#FeatureFriday – Anupam Nair Brings Music To Touch Your Soul
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the…
His name describes him best because he is simply incomparable. And he knows it!
Anupam Nair is the lead vocalist in the Dubai based music band ROOH. Originally from Delhi, India, Anupam is the emerging star in the global music industry. With one foot set firmly in the golden Arabian sands, ROOH is famous for its live gigs and unplugged music. 2017 has brought them back to Indian shores with their debut in Bollywood with Julie 2.
In the course of our conversation, the background score of Bryan Adam’s Summer of ’69 seems to apt for Anupam’s story.
From participating in singing competitions as a kid to starting a rookie college band to becoming a YouTube star – he has done it all and is rightly proud of it!
“My father really wanted me to join the army,” says Anupam, reminiscing about the days gone by. “I come from a typical defense background. My father was in the Air Force. My mother was a teacher. I have changed 10 schools in my entire life. It helped me become very adaptable. I had joined the NCC but I could never really connect to the whole system and think of making it my choice of life.”
Music has been a natural part of his life, “My mom was always into music. She learned Karnatic music when she was young and I remember listening to good English songs when I was at home. TV, back then, was very selective and we lived by Chitrahaar. So that’s how I learned music – I listened to a lot of radio, audio cassettes and my mother taught me music. I started participating in singing competitions from my 2nd or 3rd grade and just kept on singing.”
Anupam Nair even dabbled with politics in his college days, “I was a politician with a guitar on my shoulder. I was a charmer and I was mostly in the party because I could sing and also ask for votes! For a college in the heart of India, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, it was a kind of a revelation to the people. I realized that there was a lot of talent amongst the student but most were scared to come on stage. So we formed a band, won the college elections and even went on to represent our college in zonal level competitions in the State.”
Coming from a background of Bengali and Malayali culture, wherein education is greatly stressed upon, Anupam also faced a phase where he was expected to keep his music just as a hobby and not think beyond that. “So that’s how it has been till 2017. I have been working throughout. I have been in Dubai for the last 10 years and have worked in HR very successfully as well.”
“But the music just kept on growing. I made a band in Dubai. That band was originally a mix of 3 Indians and 3 Pakistanis. We called ourselves ROOH because we all came from different genres of music and what really connected us was our spirit for music, our ROOH for music.”
“Live desi music was not very popular at that time. We started the trend of unplugged music in Dubai and it has been great going from then on.”
Anupam is glad that ROOH’s inception into the Bollywood music industry has been on their own terms, “It was awesome working with Deepak and the team of Julie 2. You see, with the desi Hindi music scene, if you want to make it really big, you have to connect to Bollywood. Gone are the days when an individual artist would rise all by himself beyond Bollywood. But the best thing was that we got to compose this song as well.”
The few things on his list that he wants to achieve over the next 2 years; “I surely want to do a lot more Bollywood movies, at least 6-7 songs over the next 2 years.”
“Next I want to be the Ed Sheeran of the desi world. What he has done is impeccable for me. He is simply brilliant in his music. He composes his own music as well. So I want to reach the stage where I don’t have to only depend on Bollywood and I still have my own identity and I have my own music which people love listening to.”
“I do want to eventually come up with a concept where I can actually collaborate with musicians all around the world and do something very unique and different. That’s why I love to collaborate with a lot of people in my music as well.”
“And I want to be the biggest YouTube star!”
“We actually started actively promoting ourselves and our music only for the last one year. The way the world is changing, I foresee an era of indie-pop coming back again. With Amazon Prime and Netflix promoting original content, there is no dearth of platforms.”
“Music is one thing that makes me happy and free. I have always done live music and now we are gradually moving towards YouTube.”
Some of his favorites other than Ed Sheeran in the desi scene include Arijit Singh, whose vocal texture he admires. “Technically Sonu Nigam is a great singer. As a music director, Amit Trivedi is simply awesome!”
Anupam’s message to all the passionate people out there is simple yet effective. “This generation has a bigger risk appetite and I believe that the most important thing in this is self-discipline. You need to have a lot of patience to maintain the right attitude and the right frame of mind. I look at artists I admire and my motto is that if they can do 10 things, I should be able to do 15.”
“It’s tough to follow your dreams but it gives you a great amount of courage. It really helps you become who you are as a person. Don’t give up and keep pursuing it.”
What a great belief to live by!
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.