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News |  10 Dec 2019 12:23 |  By RnMTeam

Music is more divine for me: Anurag Mishra

MUMBAI: Anurag Mishra, a singer-songwriter, hails from the state of Odisha. Having completed his studies from pedigreed institutions like NIT Rourkela and IIM Indore, he started pursuing his passion for music during his corporate stint in Mumbai in the year 2015. He has his own YouTube channel (Youtube.com/anuragmishramusic) where he used to upload his covers.

Since 2017, he has been working on his debut original album, where he has worked with multiple composers, fellow-singers, lyricists, and producers. It's his mega-collaborative maiden project. He describes his album as - "This record is called 'Project SWA' with 'SWA' referring to 'Self' in Hindi. These are few stories, originating from one-self describing the subconscious emotions within.

Project SWA is Anurag's brainchild, where he has worked as a singer, curator, and conceptual artist with a lot of composers, producers, and other creatives on eight songs. This is the beginning of his original independent music journey. The entire process has taken almost two years and he is finally ready to release the work. During this period, quitting corporate after NIT-IIM stints is a different story altogether.

He has already released one of the tracks back in May 2019 - Chal Pada, now his next song a concept film on another song (Teri Meri Kahaaniyan) and would be releasing six more concept-lyrical videos.

Check his interview below to know more.

Please describe to us the essence of Project”Swa”?

This album is my debut original album. It's called 'Project SWA' where SWA meaning "Self" in Hindi. I have conceptualized the entire album; curated and sung all the songs. It is a mega-collaborative project where I have worked with multiple composers, producers, lyricists, filmmakers and all in all more than thirty creatives. This album has nine songs which represents eight different emotions. These are few stories, originating from one-self describing the subconscious emotions within us. These are undertones. Under-expressed, overlooked and under-valued. Emotions like 'Love for your mother', 'love for a city', 'lust', 'feeling of moving on' and many more - these feelings are not even given their due importance, forget about expressing them in the open. I feel that these feelings deserve an expression. So these emotions are expressed in their rawest form, in the form of songs. As an artist, this record is me and also what I am capable of.

Describe to us your first experience with music.

My journey started with being born in a conservative, middle-class family. I entered the rat race of IIT-NIT entrances and got a decently pedigreed college - NIT Rourkela. Four years later - again the rat race of MBA started. This was tougher - three years, two failed attempts alongside a demanding job. But it was around this time, I started to see something. Singing has always been a hobby but as I said, never had the guts to do it publicly. That's why I didn't even think of pursuing music at graduation. But in my first job (Tata Steel), I started exploring music. Little successes in social functions, appreciation, and compliments made my will stronger day by day but still, it was nowhere close to changing the conservative mindset which was now committed to crack the MBA. I cracked it the third time - IIM Indore it was. Maersk, Mumbai, 2015. I started the grind of a double-life i.e. work and music. I started with my humble YouTube channel uploading my covers/renditions.

The journey to Project SWA has also been something. I started on the album in December 2017. The initial few months were very slow and I took eight months to complete one song because I had to balance my 12-hour work life, my ongoing Youtube releases (covers), my social media presence, and personal stuff, together. So in July 2018, I assessed the financial and creative situation and decided to quit corporate. I completed the rest eight songs in the next eight months. Then after working very hard on two videos on two of the nine-album-songs, I just released the entire album 'Project SWA' in October - It consists of two concept films on two of the songs ( CHAL PADA and TERI MERI KAHAANIYAN) on Youtube and nine audio songs on all major streaming platforms. And I can't wait for more and more people to listen to it.

In a time of single releases, why did you decide to release an album?

I always had thought of an album, whenever I thought of entering into original music. I think your entry to originals should make a statement rather than being considered as a fluke. In an album, as an artist I get to show a much better range of my singing skills, my expressions; explore more genres; and create a much bigger impact than just one song. Also it's a matter of belief. I believe that all of my songs are good and everyone will associate or will have a liking for at least one of the songs.

It is also confirmed that you are coming up with acoustic versions of three of your songs. Why did you decide to do so ?

Yes, after my debut album 'Project SWA' , I have planned another release - this time, an EP called 'Project SWA Acoustics' . It has three songs which will be acoustic versions of three of the 'Project SWA' songs . These will be releasing on December 10th. The thought for this, came while jamming for one of the 'Project SWA' songs, that we can actually give completely different color to the same song. So why not do so? And, as I said earlier, this experiment shows the diversity in my music, even more. Really excited to see the audience's response.

Your journey seems to be quite inspiring. What made to shift from your corporate job to full time music ?

Music has always been my getaway since childhood. Slowly but surely its importance has increased. Now I can safely say MUSIC is my endgame. Making money never was and is my intention. I would have stuck to my six-digit salary then. Music is more divine for me. To creative some art which can communicate some emotion and make people feel a bit more, fall in love a bit more ,cry a bit, and give them a good experience to remember, is my goal. Also I would love to work with more and more legends in the business, and also bigger stages to perform, so that I can learn more and spread more music.

What is your view on the current indie scene in India ?

It's booming. If you look at the last five years, I think, 2019 has been the best year to be an indie artist. So many new artists have debuted and so many seasoned artists have released some great music. Labels like Sony, Universal (VYRL) are investing heavily in their respective indie-music releases. Investing on their artists, their marketing, promotions, getting artists from abroad to collaborate. There has been a reverse trend actually. Now Bollywood singers, composers, and even film-stars are venturing into the indie scene. That's a win in itself for non-film music. Bollywood, still is the biggest platform for recognition and money, but not the only one. Not anymore.

Please name a few indie musicians you admire?

I really like the music of The Yellow Diary ,Shadow and Light, Alchemy, Anand Bhaskar Collective, The Local Train , Agam, and so many more. There are amazing artists like Siddharth Pandit (album - Azaad Sangeet) , Shashaa Tirupati, Ronkini Gupta, Anubha Kaul, Rashmeet Kaur, Raftaar, Prabhdeep, Aarifaah Rebello and many more whom I completely adore and I would love to work in the future.

Your upcoming projects ?

The "Project SWA Acoustics" EP is releasing on 10 December. I have been working on many of my own compositions since July and they are in the production phase. So a lot will be coming out in the first quarter of 2020.

Check his acoustic versions which are out-