Thriving on intimate settings and having the talent for making it seem like he is crooning only to you, even in a room of hundred, Mahesh Raghunandan is a singer-songwriter who feels like a force of nature when he is up on the stage. Whether it’s one of his many originals or a twist on an old favourite, his musical presence is undeniable. We catch up with Raghunandan on the day his latest music video for his original Come Find Me was released and talked about music, life and learning to ‘Accept’.
Like many talented artists of current times, Raghunandan too had his time of trying to keep a steady job as an engineer. But he soon realised that office spaces and weekly meetings were not the things he would enjoy being a part of. Since then, life as an indie musician (on the road) has not been easy, but his love for travelling and meeting new people has helped make his life as big as it can be. He also gives due credit to the people who have been a part of this journey, “I’ve always been stubborn in my ways to try and make things work even if I have to embrace the many struggles. Along the way, I’ve found the company of wonderful and talented people, the unending lessons of life and a lot of music. This has kept me afloat however shaky the waters are. They’ve all turned into songs as well,” Raghunandan points out with a smile.
Taking into account the plaintive tones in his earlier works, it is not surprising to hear that Raghunandan considers listening to Gravity by John Mayer as his musical awakening. Constantly listening to more music and trying out different things, Raghunandan’s music has evolved every day with him. He channels each new musical discovery he makes into creating his own music, to better his skill and knowledge.
There was one point in time when he claimed his music came from a place of depression, and he has only said so during his usual banter between performances. But now he looks at it differently. While that was how it was initially, Raghunandan says, “It’s not as depressing anymore. Do my sets contain many songs that deal with that side of me? Sure. It’s a necessary outpour. Do I go back home living those songs? Not at all. In fact, most of the songs I’ve been writing off late have been sad songs with a happier note and an interestingly accepting after-taste.”
The conversation about evolution and acceptance makes it easy to understand why his latest EP coming out in August is called Accept. Come Find Me is the first single and music video from the EP and was released over the weekend. The music video was shot at Kasargode in Kerala and was picturised on a private island with an intense schedule over a week. For Raghunandan, the music video was “filled with concepts of symbolism, mind spaces and unforgiving love, it was a beautiful experience shooting in the incredible backwaters of Kerala.”
The EP came together when Ramanan Chandramouli and Leslie Charles became invested in Raghunandan’s songwriter project. Chandramouli’s band Blushing Satellite features Mahesh as their lead man and Leslie Charles had worked with the band to produce their EP. Mahesh remembers Rama telling him to find out if Leslie would be interested in the project and Leslie agreed to produce the EP even before he could even finish asking him.
The Road Ahead
While the EP is the work coming up next, Raghunandan is also planning on releasing multiple EPs and mixtapes collaborating with artists and studios. He is hoping to do this for a while before looking at a full-fledged album. As someone who is constantly learning and experimenting new things relating to his music, Mahesh is looking ahead to get deeper into neo-soul and R&B and the mixtapes that he is working on would, in fact, end up being of that style. He concluded that like a kid in a candy store, he is continuing on to the many exciting shelves.
For more updates on the EP visit his Facebook page here.
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