Singer-songwriter Sunit Zadav took a roundabout path to music, via medical school. This professor of anatomy first realised he could sing in the seventh grade, and even formed a nu-metal band called SOS in junior college. But it wasn’t till he discovered the breezy cool charm of Jason Mraz and John Mayer while studying medicine that he really took to the acoustic guitar. Eventually, he chose to pursue a master’s in anatomy, a non-clinical branch, so as to dedicate his free time to music. “Since my 9am to 4pm teaching job has no emergencies, and my evenings are relatively free, finding time for music is not as difficult,” says the 30-year-old.
But that choice was not an easy one, and its emotional fallout, he says, fed directly into the making of his semi-autobiographical debut EP, Quarter Life Crisis. “It was a difficult decision. Many people disapproved of it. Add to that my first heartbreak, and you get the perfect recipe for a quarter life crisis. I first heard the term in John Mayer’s ‘Why Georgia’ and it stuck,” he says.
Zadav’s five-track indie-pop EP catalogues the familiar trials of youth, in catchy and confessional tones. He devotes most of the album to heartbreak and its major-domo: love. From the plaintive opening number, ‘She don’t like me anymore’, to the punchier, neo-soul sounds of ‘Go find yourself’ and the anthemic ‘Goodbye worry’. Then, there’s ‘Chandeliers,’ the sombre last song that Zadav says is a perfect segue to his next EP. He’s already composed it, and it has a more serious and ambient sound, but it won’t be recorded until 2020.
For now, Zadav’s in no rush to dive headlong into a music career; he’s toying with the idea of filming a music video or touring with a band. But the certain next step? “I need to get into research and get promoted to associate professor from assistant professor.”