Ye Ajnabee is the latest single by indie musician Shivang Arora. It is a soft, mellow love song with lyrics that set an atmosphere for the listeners. While about loss and losing love, the song has a very positive take on the distance, and the learning opportunities it brings.
Shivang Arora has been producing his own music since he moved to Chennai to study at the prestigious KM College of Music & Technology. His music is all his own – he is the singer-songwriter, producer, and audio engineer on all his tracks. Music is his little nook of escape, where he can express himself in notes and melodies. The listeners can then add their own meaning to it!
Ye Ajnabee can be categorized as a soft rock song, with its slow-tempo beats on percussion, and incorporation of electric guitar riffs. These are constantly juxtaposed with Shivang’s tender vocals. Ye Ajnabee translates to ‘this stranger,’ and talks about a lover who has now come to be no more than a stranger. The instrumental elements help bring out the depth of emotion in the lyrics at the right places in the song.
In conversation with Shivang Arora
Ques. Where are you from? When and how did you know music was going to be your full-time passion forever?
Shivang: I’m from Karnal, Haryana. It’s a town near New Delhi. I was always inclined towards music. In school days, I’d always be singing or playing the guitar in all the events or the choir. Furthermore, I started recording cover songs quite early. I always knew this is something I never want to stop doing, so I chose to do music full time. I opted for audio engineering in uni to balance music with the nerd in me.
Ques. How has the experience of studying at KMMC been for you? How do you think it helps young musicians find their unique style?
Shivang: My experience at KMMC was quite profound; that’s what kicked off my journey as a songwriter. I definitely learned a lot from my teachers, peers, and my experiences there. Places like KMMC provide you with the right kind of environment and resources to work on your musical skills and technique. However, no one can walk the path of finding your unique style with you. You gradually develop it yourself when you experiment with different sounds, and see what works for you. The music that you listen to can also influence your style a lot, but don’t make that your identity, do your own thing! There’s only one of you in this world so what could be a better way to stand out than being yourself?
Learning to be the best, every day.
Ques. You are probably surrounded by other musicians on the regular, does that put you in a competitive position? How do you work with that stress?
Shivang: I think social media puts us into a competitive position with tons of brilliantly talented people every day! The key is to compare yourself only with your previous work. You must see how much you’ve grown as an artist and as an individual. Also, keep in mind your own weaknesses, and working on those too. When you hear another artist’s work, you’re hearing the end product. But you don’t know about all the effort that went behind it. Be realistic: don’t compare yourself with the industry professionals, and be 100% honest with your own work! Focus on self-improvement in a healthy way and strive to be the best version of yourself. 🙂
The Artist POV
Ques. How would you describe your music to a first-time listener who stumbles upon it on Spotify?
Shivang: If I had to choose a word, I would say ‘honest’. I make whatever comes to me, honestly. Quoting one of my idols, John Mayer, “A song is one part divine intervention and three parts code-cracking”. I never purposely go for a vibe or a genre, I just try to filter, crack the code and make sense of whatever comes to me when I’m making music. But from what my listeners tell me, they find my music quite comforting and peaceful. Moreover, I always keep experimenting with my sound.
About Ye Ajnabee
Ques. What inspired Ye Ajnabee? How personal is your music generally? Do you try to keep a distinction between how much you musically and what you keep to yourself, or is that something you just cannot do as a musician?
Shivang: Once again, my music is very honest. But I do take some artistic liberty to twist some things and make them more dramatic. So while the song is inspired by what I was feeling when I wrote it, I did take the liberty of exaggerating parts of it. I mostly try to express my feelings as accurately as I can, without revealing the facts of my stories. I do that because I want every listener to find their own stories within my songs. A wise songwriter once told me, ‘A song is as universal as it is personal.’ Humans often have very similar experiences and feel very similar emotions. With my music, I let my listeners know that they’re not alone and we’re all in this together. I guess that is the beauty of how art connects us all emotionally and spiritually!