Episode 43: Arnab Sengupta: Soulful & Enlightening Jazz

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Today on the podcast we are featuring the Sydney, Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Arnab Sengupta. Learn more about him and listen to his track “Face In The Crowd.” 

Show Notes and Full Show Transcript

Just popping in to give you a heads up.  This podcast contains paid promotional content. That means we were compensated for the feature. All opinions are our own and we only choose to represent music that we truly dig. Now on with the show.

Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us, this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians and how their music affects me and then I play a track for you to listen to. 

So you can check it out and form your own opinion as well. And I’d love to know what you think of the track.

If you are interested in sharing your opinions on the music I’ll have details where you can leave your comments at the end of the show.

Today I am talking about the Sydney-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Arnab Sengupta.

In addition to singing and songwriting, he plays the guitar, keyboard, and piano.

Arnab has an extensive music background with over 30 years of experience. He is a alumnus of the revered Berklee College of Music in Boston. In addition to his musical pursuits, he also works as a vocal coach and session artist. 

According to Sengupta, his musical journey started back in 2006. He was 15 years into his musical education assimilating a plethora of styles and genres. 

He studied, performed, and nurtured contemporary music in various capacities. 

At this time he was in his last year of what he calls “his frivolous 20s” and moving into the “mature 30s” and various incidences and situations had compelled him to look at life much more deeply from within.

When it comes to his music of choice Jazz seemed to make the most lasting impression on him. He was taken by the beautiful chord changes. 

Then in about 2015, he released his first record Refrain. He said it was “a very bold album, very fresh, creative and is harmonically rich and lyrically deep and evocative.”

His lyrics were focusing on his inner journey of self-discovery and self-expansion.

He recorded it in an online mode with the help of musicians from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

He then put out a second album entitled Inadvertently in 2016. He said the words and music in this album had more of a jazz feel to it than Refrain.

This album was also recorded with the help of the musicians in New York via online exchanges. 

By this time he said he had a steady musical direction and style with his own unique spin and kind of was able to established sound.

I also found a great interview on MusicAreNagh.com. Which is M-U-S-I-C-A-R-E-N-A-G-H dot com. That has some additional information on his musical background.

It talked about how he said he had a love of music since childhood. He always wanted to pursue music but in his upbringing in a middle-class Indian family a career in music, especially Western music was a pipe-dream. 

So instead, he got a degree in engineering and worked in IT for many years. But you know music was always in the back of his mind and he hoped he could make it a full-time career at some point in his life.

Then the opportunity came in early 2016 when he quit his software analyst job in Bangalore, India, and decided to focus fully on music.

And at that point, he was already a seasoned musician and had several decades of study, practice, and performances under his belt as well as two releases as noted above.

So um, I’ll leave a link to the article in the show notes.  If you want to check out that interview as well.

It seemed like a really interesting article and it talked about over the last five years he had made his way to Australia and set up a new life for himself in a new environment. 

There he started learning and implementing a regular practice of Vipassana meditation. He was dedicating his musical direction to learning and practicing jazz piano with his teacher from New York, Dave Frank.

All these experiences culminated in the music and lyrics found in this release Leap of Faith. This is his third release and the track I’m going to be playing is off this album as well.

So this album symbolized a series of transformations that happened in his life over the last 5 years on both a physical and a spiritual level. 

And really creativity flowed for him over the last five years and culminated in the release Leap of Faith

A lot of the music on there he said “this music has a more versatile and there is a certain stylistic variety which shines through, though the words are still about my pursuit of the final frontier – the ultimate truth and meaning of life.” He has said that is what has culminated for him on this album.

His influences run the gamut from all the music he has played a lot of different genres over the years. 

Jazz seems to be at the heart of his music. He loves to use this framework in his music. He also loves to improvise and make lots of twists and turns in his music that allows this flowy and I would say casual music and just different. He puts his unique spin on it.

Lyrically he speaks of inner realizations and a journey of self-realization and self-discovery. 

He says the things that have happened to him over the past few years have influenced his music.

In the article interview, he says they run the gamut from Billy Joel, Sting, and Steely Dan along with jazz masters and improvisers like Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, George Benson, and Stan Getz. 

You can see he has a wide variety of influences.

In the past, he had said he has also been enamored by progressive rock bands Genesis, Yes, Dream Theatre, Porcupine Tree, and Spocks Beard. 

It seems like he is taking these influences and putting his own spin on the music and incorporating them into his music.

His music has been getting positive reviews from the online blogosphere with love from outlets including Art and Culture Maven, Screen Legion, Breaking and Entering, ShockYa.com, and Living Life Fearless.

He also had that interview with that other website and I will leave links to these in the show notes if you want to check them out.

His music has been praised for his high-quality sound and talent and they were likening him to sophistic-pop artists like Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, and Chicago’s Aluminum Group.

And then today the song I’m going to be playing today is called “Face in The Crowd.”  

This is the first track of his latest release Leap of Faith which is available now on various streaming platforms. 

And I’ll play it here so you can listen to it here.

On this track, Arnab was also accompanied by additional musicians including horn, brass, trumpet, and saxophone player Andrija Gavrilovic, bassist Elin Sandberg, and drummer Matias Menarguez.

It also features lead vocals and songwriting from Anshu Jha.

And she does a really great job on this track. I was really, really taken with her vocals. And the culmination of the horned instruments and the drums and everything together.

It just kind of blends this like jazz, blues, R&B for like this soothing and soulful sound.

And it opens with this nice drum intro where it’s like do do do. It’s just like progressive and nice kind of just get a little bit of these drums and then you get these “oohs and ahs” from Anshu.

And she’s got this very soulful and beautiful sound and it just works all well together.

And she has these high parts of singing the horns and drums connect so beautifully

And the lyrics have this nice tie it. Again it’s going back to that theme of you know self-discovery, self-realization.

Kind of like the bigger picture of the song. You know it’s called a “Face in the Crowd.” 

And some of the lyrics…I wasn’t able to find the exact lyrics listed anywhere but listening to it kind of talks about kind of about having battles lost and won.

Find yourself in your scars/dreams in your eyes. You know “stay dry/ keep your feet walking/just be a face in the crowd.”

Then there is another part and I think it’s the chorus and it’s like 

“Anyway/Anyway/From the dawn to another day/Keep your feelings all at bay/No matter what they say.”

So it’s kind of like really trying…at least in my in opinion a sense of don’t let things overwhelm you and don’t things get to you so much.

It’s good to kind of internalize things and think about things but you really have to I guess you know like 

At least in my opinion let things roll off your back and kind of let this like you know another day will be better. 

And things will get better and kind of understanding what the meaning of life is and what you can do to just do to feel good about yourself. 

And even if you’re a face in the crowd that’s not that big of a deal. Because you know things will be good and you can feel better about them. 

I just think that the song has a nice message to it. And it has this soothing R&B sound and the vocals from you know, Anshu is very lovely. 

I think it would appeal to people who are into you know pop, jazz, and R&B enthusiasts. 

But I really do like the culmination of this. And if this is the first track on the album it’s a really nice way to draw in the listener and  keep listening to these soulful sounds and just kind of having this culmination of like

Not so much a meditative state but the song is soothing and it does have this nice vibe to.

Some jazz can have this high-pitched fast and I know at least for me jazz can make my brain go a little crazy because everything is so fast. Like dadahaa.

But this is a little bit more soulful jazz and a little bit slower and kind of soothing sound and very calming and you know only the music is steady and not too all over the place but it also has lyrics that are kind of uhm you know not meditative but in a way meditative 

Because you’re thinking “ok, this is something I can take to heart and think about as like a life lesson to some extent.

But I feel like I’ve chatted enough so without further ado here is “Face In the Crowd” by Arnab Sengupta featuring vocals from Anshu Jha.

We would love to know what you think about Arnab Sengupta and his track “Face In the Crow.” You can tell us in a comment on the podcast webpage. You can also leave an audio comment at the link in the episode summary.

For more information on Arnab check out his Bandcamp page. www.ArnabSengupta.bandcamp.com. 

That is A-R-N-A-B-S-E-N-G-U-P-T-A dot B-A-N-D-C-A-M-P dot com.

You can also like and follow him on Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook, he is at the handle Arnab dash Sengupta dash 102501322356616.

That is A-R-N-A-B DASH S-E-N-G-U-P-T-A DASH 1-0-2-5-0-1-3-2-2-3-5-6-6-1-6

You can also follow him on Instagram at the handle DreamArnab. That is D-R-E-A-M-A-R-N-A-B

If you are looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you will get the latest updates on our artist features. You can also find more music features on our website at www.EatSleepBreatheMusic.com. That is E-a-t-S-l-e-e-p-B-r-e-a-t-h-e-M-u-s-i-c dot com. 

Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!

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