Manas Jha

New York-based singer-songwriter Manas Jha just released a new music video Shadeswhich speaks about the often ignored and under-reported topic of anxiety disorders in children. With classrooms closed under lockdowns, unequal access to technology, and a general disruption of routine, the pandemic is leading to increased anxiety and PTSD among young people.

Manas Jha

Shadesopens up a discussion about children’s anxious behaviours, something for which Manas Jha borrows from his own experiences for. The music video produced by Ekabhuya Animation Studio (that has made videos for Swadesi, The Local Train and Nucleya, among others) rolls out incidents from Jha’s school days of dealing with anxiety — praying fervently for his name to not be called out for public speaking, avoiding friends on the football field, engaging in substances when he was too young to understand what they were doing to him. Ekabhuya brings to life these incidents in their unique animation aesthetic. 

The music video aims at raising awareness and encouraging the ones struggling to call out for help from family, friends or professionals. A strong source of support, guidance and inspiration for this comes from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, which Manas extensively supports and works with. 

Watch the Music Video here.

Born and raised in the Bombay Indie scene of the late 90’s, Jha was invested in listening to GIR tapes, buying the latest edition of RSJ, reading Gig-pad forums, standing first in line for I-Rock Rang Bhavan, scoring faculty passes for Mood-I IIT Bombay, and really doing just about anything to catch his then favourite bands from the scene. 

Eventually Manas started writing some music with his friends and formed a band. For a while, they played live at local gigs but never really got around to be able to afford a recording studio. Later in 2009, Manas flew out to the US to pursue higher studies but alas, once studies wrapped up, music took a backseat to day jobs. 

After settled in the USA, Manas kickstarted his passion for music once again and shifted his focus on collaborating with a more inclusive set of musicians, maturing songwriting, learning music production, as well as working with professional studios and indie filmmakers. 

Today, Manas has two EPs and a single under his label. His debut EP ‘Remote Collaborations’ released in June 2016, brought together his friends from across US, Europe, and India, and provided a way to stay connected irrespective of the geographical location. The release was followed by a single ‘You Were There’ in collaboration with his guitarist friend ‘Sudeip’ in June 2017, and another EP ‘Reimagined’ in November 2019. 

Manas is working on his future projects during the lockdown and is currently co-writing the script for the next music video ‘Curtains’ with his wife, also off the ‘Reimagined’ EP. He’s also working on a demo for an upcoming song with producer and guitar extraordinaire Keshav Dhar. 

You can follow Manas on Instagram here.

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Big thanks to Mr Prasad Iyer from 4/4 who helped co-ordinate and make this possible.