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AAA Music | 18 September 2021

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AAA Music Approved: Root Murphy

| On 13, Jun 2021

Who are you and where are you from?

Root Murphy came together in late 2011, we were graduates who thought alike and wanted to practice music. Shortly after forming we released a single, and also performed a set of covers and originals at shows in our hometown New Delhi, India.

There were multiple line-up changes over the first few years. It was in 2014 over practices at ‘SoundStation’, a popular local jam-pad, that Vishwam and I first met and began to talk more of an approach that we found interesting. We decided to work on Root Murphy and create music at any capacity presented to us.

What inspired you to get into music?

Both Vishwam and I were introduced to music early on in our individual lives. There was so much that kept us inspired – Indian music and culture is vast, while we also had access to global music. There was a pounding curiosity to learn and practice more, and through the years we’ve been lucky enough to work with some very talented musicians.

We find a lot of inspiration in the music being created around us. India’s independent music scene is massive and is still gaining pace every day. In terms of artists, we have been inspired and influenced by an endless list – Dave Matthews Band, Joe Satriani, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Derek Trucks, Jose Gonsales, John Mayer, Jojo Mayer, Radiohead. Some Indian names – Skinny Alley, Them Clones, Soulmate, Zero, Black Strat Blues, Pentagram.

We like delving into our music and constructing a larger theme with our songwriting.

The genre framework can relate to us to the point of our instrumentation, it is usually judged by playing styles, sounds and instrumentation of a song. We have tried to create an experience by including different musical styles and different sounds added to the environment. Here, we may become slightly genre fluid.

What have you done?

Root Murphy has been around for some time now, we collaborated with different projects where we created background music, jingles and in a few instances some sound design.

We received merit for our work in a short film, and also got the chance to create for a TV Commercial. We feel gratitude towards these projects where we indulged with so much more, in terms of production.

Our friends and acquaintances have also let us know that in our work they found the reassurance to do more – we’re humbled. And we’re thankful for this capacity to be able to create music.

Kinetophone is our debut album and we’re releasing it by the part (called Stacks), with 2 Stacks released we will now be taking you to the other half of this album. We’ve received some critical mentions with publications such as – Rolling Stone India, Mid-day India, The Indian Music Diaries, Soundsphere (UK), The Orange Magazine (US) – we’re delighted that our work resonates at some level and we’re very grateful for the inclusion.

What are you like live?

While we haven’t toured so far, individually we have gotten the chance to play music in other parts of India. As Root Murphy, we are open to such opportunities and in fact are working towards the same. Root Murphy was initially a live act that included multiple songs and playing styles with registers full of lyrics and cues, hopefully with the latest releases we’ll soon perform at a stage near you.

The Indian Independent Scene has been growing tremendously for a few years now and there are many musicians we would like to show our support towards – Thermal and a Quarter, Avial, Indigo Children, Fuzzculture, Bloodywood, Vahaka, R#onbus, Mali, Bhavya Raj Pandey, Jordan Johnson, Rooh, Cosmic Truth and many more. We support the culture and would love to see artists bloom and keep creating.

What makes you different?

There is a uniqueness to any artist finding a voice of expression. It is purely that artist, their own originality, that only they can offer to an audience. That said, why people may listen to us or why they may resonate with our music is an answer only they can give you. For us, we enjoy what we create and that seems to translate to our music.

Physical vs Downloading vs Streaming…How do you listen to music?

While streaming services are convenient and we too have dipped into music in that manner, they have played a crucial role in how content is being approached and engaged with by an audience. The audience now engages with quicker experiences and a variety of content to actively choose from or passively accept what is available. Also, a high amount of content generated regularly has made it crucial for artists to be innovative and the next step in the sound they create, using every tool in their own possible way. In fact, this makes it even more essential for the exploration of themes and art in music to exist at such a time.

For record labels, I feel catering to an audience or a platform has become way easier since the number of artists and outlets have grown. But the competition between record labels has also grown. This in turn makes curation a very important step as new sounds or fresh musical perspective can be exactly what changes things.

What have you been listening to?

We were introduced to Parcels recently and that was a great find! Jacob Collier keeps it interesting. Snarky Puppy, Tom Misch, Anderson Paak, Bruno Mars are all extraordinary artists to listen to, also the Instagram finds – Mateus Asato, Kazuki Isogai, Jude Smith, Elise Trouw. The Indian scene is also booming with some great tracks – Bless Yah Heals (MaryKali), Narcissus (Mocaine), Amar (Prabhdeep), Red (Sanjeeta), Qareeb (Kamakshi), Cool Kids (Kayan).

What are your aspirations for the future?

You can expect Root Murphy to keep writing music, we’ve always been around. For now, we’re working on sharing music videos, live versions of the songs released, increasing our social media presence and also sharing the next stack of the album. We’re open to possibilities and are always looking to take the next step forward.

Questions answered by: Amlan Nayar of Root Murphy…