Siddharth Basrur is a composer, vocalist and playback singer from Mumbai, India. He is the frontman of Last Remaining Light and Goddess Gagged and has most recently released the debut EP for his solo project Runt. We welcomed Siddharth to the Anara Publishing family earlier this year and sat down to talk about his journey as a songwriter so far.
1. Tell us about how you started making music.
I started writing my own lyrics at the age of sixteen, but the first vocal melody I ever composed was at 19. It was with my first band, Kinky Ski Munky, and that was the first time I saw my words come to life. But the first song I wrote all by myself was at 21. I had just gotten into rehab, and was going throught the motions, when I decided to start writing about it. One song led to another, and I eventually got better at it.
2. How important do you think music publishing is to emerging artists in today’s industry?
In India, publishing is a relatively new concept, but I’m really hoping that it picks up steam as the possibilities are endless. You never know what that one song might do for you.
3. What is your typical songwriting process?
There’s no typical way of doing it. With some of my projects/bands, I just add vocal melodies to songs that my band members write. When I’m doing my own thing, I like to try different approaches. With Last Remaining Light, it’s a collaborative effort, with all of us writing separately (and sometimes along with one another), and then pooling our ideas together, to see what happens. For my band Runt, I do all the writing, and most of it stems from guitar ideas that snowball into songs. A lot of my singer-songwriter ideas start with me just flipping through my notes, playing some chords and seeing what happens.
4. Describe a pivotal music moment for you in your favourite film, television show, brand partnership etc. Has this influenced any of your own compositions?
I watch a lot of TV shows, and many of them allow me to discover new bands and artists. But, my main source of new music is through YouTube. I’ve stumbled across a variety of new music, just by letting the site go on Autoplay. And these bands, inspire me to write new music, as every time I go on these expeditions, I get to listen to something new. One movie that changed my life, musically, is a sappy Rom-Com called Singles. It’s set in Seattle, during the beginning of the Grunge era, and has some of my favourite musicians in it, as well as some of my favourite songs.
5. Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Just go with the flow. There are weeks, and sometime months where I don’t write anything at all. Then suddenly, out of the blue an idea creeps up behind me. Then, the floodgates just spring wide open. A lot of times, the music I write doesn’t end up going anywhere. I tend to be overly critical of my song ideas. And that’s okay; but when you can feel a good idea in your gut, don’t second guess it. Write it down, record it on your phone, DAW or take a video. Document it. I also make it a habit to go through all my voice notes, Logic sessions and videos, every now and then, to see what good may come of it. Plenty of my favourite compositions started out like this.
Want to hear more from Siddharth Basrur? Discover his music here.