“If I can say I’ve truly done one thing in life I’m really proud of, it’s this album”, says singer-songwriter Tejas on his recently released full-length album, ‘Make It Happen’.
“I wanna know what people think when you make an unabashed, straight-up, pop-album”, says the 28-year old artist. The sonic progression from his 2014’s debut release, ‘Small Victories’ is hard to ignore. While that EP was charmingly fresh, ‘Make It Happen’ is a statement by an artist who has clearly honed his craft. Even with a pop-sound at the core, the album does explore various genres like Funk, RnB, Rock and Folk, making it all the more richer. Tejas credits this to the knowledge he has garnered over the last two years as a professional musician, which enabled him to have a firmer creative control on the fabrication of his current release.
“I absolutely feel no loss in having missed the label boat”, says Tejas referring to the recording deal that fell through last year. But fortunately, this made Tejas crowd-fund the entire album, which not only felt way more rewarding but also thematically fit the album title. He crowd funded a whopping 2 Lakhs in 6 hours. This is a great testament of potential consumers who are willing to pay for quality independent content in a Bollywood-driven country.
With a sudden burst of excitement, Tejas scurries away and proudly shows me the physical copy of the album. It is a really neat booklet which opens up beautifully to showcase the code for the album, lyrics, track-list, along with some extra goodies. Flip it, and you’ll find a kickass poster! With a passionate gleam in his eyes he narrates the story behind the poster and is all praises for Mira Malohtra’s ‘Studio Kohl’ who are behind the artwork.
Tejas’s love for art, nerd culture, animation and cartoon is wholly represented in the strikingly colorful album art. The more noticeable ones are for the track, ‘Kindness’, which is a Hand Of God, for the track essential is – “Tejas vs. God in three acts”(this track might also feature Vishal Dadlani in the vocals in the album’s deluxe version). While for the track ‘Wine’ we have a playful taxi, which is a throwback to Tejas’s famous car jam for the song. It is evident that painstaking attention has been given to every nuance of the album experience.
We finally come to my favorite track from the album, ‘Maybe We’re Not Enough’. It’s a beautifully soulful, yet a sad closer to the record. When asked about it, Tejas pauses and says, “It was a fucking cry out for help. One of my darker moments, I’ll admit.” The song encapsulates all the anxiety he had been through. The latency period between writing and releasing this album was emotionally exhausting for him. Coupled with the fact that he had to halt the recording after 5 days because he discovered he was suffering from dengue. This took a toll both physically and mentally, but he convinced that 2017 and releasing this record had been the light at the end of the tunnel for a rather turbulent 2016.
“Honestly, doing this album has been the most rewarding thing. I’ve broken my head over this damn thing for so long that it’s made me a little more cynical about a bunch of things. But I’m so much more richer for having it done it myself”, says Tejas. He looks like a seasoned musician who has finally learned to play the game.
Tejas truly wants to pass on whatever he has learnt over the years, the extension of which is his label, ‘Kadak Apple Records’. Tejas says, “I want to be that person. I wanna be a custodian for whatever I know. I want more people in this industry.” Tejas believes if you want to truly get into the scene, go in full throttle. Do a good album, good design, put effort into your music and don’t half-ass anything. There is a difference between talent and hard work, and sometimes it’s not pretty. “Every one day of glorious feeling[of being a indie musician], comes with 20 days of ‘WTF am I doing’“, says Tejas. He continues, “You have to wear 800 different hats man, otherwise you are just yesterday’s news.”
In the course of the recent few months, Tejas has successfully managed to accomplish three of his major life goals : releasing this record, playing a show back home in Dubai, & seeing KT Tunstall live. When asked what’s next, he introspects and answers, “Leave India for a bit, man. I’ve this great calling card in the form of this album. I think the world needs to become my 30 city tour where I travel to get fresh again.” But before he takes the next step and starts a new chapter, he does plan to tick a few things off : like doing a proper tour, releasing the deluxe album, putting out other content like music videos. Well, we can only wish this talented singer-songwriter luck on his journey ahead and we hope, he makes it happen!
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