Someone You Know? questions our conviction to change things: Sanjit
Independent music band Late Too Soon’s first single is an expression of how our society has always silently accepted and forgotten; forgiven and at times even made a joke of abuse against women. The song called ‘Someone You Know?’ won the Best Music Video contest organized by Songdew.com. The music streaming portal is known for the platform they provide to independent music artists and bands. In a bid to further promote such talent, they recently started a monthly contest where musicians can share their music videos, and the makers of the best video get featured on Pandolin.
We chatted up with Sanjit Phukan, a member of Late Too Soon, to learn more about the making of their winning video, the story behind forming the band and how a platform like Songdew helps emerging musicians.
How did your band come into being?
There is a mystic sense of satisfaction and love involved in doing music with a bunch of guys you have known since school. I have been doing my bit with music ever since I was a kid but Amborish, Tanmay and Partha are, without any doubt, among the best in the parallel music scene in India today. Though we grew up playing for different bands, we would often find ourselves sharing the stage in festivals, unplugged acts, impromptu jams and new year gigs in 100-year-old tea clubs – Northeast was always a good place to be if you love western music! This we did for more than a decade till I moved to Delhi owing to my professional commitments. However, the music never stopped. I got into the scene in Delhi and Amborish went on to become the guitar mainstay for one of the most popular acts in the country. Tanmay in the meantime was doing an amazing job with the drums and soon found his calling with one of the biggest bands of recent times. Partha went about doing his job with the bass without much fuss. Over the years he partnered with the very best in Assam and made invaluable contributions to the local folk music scene.
On a cold winter evening in Delhi in 2012, over a bottle of Old Monk, Amborish and I decided to kick off a ‘side project’ to give a bit more meaning to this amazing musical journey. The idea was to revive a sound that we believed was losing ground while we explore the stuff that I had written over the years. We didn’t have much trouble figuring out who would play the bass and the drums for the project! It was never easy…I had a full time job and the boys were pursuing their own professional careers in music. To add to the complexity, we were all living in different cities. But we have somehow stuck to it and it sure feels good! This is the story of four friends who always found common ground for the love of music, brotherhood and their roots back in Assam. This is the story of ‘LATE TOO SOON’.
Why the name ‘Late Too Soon’?
We formed the band really late considering that we have been doing music together for so many years! That was the philosophy behind the name!
What excited you to be part of the contest by Songdew? How do you think will winning this competition give an impetus to the band?
Songdew is a great platform for independent musicians and winning this competition will ensure a lot of visibility for the song and the band. The message of the song is an important one and it needs a wider audience and some genuinely organic PR.
Tell us about the idea and concept behind the music video. Was the video made particularly for the competition? Who conceptualized and directed the video?
‘Someone You Know?’ is an expression of how our society has always silently accepted and forgotten; forgiven and at times even made a joke of abuse against women. Opinions and efforts are often transitional and the song questions our conviction to change things. At the heart lies a provocation which states that till the time the victim is someone we know, we probably would never care and till that time our blind faith in God will just be a means to escape the reality. The video was conceptualized by me along with the A Little Anarky team and it was directed by Taj Naqvi.
No, it was not made particularly for the competition.
How would you describe the kind of music that the band makes? Is this your first song on a socially relevant subject?
The band draws inspiration from Classic and Folk Rock, Blues and Funk. This is our first single and also our first song on a socially relevant subject. Some more songs that we have in the pipeline will touch upon such provocative topics.
Did you have any reference in mind as to how the video of the song would look? Please share your discussions with the team members regarding the look of the video.
We of course did a referencing exercise to decide the look of the video. The primary topic of discussion was around the essence of the video, which in our minds had to reflect the mood of the song in the best possible manner.
As opposed to the subject of the song, the video has a very serene feel with soothing colors. What was the idea behind this approach?
The serene and soothing colors reflect the mood of the song and not necessarily the topic. The idea – ‘Abuse is closer home than you think’ needed this kind of treatment to amplify the fact that the dark truth often lies behind smooth and serene waters.
The video has only one actor and several props that display all the emotions the song wants to convey. Was this a conscious choice?
We didn’t want to clutter the video with too many characters. It was important to stay true to the issue. In fact, even though it was our first music video, the band didn’t feature prominently. It was a conscious call as we didn’t want to distract the viewer from core message we wanted to deliver.
What was the band’s level of involvement in the making of the video?
We were present during the shoot. My involvement was high but it was the A Little Anarky team that stole the show!
Which camera was the video shot on?
It was shot on a Cannon 5D Mark III.
What was the most challenging aspect of making this video?
It was to get the mood and the setting right – through light and art and I believe A Little Anarky did a fabulous job!