An Interview with Shadow and Light

Shadow and Light
Shadow and Light

Shadow and Light are made up of experienced musicians, Anindo and Pavithra. With accomplishments between them spanning from being featured on MTV Unplugged, to gaining the Shri Netar Kapur Scholarship, this duo are a musical force to be reckoned with. Together the duo’s style of music encapsulates Hindustani classical, pop, jazz, and electronic. Shadow and Light released their debut self-titled album in June 2014, followed by their second album ‘Elements’ in 2016.

We revisited our 2017 interview with Shadow and Light to see what’s changed for them in the last 4 years.

Tell us about how you started making music or what initially got you into music?
We both have had different journeys in music, and different influences we draw strength from. But what has been common for both of us is our family. Our parents have always encouraged and appreciated our passion for music, and they continue to support us unconditionally.

What is your typical song writing process? Is it the same every time? Do you have any routines to get you in the creative frame of mind?
We have multiple ways of writing, but the time of the day definitely affects the treatment of the song! We usually begin with a very basic melody or piano riff/set of chords that inspire us to build further. – Tum, Vaade, Tadap, Kahani. Sometimes it’s a fuller arrangement with more focus on the groove and bassline that inspires the melodic aspect. – Yaad hai, Saavre, Dilruba. And sometimes it starts from some abstract sounds/textures that evolves into more cinematic soundscapes which then become the theme of the track. – Unkahi, Dream gone wrong, Baras, Elements. We might even get a sudden idea in the middle of the night as a melodic or arrangement part and it’s usual to just get up and record it quickly as a voice note and then get back to sleep! These ideas are really precious!

Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
When we single-handedly put together a 15 show USA tour with no tour manager or agent. It was an incredible experience which also included meeting one of our favourites, Anoushka Shankar. We were also on the cover of Rolling Stone India in 2018!

How important do you think publishing representation is for artists and composers?
It is usually the bridge between the artist and a plethora of new avenues and media. With the right push, it can definitely help the music crossover to a much larger audience than just the live music consumers and immediate fans.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence on your music?
Artists like Toto, Incognito, Supertramp, Massive Attack, AR Rahman, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Indian Classical Artists like Shubha Mudgal, Anoushka Shankar.

You’re from New Delhi, could you tell us what are the current musical trends in India? How do you think your music fits these trends?
India is booming with the independent music scene, and currently singer songwriters are in abundance. There are also plenty of pop, jazz, folk and fusion setups releasing new material. We are a multi genre duo so it’s hard to put us into one box or category. It’s for convenience’s sake that we call it contemporary-classical or cinematic electronic/pop. Our songwriting is ever evolving!

Do you have a favourite use of music in TV or Film?
There are so many iconic sonic references for us – it’s too hard to pick a favourite!

Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters/composers?
It is all about committing to the art with continuous time and practice. It is also about being patient. You just have to keep on trying. Look for people that inspire you so that you can elevate your musical sensibilities.