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Bipul Chettri's Debut EP Sketches of Darjeeling

features Sep 27, 01:22pm

Delhi-based alternative progressive folk rock singer/songwriter Bipul Chettri released his debut EP, Sketches of Darjeeling, earlier this year to eager mass of music lovers all over the globe - who lapped up the EP with gargantuan appetites. We spoke to the high school Arts professor, about his EP, and his experience with music so far. 
 Photo Courtesy: Sonam Tashi

Delhi-based folk singer/songwriter Bipul Chettri released his debut EP, Sketches of Darjeeling, in July 2014; a six track record that is causing waves across the globe including hits on online stream stations and radios from the UK, Asia, and Australia. It all started back in 2013, when Bipul released his single, ‘Wildfire’ – his first online release – which aptly enough, spread across the land much like its namesake. “When I wrote this song [‘Wildfire’],” Bipul told us, “I hadn’t thought about an album as such. But, the response that I got from people all across made me think about it. Then I wrote another song, and then a couple of others; and it basically turned out to be an album, eventually.”

One rudimentary manner of categorizing Bipul’s music would be to call it alternative folk, but the well goes deeper than that. The elements of folk in the EP are innate of Bipul’s personality, and a result of his experience growing up in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. “The music that I made with this EP,” he said, “Basically has influences from songs that I’ve heard growing up in the hills of Darjeeling. It basically talks about the place, the life, and the culture of the hills.” But looking past the superficial appearance of the record, the influences on the EP seem to pan over a lifetime of experiences that Bipul has had as a musician. “Music in the hills is in every household I’d say,” Bipul told us, “And, there are a lot of western musical influences, because of a lot Christian missionaries around. I went to a school which was basically a Christian school, so I grew up listening to choirs and things like that. So, that’s how it developed and slowly I began venturing western music with the help of a brilliant music teacher from our school, Mr. C.M. Ghising – who also tutored Sonam Sherpa from Parikrama.” From gaining a diploma in classical guitar from Trinity College, studying jazz and blues music, extensive work in contemporary rock, to being an Arts professor at a school in New Delhi, Bipul claims that it is a culmination of all of these aspects that reflect throughout Sketches of Darjeeling. “It [the EP] really is something that happened by accident,” he said, “And it is something that came out all at once.” Sketches of Darjeeling includes a host of collaborations on the record with various different session musicians, and was recorded at Plug N Play Studios in New Delhi with Anindo Bose. “It was incredible man,” he told us about his experience recording. “I mean it was very overwhelming in the sense that when you hear the final product of what you’re putting in, it’s a really overwhelming process really.”

While Sketches of Darjeeling is up for online downloads, hitting the top of almost every OKListen chart, and with tracks like ‘Wildfire’, ‘Aasar’, and ‘Mountain High’, getting over a half a million plays on Soundcloud; Bipul tells us that he’s already begun planning out work for his next album. “I’m heading to Nepal next month, and then we’ll be touring the North East after that. And then, I’m planning to work on new songs and try to get an album out by next year.”

Stream 'Aasar' from Sketches of Darjeeling by Bipul Chettri below:

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