What makes the best tragedies? Death of a loved one. Is tragedy required to create art? No, but there is no denying that it is certainly a powerful motivator. Tragedy propels us to create and channelize our pain. The last two years have been a void in human lives, owing to the worldwide pandemic. Many have lost their loved ones and faced irreparable losses but time marches on. Things have returned to illusory normalcy but the aftermath of the pandemic has not left us and won’t anytime soon.
On July 2021 a dear friend of the musician Bulli Bainbridge passed away. At first, he was rendered catatonic by the tragedy. A couple of days later he, along with his friend, Juhi Sharma, started writing a song, called Better Place that read as an open letter to his late friend. Bulli brought the song to renowned playback singer Shalmali Kholgade, to give his lyrics a voice.
"When he (Bulli) first brought the song to me and I read it, I knew that it came from a deep, personal place. One could tell that because the lyrics were handwritten. No one hand writes stuff anymore."
Better Place featuring renowned playback singer Shalmali Kholgade is the first single off the debut album SEASONS by Bulli Bainbridge. It is a ballad that explores grief and loss at a very personal level, and it is universally relatable as we all have experienced it in some form through the pandemic. Despite grief being inevitable in life, we avoid or suppress it as much as possible to keep up with the illusion of moving on. However, Better Place aims to face it head-on and the myriad of complex emotions that come with it. This single, like the rest of the record, attempts to convey the plethora of emotions we felt in the last couple of years, which is where the name, SEASONS, is inspired from. The song, with its intense introductory symphonic horns, melancholy piano chords, thoughtful lyrics, and Shalmoli’s heavy, jazzy voice is an absolute treat to the ears.
Better Place releases today. The album SEASONS will release on January 2023. The collaborators include Trichia Grace-Ann, Bobkat (Bombay Bassment), Nushious (Second Sight), Ankit Dayal, Siddharth Basrur, Adey (Nigerian Afrobeats producer who has created beats for artists like Ycee and Dremo), and a remix by Bombay Dub Orchestra.
Zain Calcuttawala (Bulli Bainbridge), based in Mumbai, began his career as an artist manager and gig programmer at Blue Frog and OML working closely with artists like Megadeth, Nitin Sawhney, Imogen Heap, T-Pain and many others. Now a music producer & sound engineer since 2014, Zain composes his own music and produces and engineers independent musicians such as Second Sight, Bhrigu Sahni, Raghav Meattle and others. Zain also creates music for ads, mobile games, and short films. He also founded India’s first mental health awareness podcast, Marbles Lost & Found, which has received praise in the press such as Vogue Magazine and The BBC Cultural Frontline.
You can listen to the song here.