Mumbai-based singer-songwriter, producer, and guitarist Zohran Miranda released his debut EP ‘Time For Two,’ a collaborative project featuring a swarm of talented artists and musicians. The five-track EP features Zohran’s staple pop-infused sounds, lo-fi electronic beats, RnB funky disco, and retro-futuristic synths. We took advantage of the opportunity to speak with the exceptional musician in order to better understand his story and the narratives he intends to communicate via music.
Early Days and Picking Up His First Musical Instrument
Zohran spent his childhood growing up in Muscat, wrapped in a musical atmosphere created by his parents. His father, a music buff and a fan of rock & roll and country music, would regularly plug in tunes from Dire Straits, B.B. King, and Eric Clapton on a cassette player, influencing Zohran’s early taste in music. Nudged to take up guitar classes at age nine, Zohran says, “I hated it, I hated the guitar, it is a daunting physical instrument to get across, and your fingers hurt.”
He adds, “I love music as a listener but it’s too painful to make it.” Zohran’s weekly guitar tutor would inquire about his practice schedule, and he would be perplexed as to why he was practicing and where it was leading him.
It wasn’t until Grade 9 of schooling and meeting other like-minded musicians that Zohran’s curiosity without a teacher grew. The music he and his troop would regularly jam to was Greenday, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns and Roses, and Metallica. Shifting away from the acoustic guitar, Zohran remarks that he purchased his first “dirt cheap electric guitar from a garage sale.”
Zohran spent time with a couple of college bands and later worked in an administrative role at a medical company. Post work, he’d indulge in self-learning music production, making experimental tracks at home, crafting music, and even landing a few jingles for media companies; still unsure if this could have the potential be a full-time career.
Zohran Miranda on ‘Time For Two’
The artist ropes in vocalist Yamini Lavanian, pop duo Simetri, Bevan Fonseca, Natasha Pinto, Aditya Ashok, Rushad Mistry, and Ralph Menezes, to list a few artists, on his new EP ‘Time For Two.’ Zohran teamed up with Jovian Soans, who co-produced and mixed and mastered ‘Time For Two,’ to bring it to it’s fullest potential. We dived into the details of the EP to understand how it all came together.
He starts by quoting an old saying, “Putting the best musicians in the room would not necessarily make the best music, and that is a hard pill to swallow.” The guitarist states that respect for fellow musicians is paramount in this field, and he is fortunate that everyone featured had a setup at home. “For me, these people are really close friends. They are people I have seen grow over the years, and I really connect with them on an honest level because I think that level of vulnerability and honesty is required from somebody even before the musician in them comes out. Do you even respect this person on a human level?”
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“For the EP, it was like kind of going, who would really hit this song? Who would really connect with this song? Who would find these words honest for them to speak out?” illustrates Zohran. Writing his own music since 2010, he goes on to explain that it took a while to get this music out as the “belief was not there.” The massive talent pool in Mumbai and India quashed his inner voice to the point he felt afraid to send his music to even his close pals.
Closing out our conversation about the EP, the singer-songwriter voices out, “Making this EP and making music is like a conversation with myself, that I am able to impress myself. It is kind of like a validation test in a way. You play with all these artists and you are a session musician for all these people, but I have something to say, and how do I say it?”
‘Time For Two’ EP Listening Sessions
Zohran and his crew expertly devised an intimate EP listening session with folks close to him and musicians who performed on the EP. Together with the music community OriginalDog, Headphone Zone store was set up to resemble Zohran’s workstation. Each track was introduced by Zohran, and his tunes, delivered through the finest headphones, ferried attendees sonically in-depth into his music. Attendees were given the option of trying on different audio gear to listen to the songs.
The singer-songwriter describes the event as ‘an idea of reaching out to the community.’ “I want people to have an amazing audio experience listening to it on the stuff that even I can’t afford,” chuckles Zohran as he explains. When the idea of EP Listening Sessions was first presented to the artist, he immediately shot it down as he found it intimidating, but later caved to the overall presentation. “I was very nervous, but watching everyone bob their heads, smile, close their eyes, and react to the music… I can’t put that in words.”
Days after the release of his latest project, Zohran premiered an animated video for the EP’s eponymous single, ‘Time For Two.’ We wrapped up the hour long conversation with Zohran further discussing the evolution of an artist, the current music festival boom, the state of the indie music scene, live gigs in Mumbai, artists becoming brands, musicians hiding away assuming nobody will listen to their music, making concerts an experience, and a lot more!
The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
All images are acquired from artist.