“Bonzo”, a new single by popular Indian rock and roll band Parikrama’s bassist Gaurav Balani, was inspired by some gardeners beating up stray dogs. The artiste says the track touches upon violence in society in general.
“This particular single was inspired by some gardeners beating up a stray dog (Bonzo) who I was particularly attached to, for running around a park they worked at.
“Nothing really came off talking to them or even trying to resort to extreme measure because it made me realise how it was a vicious circle and that violence isn’t the answer. That’s how this song came about.
“It draws parallels between that incident and violence in our society in general.”
Balani, who has been a part of Parikrama since 2011 and has played alongside artistes like Shubha Mudgal and Aditi Singh Sharma, was yearning to put out his own music.
“I have been composing for as long as I can remember. But (couldn’t so far) mostly because the season time would usually go by with the various tour dates and the off-season would be spent doing some recreational activities or practicing the instrument or learning some new things on the bass,” he said.
All of 28, Balani is a widely travelled artiste and has been playing all sorts of instruments since he was in the fourth standard.
“I became serious about music when my family moved to the US when I was in the 10th standard,” he said, and added that he has no formal training in music apart from having taken private lessons in Boston in 2010 from the Bruno Raberg – Bass faculty head at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
He feels “it’s a great idea to launch singles, especially with the way this industry has evolved”.
Explaining why, he said: “Audiences don’t have the same attention span like they did earlier. I remember growing up listening to songs that were as long as 10 minutes. I don’t think something like that would work today unless the artiste is really big!
“Singles are safer than an album because you get to put all your effort into one track and make it as good you can imagine or better. Also, albums have a bigger responsibility and expenditure involved.”
For “Bonzo”, Balani collaborated with Florida-based vocalist Julie Hill.
“The melody and lyrics I had were manipulated (by Julie) in such a dramatic manner that the song became so big in terms of expression. I’m really glad that I was able to work with her on this track.
The strings for “Bonzo”, produced by Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor, were recorded by Randy Slaugh in Pennsylvania.
Balani says while he has spent a lot of time in the studio this summer recording his songs, he is now working on video concepts among other things.
“I’m currently working on the video for the second song that will feature the amazing Hindustani classical vocalist Ujwal Nagar (Advaita).
“I’ve been given a lot of opportunities as a musician and I want to exploit them to get better at my craft and put out work which is a true expression of who I am,” he added.