Tough times often teach something and an artiste always knows how to see beyond the crisis. Rohit Joshi, lead guitarist and lyricist of the band Swastik, too utilised the excess time granted due to pandemic as an opportunity. While he has travelled around the world with Swastik for over a decade, he had never got to work on individual music. But now, he has released an album titled Parvati, on January 16.
There are six songs in the album, including a folk song, O Meenue, shot during the lockdown in his own village Jaunsar in Uttarakhand. He says, “On my visit home, after spending 14 days in quarantine, I thought it would be the perfect place to shoot the pahari folk song. I have been living in Chandigarh for the past 14 years and I guess this was the longest that I have been at home with my family and in my village.”
Talking about the importance of knowing one’s mother tongue, he adds, “I regret that I haven’t tried hard to learn my mother tongue — Jaunsari. Even though I can understand it, I am not fluent when I speak it. Having said that, I feel blessed that we have seen technology and also how we can use it to promote our culture.”
The reopening of bars and lounges haven’t made a solid difference; he comments, “Clubs equally suffered during this time and things are still not the same as before. Right now, we are cooperating and doing acoustic gigs for the crowd. Also, making jingles and music for others has helped many artistes sustain. It has been a rough past year for everybody and things will change for better, but at the same time one should learn to live with the pandemic. Furthermore, one should get some health insurance and also save.”
Coming up with another solo album very soon, as Rohit feels inspired by Nepali music and believes it has a lot of scope. He spent his New Year in Himachal, shooting for the song Sifar for his upcoming album; he adds, “The next album is about different feelings. Indie music has come very far from the days we started out, but artistes need to be more prolific. The more you put your work out there, the more you get noticed.”