It’s 5:00am. The sky is changing its hues and the first ray for the day is just about to break out. There is complete isolation and the only sound is of the dogs barking at the crows chirping. You are just mildly shivering and a cup of hot coffee is sitting in the balcony with you in silence. And the perfect melody is playing in the background just for your ears when your mind is yet to be clouded by the white noise of the world. It’s playing just to comfort you. That is Parvaaz for me. It’s comfort.
Parvaaz is a Bangalore based band that started out in 2010. Their music is a fusion of Urdu and old poetry. Hard to decode but soothing, nonetheless. Their debut album, Baran, was highly acclaimed. Their new single, Color White, talks about the individual fighting with their egoistic self. I got a chance to interview them one sunny afternoon.
Your first memory of creating music.
The romance with music started when we were in school. We used to buy cassettes to listen to and at that age, the concept seemed intriguing and just, really cool. When I came to Bangalore for graduation, that’s when we began jamming and started creating music.
How did you come up with the name Parvaaz?
Parvaaz just came by. When we started, it was just Kashif Iqbal and Khalid Ahamed. Back in 2010, we used to perform at acoustic shows in college. After one of the performances, an organiser approached us and asked if we would like to perform. We said yes and he asked us if we had a name for our band. We had a couple of names shortlisted, Parvaaz was one amongst them. We chose that and the name just stuck. We have been Parvaaz ever since.
What was the inspiration behind Color White?
This song was written almost 2-3 years ago and was a part of our live set and was recorded this year. We recorded the beginning of the song again and decided to shoot the video in Kashmir. We shot it in January, 2017 and since the snow is white, it was quite appropriate for the song, Color White. The song itself talks about the egoistic person. It is a person fighting with their own ego.
Deconstruct your creative process.
Melody comes first. During our jam sessions, we improve upon the melody and then focus on the structure of the track. Once the melody and structure are locked in, we put the lyrics on top of that. Lyrics are usually the last to come in.
Which Indian artists do you listen to and would like to collaborate with?
Collaborate with so many. But, if we had to name a few, Indian Ocean and Blackstrat Blues.
What is your favourite line from the song and what does it mean to you, on a personal level?
The entire song is very close to us. But the words Shaman and Shamjaan are perfect.
Could you tell me more about working with the videographer and how the video came about?
Last year, around December, we came up with the idea and started writing the storyboard of it. Kashmir followed. There were two cameramen working on the drone footage, Isam Wani and Minam Wani. Raghul Sridharan was another cameramen we were working with and he took the handheld footage. We had a meeting with all of them to pitch the idea and asked them to covert it into a video. The entire video was shot in two and a half day. The temperature was -15 degrees. It was extremely cold. We would go out and shoot, come back to our huts and warm ourselves. That was the routine. It was terribly difficult but in the end, we knew that it had a good motive behind it. It was definitely worth it.
What’s next for Parvaaz?
We’ll be performing in Bangalore at The Bflat Bar on the 10th of June. Alongside, we are working on a new album. We have already written a few compositions and few tracks are already laid down. We’ll be showcasing lot of new tracks in our Bflat gig.
Text Suhani Lakhotia