It all started in Kolkata and I eventually wound up in Mumbai, says singer-songwriter and arranger Joel Mukherjee. Having traversed the breadth of the nation in the past year and the breadth of music since childhood,Mukherjee sums up his experiences in an album titled Chala Chal,which will be unveiled at Hard Rock Cafe,Koregaon Park,on Thursday.
Chala Chal also gives a glimpse of my experiences in Bollywood, says Mukherjee,adding,The song that exemplifies the spirit of the album is the title track. The album is trilingual with songs written in English,Bengali and Hindi. What inspired me to write these songs was hardships that young musicians like me have to go through in this country to establish themselves as professional musicians, says Mukherjee.
Through his music,he seeks to take the listener through a ride of emotional ups and downs. On being asked what genres he has dabbled with in his album,Mukherjee says,As a musician,I am not genre-specific. I have grown up in a musical environment since my father is a composer and my mother a classical singer. I am also trained in grade-8 western classical guitar, says Mukherjee
He adds,Also,I have been listening to music from various genres. But if I have to take names,I have been greatly inspired by Sting and John Mayer,who have lent to my music a contemporary feel. As far as genres are concerned,blues,jazz and western classical music have made an impression on him,all of which are evident in his music. All of the above influences have been fused with events from my life and Im sure listeners will be able to connect to the music easily, he says.
Life has been busy for Mukherjee since he arrived in Mumbai. I have worked with Amit Trivedi for Bombay Talkies,Ghanchakkar,Lootera and his upcoming project,Queen. I have also been working with Pritam on projects such as Phata Poster Nikla Hero and Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, says Mukherjee. He adds that he composed background tracks with both directors and also sang and arranged for them. Alongside Bollywood projects,I have also been composing tunes for ads, he says.
Despite his commercial projects,Mukherjee feels there should be a platform for independent musicians in India,moving away from Bollywood that has monopolised the music scene. I have started a music label in Kolkata called Whitekeys Production. We assist young musicians in finding a platform. Especially through the production process,which is the costliest, says Mukherjee.
Joel Mukherjee will perform at Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday,September 12,8 pm onwards