By Noor Anand Chawla
A creative mind enjoys the challenge that comes with creating a wholesome work of art. This is evident from Gurugram-based indie artist Moli’s latest alternative rock single, ‘Please Hold Me’, which he has not only composed and sung but also created a psychedelic video for. Released on September 14, the song focusses on the fast moving nature of the society we live in – one that doesn’t deign to stop for anyone or anything. In this backdrop, Moli’s Please Hold Me emphasises the importance of slowing down and just taking a moment to hold ourselves and those we love.
“In a world that lacks empathy and denounces the feeling of longing, I just want to stay still. Longing is an intense emotion and so is this track. This song emulates the situation where you are left behind and the world just moves on without caring about you. It shows deep pain and longing for being connected to one’s own soul and that of a loved one,”explains Moli.
Introduced to music at the age of 9, when he first began playing the tabla, Moli has diversified his music practice to include other instruments, even professionally clearing the grade exams for the drums. Over the years, bored of the process of giving music-related exams, he taught himself other instruments like the keys, saxophone, guitar, the bass and other percussion instruments. He has played with several bands, including a few that have been well-established for years. Moli has also produced his original music in the space of psychedelia, using multiple instruments like analog synths, deep bass lines, and vintage drum processing to create his own unique sound that is heavily inspired by Psychedelic Rock/Alternative music. As an artist, Moli enjoys creating experimental ambient fusion but doesn’t believe in sticking to one genre. He feels that the notion of segregating music into genres is not correct.
He explains, “I wish to time travel through music, in an alternate dimension of the 70s. For me, it’s all about the analog warmth, the tape, saturation, the jazzy chords and honesty to music. My latest two singles have been ‘Universe Rains/with u’ and a collaboration project with the jazz vocalist Triveni called ‘L8 Realisation’. Then, I began working on my film- concept album called ‘Retrogression Progression’.”When asked about his latest single, Moli shares, “Please Hold Me was written on a vulnerable moonless night, and I had just been feeling contempt for my life. It formed into something from nothingness, that’s what is most beautiful about it. It’s so personal to me as a human being, and such an intense work of art. Please Hold Me, is about the forlornness in a fast moving society. Your loved ones might not be there for you in certain moments when you need help, and the world just moves on. Please Hold Me is a sarcastic take on the nature of life and a look at existentialism.”
He refers to the experience of recording the song as beautiful – the synth based content riff came through as he jammed on the guitar arpeggio, and the drum mixing and recording process was “intense and technical”, which built up beautifully on the spur of the moment. Though he has created a lot of music, he hasn’t as yet put it all out. He feels however, that Please Hold Me is an apt representation of his creative side where he has been his honest artistic self. He never plans his music but enjoys working with concepts.
Moli credits his initiation into Hindustani Classical in his early years for having helped him understand music on another level. Without formal training in any of the instruments he currently plays, or with vocals, production etc., it is this base that allows his creative work to flow well. He also listens to a lot of Indian classical music and trains himself vocally in it. The video shoot for Please Hold Me was an exciting experience as well. “I go in-depth while creating my videos. I’m a passionate filmmaker or at least I’m trying to be. This experience was particularly euphoric, as my team and I had the best moments of our lives shooting it. The film work was conceptualised and directed by me, and it was shot and edited by my extremely talented team. It was mostly shot in and around Gurgaon, in the forests, anabandoned plane hangar and my home,” he shares.
His three singles released so far are all part of the film-concept album ‘Retrogression Progression’, of which five more are likely to come out in coming months. The next one is called ‘12 ways I see myself’, which is about schizophrenia. Though Please Hold Me was never supposed to be part of the album, its vibe seemed to fit so well, that Moli ended up including it. Moli’s Please Hold Me premiered on Red Indies Shuffle – NorthEast Edit, and Big FM Shillong. It was also featured in Jio Saavn’s playlist – INDIEpendent India – Rock as one of the top three songs. It is currently available for streaming across platforms.