is very nostalgic for me. I hope to express the same feeling through my music. Banana leaf became B-Leaf cause everyone should believe in something and hustle for it. For me that is music.”
At present, the artist is based in Virginia, US. He has released three albums and four EPs, with several other singles and features. The artist has a way of expressing himself through music. He is no less than a storyteller, the only condition is that sounds and instruments speak for him. He refers to his guitar as his second vocalist and emphasizes how important sounds are in his pieces. A classic example of this is his electric guitar piece on ‘Dry Spell’, a track from Karun’s album ‘Qabool Hai’. Arguably one of the artist’s best solos, The effect the instrumental piece had was prominent throughout the track. Another noteworthy track is Avarnaniya, In collaboration with a few like-minded artists, B-Leaf aims at narrating a story through sounds. The track has no lyrics, only a pretext of what makes an optimist lose hope in altruism. Conveyed through vocal samples and instruments, the track expects you to find the intended meaning.
We had a conversation with B-Leaf regarding two of his remarkable projects, Saalgirah and Chandra Kalaayein. The projects are paramount to the artist, both in terms of personal significance and his artistry. “I’m turning 28 this year and everything I’ve experienced in my life, be it ecstasy, love, or depression among other things is defined by 15 songs. These 15 songs are grouped into two albums and a concluding single.”
Diving deeper into Saalgirah, released in the early summer of 2022, B-Leaf said, “After recovering from depression and finding a new way to move forward in life, I decided to make an album talking about what I learned from this dark phase. I called it Saalgirah because I wanted to celebrate this album like an anniversary, reminding myself that it’s the moments that make and break me, that ultimately define the person I am.”
Although Saalgirah was seemingly a complete body of expression, it lacked the essence of love. B-Leaf believes that love is a vast topic, and this aspect needs and deserves much more attention than he could afford in the previous projects. “Thus Chandra Kalaayein was born. A sequel to Saalgirah that just speaks about love and my adventures with it, Chandra Kalaayein compares love to the phases of the moon.” The conclusion to these albums was a single named ‘Samay ko Bhi’, B-Leaf further explained saying, “It’s a humble reminder that everything changes with time and we keep moving forward no matter what.”
Earlier this year, B-Leaf also released a very light-hearted and different than his usual EP, “Bhabhi Hunter”, in collaboration with Darzi. The EP was thematically quite comical and displayed a diversity in his discography. He also released ‘Pachaas Baatien’ a couple of months ago. The track is his 50th song and features beautiful solos, with references to his past projects and tracks.