Blues to soothe your soul

Sahil Warsi fell in love with the double bass when he saw Tom serenading a beautiful female cat with Is You or Is You Aint My Baby in an old cartoon. As this young, self-taught musician from Delhi, who is probably the youngest double bass player in the country, started going deeper into the world of jazz, he knew that was the sound he wanted to make. “Though I started out with a rock band, by the time I was 20, my fascination for that was long gone. Then I found jazz and like many others, the interest started with Miles Davis. It was a sound I could relate to and I wanted to explore it more. The problem was that learning the double bass wasn’t that easy. Even getting my hands on the instrument proved difficult, I certainly couldn’t find any teachers and I had no references,” he says. So Sahil had to take matters into his own hands.
“I spent a year a Japan after my under graduation and I would spend my evenings at their many jazz clubs, watching, listening, playing. When I returned to India, I started playing with the band Drift (who also never had a double bassist in their line up) and this is where I learnt the bulk of my music,” he says.
With his mother who is a doctor and a political analyst for a father, we ask him how he managed to be drawn into a career in music, especially in an eclectic genre like jazz. “I guess at the beginning, they really didn’t expect me to follow through with it,” he laughs, “But gradually, as music started becoming the centre of my universe, they understood. For a naïve listener, jazz might seem niche and “sophisticated” (which I refuse to believe), so it was easy for them to take me more seriously, I think.”
Sahil is among the new crop of young musicians who are infusing this old-world music with new life and fresh ideas. “I would like to think of our music as contemporary jazz,” he says, Drift has just finished recording their new album Nico with consists of nine original tracks ranging from heavy swing and straight blues to modern jazz and Latin grooves. “It should be out soon,” says Sahil.

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