Get To Know Arnab Sengupta And His Release “Leap of Faith”

Arnab Sengupta is a Australia, Sydney based musician, composer and songwriter who is well versed in the arts of jazz-oriented sounds. Arnab has just released an original album titled “Leap of Faith”. We had a few questions and answers with him. Below are exclusive details on Arnab Sengupta and his new release.

 

 

What’s your official stage name and why did you choose it?

My official name is Arnab Sengupta and that is the name I go with as an artist.

 

Follow Arnab Sengupta on: Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube and Instagram.

 

When did you decide to pursue music as a career?

I have had a predilection for music since childhood. Having grown up in a middle-class Indian family, a career in music, especially Western music was a pipe dream. Even Though I followed the most prevalent, conventional path of getting an engineering degree and working in the IT industry for many years, I never gave up the hope of finding the right moment to make a switch to a full time career in music. That opportune moment came in early 2016, when I quit my job as a software analyst in a reputed technology company in Bangalore to concentrate wholly into music. But by that time I was already a seasoned musician having nurtured contemporary music through several decades of study, practice and performances.

 

How would you describe the music you typically create?

The music that I write and compose is a culmination of all the different styles and idioms of contemporary music that I have absorbed over the years. I love jazz harmonies and beautiful chord changes which you will find a lot in my songs. The harmonic sophistication of Jazz is the framework of my compositions but the interpretation of it in my work is very fresh and unique. I like to improvise song forms as well and add interesting twists and turns to the flow of the music in the songs. Lyrically, most of my content delves into the inner realisations from my journey of self-discovery and self-expansion.

 

Who (living or dead) inspires you as an artist and why?

I definitely have songwriting heroes like Billy Joel, Sting, Steely Dan and I greatly revere the works of Jazz masters and improvisers like Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, George Benson, Stan Getz. At one phase of my musical journey I was completely enamoured by Progressive Rock bands like Genesis, Yes, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Spocks Beard. So my spectrum of influences have been diverse. I have taken bits and parts of those sounds in my original music and added my own unique flavour.

 

What’s your creative process like?

There are several ways in which I approach the process of songwriting and composition. I play both the guitar and the piano. If I have made up my mind to compose for a particular instrument, then I start with a short melodic motif on that instrument of choice and follow it up with working out the chord changes. After that I decide how many forms would fit into the song which in turn leads to the rough arrangement. Once the first version of the melodic and harmonic structure is ready, I proceed to write the lyrics and work out the vocal melody lines simultaneously. Sometimes, I just come up with a tune in my head which deems fit for a song and end up creating the body and structure in a similar way. Since I have written a lot of songs over the years, the entire process has become very intuitive and quite efficient. But I still keep nurturing it to find new ways to express myself in the songs.

 

Get To Know Arnab Sengupta And His Release "Leap of Faith"
Get To Know Arnab Sengupta And His Release “Leap of Faith”

 

What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who listen to your music? Are you surprised by the reactions you get?

Like all other artists, I want the listeners to experience the same emotions in my songs that I feel as the creator. If I am able to convey those feelings, then I have been successful. Voice is a very powerful medium and it touches the heart of the listener in a way that no other instruments can, so I try to make my singing as emotive and evocative as possible. Listeners enjoy my vocal delivery along with the interesting harmonic changes that my music has to offer.

 

What is the best advice you’ve been given in relation to music?

One of the best pieces of advice that I have received from my teachers and other masters is that it works really well, when the musician gradually builds up the technical and emotional intensity of the music over the course of a song or a performance. That keeps the listener completely involved and interested.

 

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?

I am a daily practitioner of Vipassana meditation and I like to study myself from time to time via the process of mindfulness and self-awareness. So that is one practice that I diligently do outside of music. I have a busy schedule revolving around music teaching, music practice and composing, so I don’t get a lot of time to delve into other activities as such.

 

What has been the high point of your career so far?

A very rewarding and enriching journey over the last few years has been my deep dive into Jazz piano improvisation studies with my teacher Dave Frank from New York. It has completely transformed my musical delivery and approach. Five years ago, I was ruminating if I would ever be able to improvise in the Jazz idiom on the piano, something that I have always been intrigued about. At this point in time, not only am I able to fluently improvise over jazz tunes, but the way in which Dave has transferred this ocean of knowledge through his unmistakable way of teaching has been nothing short of a miracle. I can’t describe the feeling of gratitude and reverence that I have towards him. He has given me a way to create new music for life.

 

Which musician would you like to collaborate with?

There are so many musicians that I aspire to collaborate with that it’s difficult to choose. One name that definitely comes to my mind is Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. It would be interesting to see what our musical collaborations might sound like. 

 

Get To Know Arnab Sengupta And His Release "Leap of Faith"
Get To Know Arnab Sengupta And His Release “Leap of Faith”

 

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

When you are a newcomer in the industry and you are looking for gigs, the venue owners I usually want to find out what kind of following you have. Well, that is a catch 22 situation! Notwithstanding the fact that your music might be really good, if you have not played a lot, you might not have a lot of following to start with and if you don’t get a chance to play because of that, you will never develop one. So, it would be better if the patrons of live venues across the world focus more on giving the artist a chance based on the quality of his/her music and not care so much about the concomitants like social media presence, image, stream counts, etc..If the music sits well with the audience, it creates a win-win situation for the patrons, the artists and the audience.

 

What is this new release about?

My recently released third album – Leap of Faith is a result of all the original body of work that I had written and composed over the last five years. Leap of Faith in many ways symbolises a series of transformations that happened in my life over the last five years both on a physical and a spiritual level. I migrated to Australia from India, chose a more organic way of living both internally and externally, became a regular practitioner of Vipassana meditation and started a serious deep dive into Jazz piano improvisations with my teacher from New York – Dave Frank. The entire gamut of life experiences remains one of the most enriching periods of my life. It was not that I wrote the tunes necessarily as an outcome of these experiences, but they ended up reflecting this journey of mine.

 

Who and how many people worked on it?

I recorded the music with the help of online session musicians, some of whom I personally knew and some I discovered on the online session website airgigs. The vocals were recorded and the album was mixed and mastered by an incredible Sydney-based engineer -Zak Karolic. Here is the full list of the personnel for the album:

Musician Names/Instruments

Arnab Sengupta – Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards/Piano, Songwriting, Composition 

Arrangements.

Anshu Jha – Vocals, Songwriting on Face in The Crowd

Andrija Gavrilovic – Horns & Brass Arrangements, Trumpets, Saxophone

Sonu Sangameswaran – Bass on Leap of Faith

Elin Sandberg – Bass on Face in the Crowd, This Way

Yoshiki Yamada – Bass on Drudgery Train, Perfect Line, Set in Stone

Patrick Simard – Drums on Leap of Faith

Matias Menarguez – Drums on This Way, Face in The Crowd

Bruno Werner – Drums on Set in Stone, Perfect Line

Larry Salzman – Percussions on Drudgery Train

Scott Allen – Lead Guitars on Leap of Faith

Zak Karolic – Vocal recording, Mixing and Mastering @Love Hz studios, Sydney.

 

What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?

I am working on my fourth album, which will have more jazz piano-vocals vibes in a quartet setting. Expecting to release the album by the end of next year. Also, I will be recording a series of live videos with a band, for some of the original tunes from my three albums so far. The idea is to slowly build the momentum by performing all that material live.

 

If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?

Music is a very powerful force that has the ability to liberate you or take you to the depths of infinite darkness. It operates on three levels – on the level of the body, on the level of the mind and on the level of the spirit. So please be very mindful and careful on what you want to go with because your life and beyond depends on that.

 

Christian
Christian
Young and vibrant man I am, God fearing, warm at heart. Music is bae food is life. If you've seen this then you know me!!!
Distrokid

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