You need to listen to Nicholson


You need to listen to Nicholson

This singer-songwriter and electronic artist gives us goosebumps

By Sonam Savlani  June 5th, 2014

His EP can’t be boxed by genre. “We’re trying to build a show,” says Mumbai-based artist, Sohrab Nicholson. Imagine the visceral world of electronic artist James Blake with the melodies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, coupled with a generous helping of XXYYXX’s synths. His “electro-organic” project, Nicholson, features him on keys and vocals, producer Rohan Ramanna on drums, and has electronic outfit Dirty Jays (Jehangir Jehangir and Stuart DaCosta) creating soundscapes and live loops.

He’s a modest jazz pianist. “I studied jazz piano in Canada for four years, but to be honest, I didn’t feel good enough. It was really competitive.” But it helped his grip on structure and harmony. His track ‘For What’, with its swell of haunting harmonies, perhaps addresses these insecurities.

His fable-like lyrics come easily to him. “I write in the middle of the night, or leave voice memos on my iPhone,” he says. They’re “hyperbolised” takes on his life. As a result, he listens to ‘Rise and Fall’ the least. It’s a jazz-inspired number with the quietest delivery of lyrics. “I like the instrumentation on that,” he adds. “But I guess it’s the one that affects me most.”

Nicholson’s EP, For What, can be downloaded for free here: Nicholson.bandcamp.com/releases. You can also catch the act at Live From the Console, Mumbai, on June 7; at High Spirits, Pune, on June 18; at Blue Frog, Mumbai, on July 10 

Photograph: Neville Sukhia