An Interview With… Tejas

by Deborah Smith
Tejas

We met with Tejas on our trip to India at the end of 2017 and he officially signed to the Anara Publishing roster in 2018. Here he goes through his songwriting journey so far and his thoughts on sync.

1. Tell us about how you started making music.

I started writing songs at the age of 17. I heard KT Tunstall’s Eye To The Telescope and that record plus a few others by singer-songwriters kinda gave me the direction I needed. It felt pretty instinctive, to fit syllables into a measure evenly, emphasising words and rhyming cleverly; I think I just had a knack for it. My process has just evolved since then, and I think I’ve polished it a lot more on this last record of mine.

2. How important do you think sync is to emerging artists in today’s industry?

On a very fundamental level I think that it literally puts your music in front of more people in a different way than just streaming platforms promoting an artist does. Sync is just a more intuitive way to get people’s attention, whether it’s in an ad or a television show or a movie. I think if people like what they see, they attribute it a lot to the music and that’s what makes them discover it. They feel like they’ve found something all by themselves and that is a special process unlike anything else. It’s just a completely new audience who didn’t even know that they were looking for your kind of music, but now that they’ve found it, just makes it all the more special.

3. What is your typical songwriting process?

I start mostly on the acoustic guitar, and when I’m trying to write new melodies or riffs, I don’t just plot a chord progression and follow it. I always try and look for a new way to play a part, whether its changing the tuning or finding a cool riff or a weird time signature. I’m looking to find that lock where it surprises me and also has a vocal melody that I could assign to it. I usually build from there up, and the lyrics are just words that I feel are fitting, or maybe from a bank of things I’ve been writing in the last cycle. But then this isn’t how it always goes down. I wrote a couple of songs from Make It Happen in the shower by humming the melody, groove and riff and seeing if I could dance to it.

4. Describe a pivotal music moment for you in your favourite film, tv show, brand partnership etc. Has this influenced any of your own compositions?

A few that I can instantly remember; Elvis and JXL’s A Little Less Conversation Remix for Nike. I used to be way into football as a kid and this series of ads for the ‘Scorpion KO’ campaign literally blew my mind, cause I’m also a huge Elvis fan and combining both just felt so perfect to me. The other one I can remember distinctly is ‘New Shoes’ by Paolo Nutini for Puma. This was how I actually discovered him and his music. I’m a huge fan of his work, and his songwriting definitely influenced my first record, ‘Small Victories’.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?

I often get this question and answer it by saying ‘Learn Photoshop’! But in essence what I mean by that is that these days it’s not enough to merely be a good musician. You could use all the help you can get; your biggest help being yourself. Learn all the other tools as well as you would learn your own instrument. Become good at social media, learn how to communicate and network and learn how to shoot and record your own stuff. All of it makes you a better, more accessible musician. As for the writing of music, all I can say is try your best to develop your own voice and be your own authentic self. I’m very proud to say that while I may not ever become the greatest singer or songwriter in the world, what makes me special is that no one else can write or say what I have to say. It doesn’t make my songs better or worse than anyone else’s. But, it makes my songs mine, and that is priceless to me.

Get to know more about Tejas’ music.

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