Scratch the Blues | Herald of the Deccan


At an age when most children are fascinated by cartoons, Anuraag Gawhale was drawn to music. As a child he listened to R&B songs and artists like Abba, Yanni, Queen, Billy Joel and Bon Jovi. It didn’t take long for his singing talent to be discovered by a music teacher who advised his parents to formally train him.

A few years later, when Anuraag was 12, he tried his hand at the guitar but gave up after a few months because his little fingers hurt. However, Anuraag’s fate was already sealed when he took over the instrument to make it a vital part of his very existence. “I was so passionate about playing that I often forgot to eat and my parents thought something was wrong with me,” the 23-year-old guitarist joked.

Over time, Anuraag began to participate in various musical events at school, which also continued in college. The more he performed and was praised for his talent, the more certain he became of his vocation. “Although it was a natural progression, the decision to get into music professionally came after college,” he explained.

Creation of Calico

The desire to create the music of his choice led Anuraag to form a group called Calico in 2018. “I decided to quit my band because I was not creating the kind of music that I always wanted to do, and Calico was formed with this goal in mind. ,” he said.

Before being disbanded in the summer of 2020, Calico had already made its mark in the music world. “A few months after the release of our first single, Garnet Eye, we received the award for best young independent at the sixth annual Radio City Freedom Awards,” said Anuraag. Additionally, the song made it to the Rolling Stone India list of best singles of 2018. The band added another feather to their cap when they collaborated with Bollywood composers AR Rahman and Clinton Cerejo for Nexa Music in 2020 for its second official release, Battles, which garnered over half a million views on YouTube.

Soul and jazz

Guitarist, whose comfort zone is R&B music due to his influences from soul music, he loves the complexity offered by jazz. “Genres like Hip Hop and Rap have also been crucial to my music,” he added.

Anuraag has been mentored by some of the biggest names in the business, including Grammy Award-winning artists.

He co-wrote songs and toured with Norah Jones, Nick Jonas, John Mayer and John Legend.

In addition to playing the guitar, Anuraag’s creative side inspires her to write songs and take on freelance modeling assignments. However, the young singer did not hesitate to admit: “I like both but the music has the upper hand.”

This year, Anuraag will complete a decade of weaving magic with her music and has decided to pass on the details of the guitar in the form of a four to six week mentorship program.

“I will share a lot of ideas that I have gathered from my mentors and those that I have gained through my experience,” he said.

The program will focus on intuitive playing, fluidity, harmony of chords and melodic phrasing. “This course is intended for singer-songwriters who use the guitar as their primary instrument,” he explained.

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