The famous five

Anjali Jhangiani
Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Yellow Diary, a Mumbai-based five-piece boy band is out with a thought-provoking three-track EP called Marz

Lost in a fun-fair, a child is wandering about, looking for something — or is she? The Yellow Diary, an all-boys Mumbai-based band, recently released the music video of their original track Marz. Produced by Sony Music, the video, directed by Maanavi Bedi, has a twist that is sure to leave you shaken up, awake and overwhelmed. It is noteworthy that the video is as powerful and provoking as the music. Here’s catching up with the band about their work...

Consisting of Rajan Batra on lead vocals, Himonshu Parikh, Vaibhav Pani, Stuart DaCosta, and Sahil Shah, The Yellow Diary was formed in 2015 when Rajan wanted Himonshu to produce a track, which interestingly, was Marz. Himonshu brought Vaibhav to play the guitars and they released a couple of tracks that got them attention from some biggies in the independent music scene, like Vishal Dadlani, Raghu Dixit, Ranjit Barot, and Warren Mendonsa to name a few. “Until then, this was just a studio project and we decided to finally take our music to the live stage. Himonshu then reached out to his ex-bandmate Sahil to be on drums, and in turn Sahil got his ex-bandmate Stuart to be on bass,” says Batra, adding, “All of us had prior experience of playing for various bands. More than the music, we enjoy the camaraderie amongst the five of us. We’re not just a band, we’re more like a family. This synergy reflects in our music to a great extent.”

The band got its name from the way they tend to make their songs. “Every song is a different story inspired by things happening around us — just as one would jot down their day’s events in a diary, each of our songs is a different chapter of that metaphorical diary. Also, yellow is a mysterious colour. It depicts warmth and positivity as well as a dark lurking side of emotions. Our music contains the same spectrum of emotions ranging from happy and encouraging to dark and introspective,” says Batra. 

He shares that the band’s music comes from within, which is why they touch upon thought-provoking topics. Are they going to consciously make songs that make sociological or political statements? “Our music is purely an expression of our thoughts. We never create a song from the point of it having some sort of sociological/political message. It is a feeling we are experiencing and our songs are simply an expression of it. It wasn’t even the intention with this EP. That is the beauty in the interpretation of art,”says Parikh, further explaining that having a strong opinion on whether music should have some kind of education in it or whether it can just be for fun, defeats the concept of art being an expression of the creator. “In its purest form, we use music to express ourselves. Music is indeed a powerful tool that helps raising awareness about several things. I think the use of this tool is the artist’s discretion,” adds Batra.

Marz is a three-track EP which includes Afzai and Kashmir, apart from the title track. Every song has its own way of finding its way into your head and lingering there as a feeling, an experience, or sometimes even an opinion. Talking about the themes that have inspired the tracks, Batra, who is the lyricist and quite a modern-day poet, says, “Marz was an afterthought to a story I came across about a man who kept denying the existence of love while his heart had a belief of its own. The song talks about what can happen when these two opposites refuse to surrender to each other, how a belief can turn into an obsession which encapsulates you like a disease. Afzai means encouragement. Sometimes, we subconsciously believe that if someone has failed once, they’d be a failure forever. However, sometimes one doesn’t fail because of their shortcomings, rather they lose to a situation. All they need to find victory again is a little encouragement.” He adds, “Kashmir is a thought. The song talks about how we have failed as human beings. No matter who you are, where you belong, what you believe in, or what your truth is, we have made a mess of the heaven that existed before we did.”

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