We connected with Parekh & Singh, a dreamy pop duo from Calcutta, to discuss their influences, the creative process and their distinct visual tableaux.
What makes you guys work as a duo? How do you strike a creative balance? What are the moments that can potentially turn into disagreement?
We understand that life is characterised by give and take, ebb and flow, dynamic forces and phases. The striking of the creative balance is the relationship we are in – personally and professionally. It’s a continuous work in progress but what probably makes it really work is trust and a very similar sense of humour.
How would you say your sound has changed between ‘Ocean’ and ‘Science City’?
Maybe it got a bit older and a bit more serious.
What are some of the themes you guys are drawn to in your song-writing?
Love, emotions, thoughts, relationships, family, the human condition, science, art, technology, storytelling, humour, musicianship.
When did you guys know the Wes-Anderson-esque approach to your video treatments is what you wanted as your visual representation? Why the suits?
It all kind of happened over time. That approach just makes us feel good – it’s about visual balance, harmony, orchestration, and a care taken over the details. The suits have thus far been a uniform. We’re now in the process of evolving the visual aspect of the project.
Where do you guys derive inspiration from – outside of other musicians?
Watching TV and films, reading, writing, eating meals, having conversations, pondering, observing our lives as we live it.
From early days to now – how have things changed for you guys?
We’re a bit more professional in the areas of production, public relations and enterprise. We keep trying to raise the quality of the things we make and the way we deploy those things. Other than that not much has changed – the project is our medium to share ideas, emotions, stories, sounds and images with each other, and with our audience.
Any interesting gig stories/experiences?
Every live show results in stories, but they’re usually nerdy inside jokes, so we can’t really share them!
How do you guys stay motivated? What’s the downside of doing what you love? Since your announcement in 2019, how have you been addressing your performance anxiety? Any advice for people that might be dealing with the same thing?
Motivation comes from the sheer love that we have for music and creation.
A relationship with anxiety must evolve, like any other relationship. Addressing it, accepting it and allowing it to do its worst is a part of that evolution. Fear is not healthy in general, so tools like cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation, regular exercise and overall good mental hygiene have been supportive in removing the fear of anxiety. We don’t think anxiety is something that should be “cured”; it’s not a virus or infection. It’s something that exists naturally within everyone – for the ones that have higher levels of anxiety, we would recommend a mix of therapy, meditation and paying some attention to one’s physical health.
Any upcoming work we can look forward to?
We are always creating audio-visual content, which we will continue to release regularly over the coming months. There will also be some live shows.
What about Calcutta inspires/moves you? What do you wish you could change about it?
There is still a lot of offline living history in Calcutta, which increasingly provides a refreshing contrast to the pace and momentum of online global trends. Calcutta is also extremely diverse culturally, with a solid local and street food scene. The change we’d love to bring is to protect the unique fabric of the city while somehow helping to improve its physical conditions.
Do you guys work on solo projects when not working together?
Nischay has just launched a new solo project titled ‘Nishu’ with which he is, to begin with, exploring songwriting in Hindi.
Nishu released his new track ‘Pardo’ on 28 Feb, 2020. Check out the song below
Words by Alina Gufran