Hriday Gattani is an Indian playback singer, music director, songwriter and performer from Mumbai. Hriday Gattani grew up watching great artists perform live and was surrounded by musicians in his formative years because of his father’s career in music management. He has just released his new single, ‘Saaya’, yesterday and we had a brief interaction with him bout music, work and life. Here it is:
Can you tell us about your new single, ‘Saaya’?
‘Saaya’ is a song that’s really, really close to my heart. It was something that was so organic, I can’t even express it because I literally came up with the idea, I came up with the melody and we produced it in a couple of hours. And then I wrote it in a couple of hours on another day and it was ready on the first go, on the first try. And when that happens, honestly, it’s not something you should boast about, but when that happens, it’s meant to be. It’s a song that just came together so beautifully and organically without trying too hard. Sometimes when you have the simplest ways of reaching a creative project and the process is really simple and smooth, I would say, the beauty of it is something that I can’t really explain. Everyone’s aligned so perfectly. It’s also very special because I wrote ‘Saaya’, I composed ‘Saaya’ and I also co-produced ‘Saaya’ with another friend of mine called Nakul Abhyankar. And I mixed ‘Saaya’, it’s mastered by Donal Whelan from London. But because I was so involved in this project, it’s really close to my heart.
Watch ‘Saaya’ here:
What was your inspiration behind the same?
I feel sometimes the inspiration is subconscious and my subconscious was trying to tell me something and it was ‘Saaya’ in making. I was in Chennai working with Rahman Sir on a project and I had the good fortune of assisting on a project called ‘Dil Bechara’. We were working on a lot of melodies, and I was so inspired working with him. I took the flight into Bombay while we had a short break, and we weren’t working on the project. Back home, I was just sitting on the piano and coming up with ideas and this progression came to me. The progression in itself had something really eerie to it, but it had beautiful and mesmerizing and encapsulating. I feel like there is always divine intervention in art. I don’t take full credit for anything that I’ve come up with because I honestly don’t know how I came up with it. Then I took that voice note which I recorded at my piano at home to the studio and I started working on the rough production of the track and coming up with the whole melody. It just seemed like a song that has many shades to it, which is when ‘Saaya’ became the title, an expression of your subconscious. It is the expression of something that lives within you. It is you itself that’s a Saaya.
In general too, I have been inspired by so many artists growing up and till date. I feel like a little part of each and every one of them is in every of my songs. You draw so much from the people you listen to, the people you imbibe, the people you enjoy. The moment you smile, that moment is locked in your mind forever. So if something makes you smile, you know you’re inspired by it. And I think those are all my inspirations behind the song.
What do you hope listeners will take away from ‘Saaya’?
I feel like listeners will take away one very, very important thing. Because the song has its eerie yet poppy part, it makes you feel like dancing and grooving and then singing out aloud like exclaiming literally and letting go.
I feel like listeners would want to take away a song that is something that tells them that don’t worry, be happy, but in a slightly more serious way. Not preachy, but serious in the sense, it’s something more intense and still makes you feel like, okay, I can just get lost in this and not worry. And I think that’s what I would love for listeners to feel when they listen to this song.
How was your experience working with A.R. Rehman in the past?
My experience with Rehman Sir has been multi-fold. It’s been so, so beautiful and enlightening. I think it also put me in spots where it’s pushed me to edges, because keeping up with someone like him, who’s so incredible, gives you performance anxiety at times. So you push yourself to kind of try and get to 20% of him. And I think those are the experiences that I’ll always cherish with Rehman Sir. It’s always been about, he’s always pushed me in the deep end of things where he’s been like, “yeah, yeah, you can do it. Come on, just make it happen, don’t worry. You can do this. I’m giving you this job. Bye”. And then you’re like, okay, I can do this, you know. If he can have faith in me, then who am I to stop myself? And I think those are the most brilliant learnings that I’ve had from working with Rahman Sir on his projects.
What ways has he influenced your music?
I think that is a question that’s difficult to answer in one sentence. It’s a life story probably, because from the day ‘Roja’ and ‘Bombay’ released, there’s not been an album that hasn’t had more than three or four songs that have influenced me or influenced this generation, I would say. He’s been so, so path-breaking with his style, his process, his musicality, production, his songwriting, his melodies. Everything has been inspiring. Till date, whenever I make, I think back to, could I play this on the flute? Just the melody and will it work? Because when you think of the melody from Sathiya, it is a melody that encapsulated people’s minds, not just because of the lyrics, but because it was so pure. And those are the kind of influences I’ve had in my music. It’s always melody first and then production that blows people’s minds.
Can you share with us any upcoming projects or collaborations that you are excited about?
Now it’s the independent music time for me. I’m super excited about this. I’m releasing three songs in this phase right now and all three are really cool. I have collaborated with some fantastic writers for this. Then I am coming up with some more music, which has some more interesting people who are going to be coming on board. There are some musicians like Darshan Doshi, who’s played drums for my upcoming track ‘Darmia’. There is Amritanshu Dutta, who’s played slide guitar for ‘Baavre’. There are some more musicians who are going to be coming on board on some of the songs that you’ll hear later in the year. Apart from that, I’m also working on a film that I cannot speak much more about, but I’m really excited about it. It’s coming out really beautifully and you’ll hear about it soon and when you do, we’ll chat more about it. These are a few of the future projects that are coming up that I’m super excited about.
Well with so much in store, we will surely be looking to catch up more with Hriday. But for now, we are streaming ‘Saaya’ on loop, what are you doing?
Article by Sneha N.
Photo Credit to the artist