This Mumbai-Ahmedabad-based duo band of youngsters in their early 20s have aptly called themselves The Soulsmiths. The reason being, their soulful music that has influences from both Western and Indian music from varied genres like country, jazz, Indian classical and semi-classical and Sufi as well, to name a few. Siddhant Mishra, 20, hailing from Orissa moved to Mumbai two years ago to pursue music. Currently, he’s studying sound design and record from Whistling Woods, which enables him to learn the ropes of recording and mixing music.
A self-taught guitarist, Siddhant’s association with music began during childhood. “I learnt to play the keyboard via a tutor in seventh standard and that’s when I composed my first song. I knew I wanted to make music back then,” says he. Though he hasn’t undergone any professional vocal training, his soulful voice is best sampled in his songs. He plays a pivotal role in the band, right from coining its name to composing, writing lyrics (Shaili chips in here too) and doing post-production work. Besides this, Siddhant also undertakes projects like doing background scores for ads online and films made by his fellow students.
Shaili Shah, a vivacious 22-year-old singer from Ahmedabad, who besides dabbling with The Soulsmiths, does varied projects. “I do solo gigs, do voice overs and jingles for ads, work with other freelance artrists, etc. I have also lent my voice for a few Gujarati films, have anchored shows,” proudly says she. Shaili learnt music from her mother and has been singing since she was six to seven years old, and grew up listening to old Bollywood classics by Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar.
She met Siddhant through a common friend and, they teamed up together to pursue their common goal of making their own music. “Besides doing projects as a solo artist, I want to be in a band because people are more open and receptive towards fusion and experimenting with music when one is in a band,” she adds. Thus, The Soulsmiths were formed around four months ago, when they began getting offers to perform as a duet. Earlier in November, they had their first gig as a band in Ahmedabad, and they look forward to doing live performances in this city.
Since the inception of their band, so far they have accumulated about four songs in their kitty. Though Shaili has no plans of shifting to Mumbai anytime soon, Siddhant and she work together on their music via emails, phone, etc. Two of their songs are: Banjaara, a kind of sad-romantic number about the good and bad aspects of being in love, is a slow number; Jaaniya, is about dealing with separation in love and has a slow alternative rock feel to it. Not just Hindi, The Soulsmiths are open to making English songs as well. Currently, they are in the midst of churning out some more singles, and hope to cut a full-fledged album in the near future.