It was on a lazy morning at his sister’s house in Pune. Singer-songwriter Tejas was whiling away time in front of the television set when he was struck by the realisation that the corporate world wasn’t for him. The epiphany came after he had already quit a good position at an advertising firm, and with it, he decided that his debut album was going to set a dream in motion.
“This is what I’d rather do,” he told himself, before he began to work on Make It Happen – an album that appropriately is about his experience of navigating through his twenties. It serves as a “good documentation,” he said, of his decision to abandon the comfort of a well-paying but dissatisfying job.
Make It Happen is pop rock with a soul that only speaks in ballads. It is lush and has instantly catchy music, with a voice that sails over the soundscape with ease.
Back in 2015, Tejas was still juggling to build two careers. Around this time, he began writing music voraciously – songs that he had only heard in his head. Soon, the decision to become a full-time musician began to seem less preposterous. Two labour intensive years later, he released his debut full length album.
“I’m very happy with the way it came out, and I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said.
There has never been any pretence that Tejas has always wanted to be a pop star – it’s a dream few younger musicians confess to these days. In the age of the bedroom producer, when professional studios seem obsolete, Tejas’s album was produced by him and long-time friend and drummer Jehangir, who toiled on hefty tools that they lobbied to get access to. Recorded at Cotton Press Studios in Mumbai, the album is pleasing to the average audiophile’s palette. Its melodies come from a large ensemble of sounds.
“I’ve always liked the idea of a big studio album, by that I mean having things like horn sections, lots of guitar, and have a huge sound that would fit my kind of music,” Tejas said. But bigger sounds mean hard work with the engineering of the music and the damage was a small fortune that Tejas had to invest. Enter Wishberry, a virtual crowd-funding platform.
A fair chunk of the initial estimated figures for Make It Happen came from a crowd-funding campaign on the website. The campaign met its target amount of Rs 2 lakh within seven hours of its announcement. “It is a small amount compared to the other campaigns,” Tejas said, “but I’m still amazed at how quickly we achieved it.”
Warren Mendonsa, whose Blackstratblues is among the finest guitar music to come out of the country, listened in on the mixes of Make It Happen to offer critique and advice. Mendonsa left a majority of the production of the album up to Tejas, which is interesting considering Mendonsa and Tejas share a close relationship when it comes to creating music. Tejas’s first foray into the worldwide digital music library was an EP called Small Victories, produced by Mendonsa.
Tejas’s excitement at an upcoming country-wide tour for the new album is palpable, as is his effervescence about the album’s music videos, a remixed version and new collaborations with a bonus track. The young musician seems to be well on his way to making things happen.
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