He is a 20 -year-old who has already launched an album, received great reviews, set his music free to be downloaded online and toured the country playing gigs. Nischay Parekh is too modest to call himself a multi-instrumentalist, but plays the guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, piano, ukulele and is vocally trained! “I wouldn’t say I’m good at all of them. I’m primarily a guitarist and vocalist,” he asserts. It’s likely that he has a soft corner for Bengaluru, as his first ever performance was here, at NH7 Weekender a couple years ago. He even played here last week and is coming back for Storm Festival in February. “I think Bengaluru is where I’ve performed the most,” he laughs.
When he was just 13, be picked up a guitar and learnt from Tajdar Junaid, who is now a popular face in the Indian music scene. “At home, there was always music playing. My mom had her cassettes and dad liked Hindustani classical music. I slowly picked it up myself and later learnt from Tajdar,” says Nischay. He says he didn’t always want to be a musician. “I loved my subjects - history, sociology and English. For a long time, I wanted to be an English professor, but as I got out of high school, I realised music was what I was most passionate about. I wanted to be as good as I can,” he shares.
And that’s why he went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, at 18, where he met two young musicians Dylan Varner-Hartley and Pedro Zappa, with whom he collaborated and formed a band. Along with them and drummer Jivraj Singh, he produced his debut album, Ocean. The Indie-pop musician who sings with a coy, love-struck voice says just a couple of songs are written from personal experience. Ask him if he had someone in mind when he wrote I love you baby, I love you doll and Me and you, he denies and says, “They are written from a third person point of view.” He adds that it was very educational working with Miti Adhikari, who helped him put the album together. He also opened for Grammy award-winning artist Norah Jones and says, “I was awe struck when I saw her crew. They set up everything and cleared up within 20 minutes. I was mind blown by their efficiency and professionalism.”
The youngster who is also a movie buff and an avid reader, says now is a really good time to be a full-time musician in India. “The fan base for independent musicians has grown exponentially, thanks to social media and easily accessible music. And people have been really generous with their compliments of late. So overall, I’m good,” smiles Nischay....