Most artists and songwriters prioritise melody and rhythm over lyrics. Words are important to composer-singer Shalmali Kholgade. The 32-year-latest old’s seven-track album, 2X Side B, features a plot that signals a change in her songwriting technique and a groove-driven, up-tempo beat.
Her last release, 2X Side A, which appeared in 2021, is a follow-up to the album that was made available on October 31. The second album, which was also written and recorded during the lockdown, is more intently focused on the topic of love and its complexities. Kholgade takes pleasure in the voyage. “I’ve realised that music is truly where my high comes from.”
But knowing about it comes from one’s own experiences and observations. “I’ve always looked to my own life for inspiration. The majority of the songs on the record are inspired by images I’ve seen, said the singer. These include the enjoyable Locomoco and Enough of you, the visually appealing Chills, the incisive, rhythmic remarks of Garden variety hater, and
While the songs for both albums were partially composed in 2020, according to Kholgade, the second album is a collection that came together throughout the course of production. “We believed that the songs’ emotional arcs could be distinguished clearly. While the latter could be up-tempo funky music, we believed 2X Side A was easy-listening melodious music. She emphasises that every aspect of making an album involves production.
Through it all, there remains a strong passion for using lyrics to create stories. She starts off by identifying herself as a songwriter and states, “The composition always follows the lyrics. I believe that the music should have a narrative. I need to hear the story I’m attempting to tell expressed poetically rather than melodically. Her improvisational poetry style clearly shows her many inspirations. She continues, “The lyric writing has a framework, but it’s not a traditional structure; it’s kind of like Doja Cat.
However, we wonder if the music and creative style were influenced by the story? Kholgade is indifferent. She notes that there was no intention to confine the aesthetic to a unified framework. According to her, “certain songs, like Chills, changed so much from their demo that they are shockingly different from those tracks, while other songs preserved their character. The album’s coherence was the product of the spontaneous collaboration between guitarist Roland Fernandes, keyboardist ZIA, and producer Sunny MR.
But the lockdown albums also introduced the Mumbai-based singer songwriter to fresh colleagues in addition to composing experience. The CD is graced with the vocals of Vasundhara Vee and Ranj, two of her favourite performers. The cooperation, in her words, brought melody, harmony, and writing together. “For instance, Vasundhara tapped into a phrase in Garden variety hater and changed it to improve the impact. She goes on to say, “Since she is a wonderful writer herself, it made sense to comprehend and keep those adjustments in.
The musician is now looking forward to working with others more. She admits that it will take some time, but she already has a few songs planned for the upcoming year. She admits that “it might not be an album, but single releases potentially.”
Kholgade is enthusiastic in the independent music genre. “I like how this is going. Writing a song, whether or not I perform it, gives me a buzz that I find more exhilarating.
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