Thursday, December 22, 2011


'Let go, let go, because there's beauty in the breakdown'

There's something between me and Imogen Heap that connects way too deep, surpassing idol-ship and worshiping. It's how I'm so influenced by her song-writing and music. It's as if she's looking straight into my heart, understanding my emotions and expressing my pain and happiness. Whatever may be the occasion, I always have some song of her's to connect with. It's not sheer poetry that's ornamented with similes and metaphors. They're as simple as singing in the bathroom to being as dynamic as getting your heart broken, from loving someone like never before to being super ambitious. I really feel I haven't lived life the hard way to be able to write so honestly. Sometimes, everything around is so fake with plastic faces and expressions, that I feel so out of place in a Universe, as pure as ever, that bounds us all. I don't feel congested or like a stranger, but I'm on a confused platform, expecting one of the billion stars in the galaxy to direct me to a place where I can feel real. For me, at one point, life was ,or is, just a pattern. Everything is listed, like a lavish a la carte, where you'll choose what's most recommended. But the possibility that there is something outside that, yet to be discovered or acknowledged, is where you have to be lucky enough to experience a path not designed by others for you. That's a feeling I get to live in through her songs. I guess I am not good enough a writer to express her songs, because it's impossible for me to do so.. I'm leaving the rest of this post with some of her songs. You need to be a part of her music to understand it..

Between Sheets




I loved her album 'Ellipse'. It has this impeccable influence of Indian style aalaps and progressions ; and a slight touch of Bjork, the artist. Some of the Cello progressions remind me of Bjork's 'Play Dead' and 'Venus as a boy'. I'm on a high and I wish to be in this feel for ever, forgetting my troubles and insecurities. I'm ending this post with a line from Tidal, "Do what you feel, just how you like..nobody has to know.."

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Hindu: Metroplus: She's Rocking !

Though, a wee bit late, here are few excerpts from my interview for The Hindu. Liza George, the lovely lady who interviewed, was so friendly to talk with, which actually helped me open my mind out to her..

To read the whole interview CLICK HERE

Neha Nair is the new musician in town. Liza George tunes in as she rewinds her journey in music

“I am one of the guys,” says Neha Nair, the sole girl in the Malayalam alternative rock band Avial. “In fact, after hanging out with them so much, I have started walking like one. While we are out together, I even help the guys check out girls,” she laughs.

“I started off as a Veejay thinking that would help me get a break into the film music industry. Unfortunately, all I got were more veejaying offers. Rosebowl's Outcast Vocals and Piano Sessions with Stephen Devassy were what got me noticed as a singer. While hosting In Conversation Session, I got the opportunity to interview music legends like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Sivamani. My producer, Kadamba Rajesh, would sometimes tell the guest musicians that I am a singer myself. Often this would lead to a jamming session. I remember singing a ghazal with Hariharan sir.”

Although trained in Carnatic music, Neha is currently concentrating on Hindustani music. “I feel my voice is more suited to Hindustani music,” says Neha, who is polishing her skills in Hindustani music with Manohar Keskar. Although she had learnt Carnatic music from Ramesh K. in Muscat, she is continuing her training under the tutelage of Perumbavur G. Ravindranath and Western music from Binu. “I love music in all its forms. I love the fact that every piece of music is created from the same seven notes. You take a blues song in Kalyani and a Hindustani bandish in the same rag, it may sound different but the root is the same. The endless possibility in creating something new out of these notes is what fascinates me.”

Blogging her thoughts

Apart from music, Neha also spends time on her blog. A journalism student at the city's Press Club, she enjoys penning her thoughts. “It's usually on what I observe around me.” Ask her if she plans to make a career as a journalist and she replies: “I don't think so. I might freelance though. Music is my life and I want to pursue it in earnest. In fact, I listen to music all the time. Music is my work and my hobby,” smiles Neha who is a fan of Imogen Heap and Bjork.

A foodie, who loves everything except seafood, Neha claims her love for food saw her touch 82 kg when she was in class 10. “Constant workouts at the gym and a strict diet have helped me fight the battle of the bulge.” She still binges on her mom, Usha's rajma, channa and dal preparations. So, does she cook? “I can cook an excellent Maggie! Isn't that cooking?”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aashiq Abu Photography

It was the most random photoshoot ever, don't know if I can even call it one! The Salt N' Pepper team was at Dubai to celebrate 100 days and we were just chilling in our rooms, getting as lazy as ever, arguing over which place to check out and stuff. All of a sudden I had the sudden urge of trying Aashiq's Ray Ban, his most priced possession. He probably loves it more than his life! And then we were on a roll.. it was lights, camera, action! I am a terrible poser and just when Ajay Menon gave up on me, Aashiq Abu, one of the most patient photographers I've met, came into the scene. I would keep doing exactly what he wanted me to do.. and by luck.. we got few amazing shots! This one below is my favourite click.. do click here for more :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best Iconic Female Singer Award at the IMFA, Dubai

"sabr ka phal meetha hota hain", is something I learnt in my primary Hindi classes back in school. But in my case, there was hardly any wait or struggle in literal sense. I am just a normal couch potato who would rather switch through TV channels than going from studio to studio with a demo CD and biodata. My kind of struggle was a fun ride, where I often happened to slip, too. As lazy as I can get, having sent a dozen demos to the industry's happening composers, only Rahul Raj happened to respond back for 'Chanchalam' in Ritu. But as fate had it, was quite unlucky to not have a video for that, which got the song unnoticed. Then life took a drastically positive turn when I entered into a progressive chamber of creativity aka Rosebowl. From then on, of course, I lost touch with the playback industry, and was immersed in a whole new world of music, where there were no deadlines or commanding producers, but, just plain music! When Aashiq happened to hear Outcast Vocals and invited my to sing for SNP, I never knew it would be a song or a movie that would change the age old commercial perception of Malayalam Cinema. Premikyumbol was probably my fastest studio session so far, in a record of 25 minutes! But what intimidated me was when I heard my voice along with P. Jayachandran's, at the studio. Bijibal sir was so composed and calm even while correcting some of my nuances. And to see it on the big screen ... *sigh*!

When the IMFA, International Malayalam Film Award organizers called to inform me of my award, I thought I was receiving it for only Premikyumbol. But on the day of the function, I realized that I was actually being credited for my musical endeavours with Rosebowl and Avial. Can't believe how progressive music that was displayed only on a local channel, and was circulated on the net, crossing the 7 seas, has scored to such a huge level. I also happened to learn that few Radios in Dubai play the audio tracks of Outcast Vocals, and get a lot of requests for Tose Naina Ft. Anberlin :) Despite recovering from a cold, I had super fun jamming 'Etho Varmukilin' with a talented musician from 'Radio Me', Ranjith. So, a huuuuge thanks to the 'Gelf' Malayalees and music lovers for making this local product international . The list will go on, but can't do without thanking SNP team, Aashiq, Bijibal, Rafeeq Ahmed, P. Jayachandran for Premikyumbol, Sumesh Lal for believing in his conviction, Avial team for making me feel like a family and educating me at all levels regarding music and life; my family, especially Dad.. without whose patience and encouragement I would remain a couch potato. Thank you to everyone on twitter and facebook for having shared my videos and for liking and commenting and retweeting, because of which my work got a little noticed outside Kerala. Finally, thank you IMFA and Radio Me for bestowing upon me this award. I felt really honoured to have shared this moment on the National Day of the U.A.E.