The Yellow Diary on Dhoondti Firaan: A message of faith and positivity
The Hindi alt-rock band on their recent collaboration with pop star Akasa
Recently, noted Hindi alt-rock band The Yellow Diary collaborated with pop star Akasa on a track called Dhoondti Firaan. The Akasa-led single was a fresh version of TYD's hit Rab Raakha, which was released earlier this year. The collaboration was envisioned as an anthem of hope amid the ongoing pandemic and was released by Sony Music. Before the lockdown, TYD had also concluded their month-long countryside Rab Raakha Tour.
Here, the band — which comprises Rajan Batra (vocalist/songwriter), Vaibhav Pani (guitarist), Sahil Shah (drummer), Stuart DaCosta (bassist) and Himonshu Parikh (music producer, backing vocalist) — spoke to us about teaming up with Akasa and the role of music in dark times.
How did the collaboration with Akasa come about?
The idea came through our management at Sony Music. It was shortly after the release of Rab Raakha, when Akasa, a long time friend of the band had taken a great liking to the song. All of us absolutely adore Akasa as an artist and as a human being and it just felt like the right thing to do.
The original Rab Raakha was widely loved. How did you go about creating a female version of the song?
I think it being a female version just came consequentially to the fact that Akasa and us wanted to collaborate. We didn’t modify the composition, besides adjusting scale to set the right mood and fit Akasa’s vocal range comfortably. The whole mood was definitely a lot more stripped down and mellow and emotional. Rajan’s vocals are in a lower register. And the whole band took up new variations of their instruments to make it happen.
What was the message behind this effort?
Dhoondti Firaan came by at a moment where Rajan was focusing on his career, due to which he couldn't be very connected with his family. Rab Raakha is about a belief that while you are focusing on your way forward, towards your goals, there is a higher power looking after your loved ones. This belief becomes a motivating strength to journey on forwards. In this time of lockdown, this physical lack of connect between people is an amplified example of the same feeling. And the belief that someone or something, whatever you believe in, is taking care of the ones you can't be with right now, gives you hope, faith and positivity. That’s what we wanted to share with everyone.
With the lockdown underway, what are you guys working on?
We have a bunch of songs that we've written and before every release, we're always in a dilemma of zeroing in on which song we would like to put out next.
Considering the way we make music is collaborative and we feed energies of each other in the room, it is certainly challenging to make music as a band. But we're using this time to learn new things and further honing our craft. However, we stay in touch on a daily basis and keep catching up.