Shalmali and Rajan in a candid conversation about ‘Baaki’ and more!

Shalmali and Rajan are two popular names in the music space. They have been mesmerising the listeners over the years and now they came together to create a song which will resonate with you. ‘Baaki’ is a beautiful composition, simplistic and heartfelt. Stemming from deep within, Shalmali and Rajan have given a song that will stay with you for a long long time. We had an interaction with them and here are the excerpts:

How does ‘Baaki’ connect with yourselves?

Shalmali: It is a very personal song, was written in English to begin with and it was named ‘Down and Up’ when I wrote the verse. The song came out of personal experience of mine from 2016 and I also wanted the song to capture the perspective of a guy to this. I played this song to Rajan and asked if he relates to this & would want to write the song along with me.

Rajan: Shalmali played me this song and it connected with me instantly. I felt so strongly about what I have been through in my life through the verse that Shalmali had written that I was able to write my part then and there. So, you can see that this song is highly personal to both of us.

Stream the song here:

What was the thought behind the production of the song?

Shalmali: I have a few scratches for the song with me having some variations. Having said that, when we finished the song writing process, we realised that it just needs a clean guitar to it and from there we will see what else needs to be added. Roland Fernandes has played guitar in this along with me and then he further added bass guitar to it. When we put this together, we found it was the sound we needed.

How did you connect with each other?

Shalmali: I had heard of The Yellow Diary, and I had heard of Rajan Batra who sings and writes for the band. Then I met him at an event where I felt that we should meet again and explore writing song with him. For me, it was also more about the person he is and the connect I could feel with him.

Rajan: Until today I wasn’t aware that Shalmali knew about me being a part of The Yellow Diary 😊 Shalmali is a star! For me, Shalmali became one of the best female voices after I heard ‘Pareshan’. The song itself was intense which resonates with my style of writing and singing. Meeting at the event that Shalmali said was a step towards making this song.

Shalmali, you are a commercial artist going indie in many ways and Rajan you are an indie artist going commercial in many ways yourself. What does this collaboration mean to each of yourselves?

Shalmali: The opportunities that presented themselves in my life have been commercial although I feel that I am an indie artist by soul. When commercial opportunities worked out, that became my identity. Instinctively, my writing is in RnB, Soul and not-so-pop genre. At the same time, I do engage in writing songs that have commercial vibes. This song, ‘Baaki’, gave me a chance to explore my indie side, which comes more naturally to me.

Rajan: I am just chasing dreams at this time. Of course, making commercial-sounding song helps but for this song you needed to be free from numbers. It all boils down to the kind of work you want to create for your audience or yourself. If that comes with a big number then I will be happy and even if it comes with a very small number, I will still be happy that it reached out to the ones who needed to hear this.

Industry will evolve when artists become stakeholders for live events and not just performers. What do you make of this?

Rajan: There are self-produced shows where artists do take a share from the numbers they bring to the event. Having said that, I won’t have a say in this at this stage as the industry as well as audience is evolving.

Shalmali: So far the shows that happen in general are shows where artists are paid upfront and ticket sales are not a component. I am trying to, myself, understand the ticketed shows ecosystem having come into independent scene. Also, it will depend the kind of audiences you can draw to watch you live and will depend upon the show you put up. The kind revenue you can generate through your show could also determine your appeal to the audiences.

Is there any other collaboration of yourselves coming up?

Rajan: After my bandmates, Shalmali is possibly one of the few persons with who I have connected. Having established this connection there will always be a chance to collaborate more.

Shalmali: While Rajan chose not to say it, I am disclosing this 😀 There are two songs in making. I have composed one and Rajan will be writing it and then there is some content which Rajan has sent where I am working to create a track out of it.

Well, with ‘Baaki’, Shlmali and Rajan have given us a song that resonates with our emotions. With more to come from both of them, there is an anticipation with excitement of what could be next!

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