Aman Sagar – On My Own

Aman Sagar is a singer/songwriter who just released his debut EP called 'On My Own' produced by Ritwik De at Ghar Ka Studios, New Delhi. Aman is currently studying music at Berklee College of Music and was one of the three recipients of the prestigious A R Rahman Scholarship at Berklee. 'Musicmandir' had a little chat with Aman about his journey so far and what the future holds for him.

Musicmandir : Hi Aman, can you take us back to how it all started?. When did you get serious about music and what motivated you to release an EP?.
Aman Sagar : I grew up in a small town with no music scene of its own. There was always music in the household though, from my father's old Bollywood vinyls to my sister's late 90s and early 2000s pop cassettes. The first time my "I want to be a musician when I grow up" impulse kicked in was when I was about 15 and had recently discovered the guitar. That impulse succumbed to the pressures of entrance examinations and getting a 'good' course in a 'good' college. The first time I subconsciously made a decision to negotiate with the possibility of being a musician was when I dropped out of a reputable course in a reputable college and decided to study English Literature in an equally reputable college. It starts to make sense when I tell you that the "music society" of this college was quite a good one and practiced almost every day after college hours. I graduated in three years and I must've spent a year's worth of time in the music room, jamming and writing music with these various talented musicians having different backgrounds and tastes in music. I was also gigging a lot in New Delhi and doing sessions as a guitarist for various bands. it was this almost ritualistic sort of relationship with music for those 3 years that finally made me want to study music and make it a profession.
The EP was kind of like a reminder to myself about the real reason why I got into music in the first place. I was self-taught due to lack of teachers in my hometown and I took a few lessons when I came to Delhi. When you start studying music and digging into the technicalities, It takes you to a whole new space in terms of music appreciation. The honeymoon period of my relationship with music was over and now it took a lot more to excite me than just generic pop songs. It was a great space to be in to develop knowledge and skill but the revelation that I wanted to be an accessible storyteller with my music did not take too long. That's when I started writing songs.
Musicmandir : What are your influences and if we were to peep into your music player right now, what would we find?
Aman Sagar : I am influenced by everything the people who influenced me while growing up were listening to. I can chart you my timeline so far based on the phases of appreciation I had for all kinds of genres. I was into everything that was on the charts and I had a phase where I hated everything that was on the charts. But after the whole "finding myself" phase, the biggest influences for me have been songwriters like Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, and John Mayer.
Right now I am listening to a lot of Frank Ocean and a fair amount of Electronic music.
Musicmandir : How do you feel about the music landscape in India today?
Aman Sagar : The Independent music landscape in India is super exciting. There is so much freedom per square foot to experiment with your sound because there is pretty much no mainstream. It's very singular. And it's better than ever. There are more bands, more venues, and more fans. At the same time, it is also getting hard to attract people's attention and hold it for a while. But it is mostly positive growth.
Musicmandir : Big venues and noisy crowds or small places with a quiet audience? Why?
Aman Sagar : That's an interesting question to answer because I haven't played a big venue with noisy crowds with my own music yet. But I have played at a few festivals and big crowds are definitely more fun if they are in it for the music. I find a quiet audience very intimidating.
Musicmandir : Any favourite Indian artists you love listening to? Anyone you would like to collaborate with?
Aman Sagar : Quite a few of them! I love the music of Parekh and Singh, Tejas Menon, Chayan and Smiti. I would love to collaborate, especially live, with Thermal and a Quarter or Soulmate.
Musicmandir : What does the future hold? We understand you are jetting off to the US.
Aman Sagar : Right now I'm just focusing on writing as much music as I can and putting it out there. I still have at least 3 more years in Boston until I finish school. I have a bunch of new songs which sound quite different from this EP and I am excited to see how my songwriting evolves.
Thanks Aman for speaking to us so candidly and we wish you the best for the future.
You can follow Aman on his Facebook page here
Thanks for reading.