Singer Aniket Dutta talks about his exciting new indietronica project, his fascination for things like broccoli, conch and kimono, and why he doesn't believe in competition
“I'm very much into nonsense poetry,” says Aniket Dutta. The confession comes after I probe the musician about his love of things that aren’t commonly known for arousing affection in humans, and its resulting reflection in his song titles – ‘Mechanical kimono’, ‘Broccoli negative’, ‘Conch’, among others. “I like to compare my feelings with a few objects I like. My lyrics don’t always deal with specific topics. It’s tough to explain the contents and comprehend it logically and neither do I want to.” Intriguing.
For duo/band line-ups, Aniket (right) is joined by his guitarist pal Subha
The 23-year-old Kolkata-based ‘indietronica/dream-pop’ artiste broke on to the circuit with what he calls a post hardcore/progressive rock band, in 2013. But destiny, and he, had different plans for himself. “I wanted to swing to the other side of the spectrum, so I was writing a few ideas down,” he says. After he showed these ideas to his friend Subha, who liked them instantly, it wasn't long before the two started jamming on the songs together. Oh, Rocket! was launched!
Aniket has released two EPs so far – The Clouds Woke No Clocks (2014) and the recently released Clever, Clever. While the act remains mostly solo, Subha joins in on the guitar during band line-ups. In the past few months, Oh, Rocket! has played quite a few gigs across the country, and going by social media updates, also received a great amount of love from fans. Much of it has been directed towards the gripping video of one of his songs, titled ‘Blue raccoon dog’. Chances are that if you listen to the introspective-trippy track once, you would come back to it. And its memorable title will make the coming back only easier.
Amidst all the electronica that is being produced by an increasing number of artistes experimenting with it these days, Aniket’s music has been able to hold its own thanks to his unpretentious compositions. His is the soothing, soulful kind of electronica that can rarely rub someone the wrong way.
As an artiste experimenting with electronica, how does he manage to stand apart from others from his league, I ask him. “I don’t believe that music is a competition. I guess being real to what one does matters the most when it comes to standing apart. People who are really into music and spend a lot of time listening to music can understand,” says Aniket. The only real things that he actually struggles with are expensive gear and the lack of a thriving independent music industry. However, an album is in the offing, and he’s hoping to release it by winter this year. “I've written most of it, now polishing the parts, re arranging and re writing some of it,” informs the singer-songwriter who counts MGMT, Foster The People, Cut Copy, The Postal Service, Copeland, Jagwar Ma et al his biggest influences. “And among Indian bands, it’s Pinknoise… yeah just Pinknoise,” he adds after a moment’s thought.
Oh, Rocket!’s music belies the outfit’s young age (in the world of electronica, usually it’s the reverse that is more common) – and that’s perhaps the reason why the one-man band won’t ever have to hunt for success; the latter will find it wherever it goes. Here’s wishing a happy flight!
Photo courtesy: Aniket Dutta