Talking About ‘Bruises’ With Saroj Kashyap

On our recent monthly music round-up, you’ll discover ‘Bruises,’ a tune with a melody so captivating and lyrics so profound that we had to spotlight its architect and understand where her music stems from.

We talked with Bengaluru-based singer-songwriter Saroj Kashyap on the back of releasing her first single of 2024, ‘Bruises,’ yet another piece of her expanding music catalog produced by musician Ritwik Bhattacharya. 

Who Is Saroj Kashyap?

Musician Saroj Kashyap was initially trained in Carnatic classical music, although it was not something that she immediately gravitated to as a child. Exposure to heavier-sounding and hitting tunes from Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Metallica, Serj Tankian’s System Of A Down, British rockers Pink Floyd, and alternative rock/nu metal icons Linkin Park caught the musician’s eye during her early/mid-twenties.

Saroj Kashyap – ‘Nargis

Frequent visits to Bengaluru’s live music venues – Le Rock, Jimi’s, and Purple Haze – were the catalysts for her introduction to such music. “It was the lyrics that caught my attention,” she says. “I like songs that are honest and inclusive. Damien Rice is another artist I absolutely adore. His songs are perfect because of the imperfections and the honesty to them.”

As for her dwellings in Carnatic music, Kashyap expresses, “It was hard for me to relate to the very limited range of emotions in those otherwise beautiful compositions.”

Saroj Kashyap And Her Music

“My songs usually tend to be about complex emotions and vulnerabilities. They are deeply personal and are written with the intent of seeking clarity and acceptance.”

At the time of this interview, Saroj has four solo music releases and a couple of collaborative outings with musician Aditya Patwardhan. When we quizzed the artist to describe her music, she communicated, “My songs usually tend to be about complex emotions and vulnerabilities. They are deeply personal and are written with the intent of seeking clarity and acceptance. They are targeted towards those that are navigating similar emotional landscapes.”

Saroj acknowledges her songs are, in her own words, “definitely not what you would generally want to listen to on your road trips.” However, she genuinely adds, “I like to keep my lyrics honest and raw and hope it offers company and solace in your darkest and loneliest of times.”

Saroj on ‘Bruises’

“More than the song, it was the relief of having finally let it out of my system.”

We delved into ‘Bruises’ and its challenging themes of tough love and abuse, with Kashyap understandably stating the song is “a little difficult to talk about” as some compositions are best expressed in their art form. She says, “This particular part of my life has haunted me for a long time and I wanted closure. With the melody, I didn’t really put too much thought into it. The lyrics were straight out of my notes during my not-so-good times.”

Saroj Kashyap – ‘Bruises’

“More than the song, it was the relief of having finally let it out of my system,” declares Saroj, while also showering praise on the work done by her producer Ritwik Bhattacharya and cinematographer Puneeth Mohan.

Diving into themes of ‘Bruises,’ Kashyap passionately voices, “It is about how your caretakers, in their zeal to protect you, end up inflicting harm that you take decades to heal from… Some never heal and some pay it forward because they do not know any better.”

Previous Releases And Songwriting Approach

“I usually let my emotions lead the way. There is no particular approach that I take. If the melody and lyrics fit the current mood, we have a song.”

The singer/songwriter had three music releases in 2023 – ‘Dancing With The Demons,’ ‘Nagris,’ and ‘Rabbithomes,’ all sonically distinct and laced together with splendid vocals. Saroj acknowledges that, as time passes, she is still discovering and experimenting with her sound. (And we are all for it!)

Discussing each of the tracks, she says, “‘Nargis’ definitely was the smoothest so far. That’s the song that’s closest to my heart in terms of the lyrics, melody, and the overall production of it.” Kashyap also revealed her debut single, ‘Dancing with the Demons,’ will always be special to her as she declares, “With this song, I chose to be vulnerable in front of the world outside of mine.”

If you peek into ‘Rabbithomes,’ you’ll notice a shift in the genre while staying true to her poignant lyrics, as the song is packed with vibrant sonics and buoyant beats. “The easiest yet most challenging was ‘Rabbithomes’ because I don’t really write songs of this nature It is a peppy upbeat song, which is not my strength musically. I still struggle to sing that one live.”

Saroj Kashyap – ‘Dancing with the Demons’

To fully comprehend her storytelling approach, we probed the artist about her songwriting process, to which she disclosed, “I usually let my emotions lead the way. There is no particular approach that I take. If the melody and lyrics fit the current mood, we have a song.”

When not crafting music, Saroj lives “a very boring and solitary life in which I predominantly decompose. Either in front of the TV or on my week-long solo trips. Food and travel are what I live for.”

The road up ahead illuminates brightly for Saroj Kashyap with a forthcoming Kannada music project in tandem with singer Deepa Baraati, and the artist is also hopeful to unshackle a song about her relationship with social media later this year. In terms of live gigs, she says, “I started playing my originals live only in the last few months. I am excited to see where it takes me.”

We concluded our exchange with Kashyap expressing, “A huge shoutout to those who have stayed by my side cheering me on even though we barely know each other, validating my feelings and pushing me towards the light. I am grateful.”

Find Saroj Kashyap on: Instagram | Spotify Apple Music

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