When we consider the impact of deep, melodious songs on our minds in times of distress and uncertainty, the realization immediately births within us a new level of appreciation for the great minds behind these tunes. The very tangible effect music has in soothing our troubled souls, and providing succour to the weary is one of the reasons for its universal acceptance. One young musician constantly breaking barriers and penetrating even the stoniest hearts with his elevating music is singer-songwriter; Diptanil Barua, who has once again stunned his loving fans with yet another melodious masterpiece titled ‘Pieces’.
For 21-year-old Diptanil, music has always been a way to express the dormant artistic part of himself, which he gives wings to on this track. Growing up as a shy kid, he did not get many opportunities to express his artistic side, and this can still be seen in his performances, even to this day. His love for music slowly grew as it was continuously nurtured by the musical influences all around him. As the singer-songwriter recounts, “I only felt comfortable singing alone. Eventually, I went on to learn tabla, drums, piano, and also taught myself a little guitar from YouTube and sang only in school competitions. I think I was in class 7 when I delivered a great performance that changed my life forever. As dramatic as it sounds, I cannot explain the feeling of the rush I felt that day. That day I decided I am going to do this for the rest of my life! Ever since I have been working on my music. No specific goal but I just want to keep updating myself with new music and creations.”
Diptanil’s life gives validation to the saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. He follows in the steps of a long line of musicians that came before him. His grandfather; Luit Konwar Rudra Baruah is a legend; actor, composer, lyricist, singer and musician – one of the foremost music pioneers of Assam, and so are other members of his very musical family.
He describes the influence his grandfather’s legacy has had on his musical journey as inspiring and motivating. “I wish I had met him. I understood my grandfather mostly through his songs and writings. The rest of my family members are also very well equipped with music knowledge so yes, I have the harshest music critics in my family.
“I think the best part about being in a family that understands music is that they never restrict your thoughts. They give you artistic freedom. I have never been pressured by my family to sing songs by my grandfather. They respect that I, as an artist, have a few stories to tell of my own, irrespective of my last name,” he says.
Diptanil’s originals – ‘Dooriyaan’ and ‘Baarish’ – were received extremely well by the audience. Sharing with the thought behind these songs, he says, “Dooriyaan is all about the innocence. It’s like puppy love. It has a very optimistic take on long-distance relationships, just like I took it as at that time. On the other hand, ‘Baarish’ is on the sad side of feelings. We have had so many songs about rain, so many feelings expressed already but rain is such a phenomenon that makes you feel so many things. I believe the world will never stop writing songs about the rain. The main theme behind both these songs is love. Interestingly, ‘Baarish’ was a rejected melody. TRIV and I used to ‘ghost’ produce songs back then and this was rejected by a pretty big DJ!”
Diptanil has had a huge role to play in the recent trend amongst pubs and clubs in Assam in which they now include Assamese artists as the major attraction for night shows. Feats like these bring much-needed publicity to the evolving industry in Assam and the culture as a whole.
However, singing Assamese songs at pubs was more accidental than intentional for Diptanil. He recalls the event with a wild chuckle, “I was performing at Nyx Lounge & Deck in Guwahati, someone requested for an Assamese song and I sang a few lines of Bihu and I saw the crowd get a bit excited.. that gig, I ended it in a few lines. And after that I find myself performing one Assamese song at every gig.”
With every new song and performance, Assamese music in pub culture has continued to grow and so singers like Diptanil continue to embrace more and more Assamese songs to the setlist.
“Well when you are in Assam, speaking Assamese, doing business with the Assamese people and have customers who are Assamese, I do not see a valid enough reason to not have Assamese music take the main stage. And especially right now is a golden time for the Assamese music scene. Artists like Project Bartalaap, Sannidhya, Nilotpal Bora, Tonmoy Krypton becoming mainstream Assamese artists, who are independent, itself is making a big statement! I believe the quality of music and lyrics that is coming up will take us much higher in the coming days and like Punjabi music, Assamese music is all set to become global!”
“Also, club owners were never a barrier for me. They were corporative enough to let me try whatever I wanted to on stage and nowadays I do not perform in venues in Assam where they do not allow Assamese. It is illogical for me as I believe art has no language. So yeah! I’m very happy to be one of the first guys to get this culture in. It is a very good thing for the Assamese industry,” he adds.
With the wide acceptance of his latest release – ‘Pieces’ – Diptanil is optimistic the future of Assamese music is bright and promising. Regarding the thought process and events surrounding the conceptualization of this track, he says “Pieces was a scrapped project. TRIV and I started it and dropped it midway as we were not feeling it. I was going through my hard disk one night and I started grooving to the song we had prepared almost a year ago. Then I made Synaptic (Sahil Hussain) listen to it. He enjoyed it and he wanted to give it a try. Honestly, I never thought the song would take such a drastic turn. I sent it around to a few of our close friends and everyone was pretty positive about it. So we went ahead!”
So, from where does he gather the motivation and inspiration for making such sensible music? “Well I think it’s the honesty. I write about stories of my life and I have this constant inclination towards something that is hidden and dark beneath the sweetness. That is how I see it and I won’t be surprised if the audience feels the total opposite of it because they too have the creative freedom to decipher. I often fall short of inspiration. I don’t know what makes me keep going but something does. I do not question it as long as words keep flowing out of my pen. But when it comes to writing a tune, to get my brain a little warmed up, I often play few intense games of chess before composing. It is a new habit I have developed and is working fine for me,” the artist reveals.
Diptanil recently had the opportunity to assist popular singer and composer; Nilotpal Bora on backing vocals for a track called ‘De Mauka Zindagi’ for TVF’s ‘Aspirants’, which happens to be one of the highest-rated Indian series ever on IMDB.
Moving forward, there are a few projects that Diptanil and his team are working towards releasing to his loyal fans, to solidify his position in the industry and promote the culture in the process. “I am working with so many people and I am so excited to release them one-by-one. ‘Pieces’ was the first of many experimental projects lined up. I am doing another song with Synaptic which is called ‘Dream’. I am also working with the super-talented Swaraj Priyo who is an amazing lyricist and Writam Changkakoti as the music producer on a track called ‘Khidki’.