In the span of just one month, an EP titled 'Kahin Tu Azaad Toh Nahin' was meticulously composed by Maqta. This musical creation draws its inspiration from the enchanting melodies of retro Bollywood tracks by S.D and R.D Burman, the rich tapestry of Hindustani and Western classical pieces, and the golden era cinema of the 50s and 60s.
As the notes come alive, the EP delves into a profound theme that resonates with every listener — the exploration of personal freedom. The underlying question posed by the songs challenges us to consider:
What if we are inherently free, but have yet to realise it?
Traditionally, the concept of freedom is often perceived as an abstract ideal, something to be achieved through our endeavours, the company we keep, and the choices we make. Maqta's compositions, however, challenge this notion, suggesting that freedom is not an external destination but an integral part of our daily existence. Each day, we shape our own freedom through the tapestry of memory, the power of love, our innate ability to create, and our unique forms of expression. The songs subtly encourage us to pause and recognize the inherent freedom we carry within ourselves, a truth often overlooked in the hustle of life.
The tracklist itself serves as a musical journey through these nuanced themes. "Woh Geet" emerges as a folksy, retro ballad, chronicling the pursuit of an elusive song idea. "Yaadon Ka Nishaan" ventures into a lyrical odyssey, encouraging listeners to unearth memories that define their identities, steeped in the influence of S.D and R.D Burman. "Kar Yaqeen" takes a classical route, infusing harmonium and tabla to create a piece that celebrates belief in one's capacity to love. The title track, "Kahin Tu Azaad Toh Nahin," stands out as an upbeat rock anthem, exploring the essence of true freedom.
The ethos of Maqta's musical venture is deeply rooted in anchoring the every day in the lyricism and beauty of Hindi and Urdu. It aims to rediscover personal and social histories through the synergy of words and music, presenting a diverse range of inspirations—from retro Bollywood melodies to Hindustani and Western classical pieces and the cinema of the 50s and 60s.
Since its inception in 2020, Maqta's project has experienced consistent growth in musical output. The debut single, 'Dor', garnered acclaim and a dedicated fan base. The second single, 'Jaane Bhi De', has found its place in the soundtrack of the feature film 'Chalti Rahe Zindagi', set to be released on OTT in 2024. Building on this success, his debut EP, 'Silsile', was released in September 2023, followed by this, his latest EP, 'Kahin Tu Azaad Toh Nahin' in January 2024.
Maqta's artistic journey extends beyond the realm of EP releases. He has curated and produced solo house concerts and intimate performances in various cities since March 2023, fostering an organic and engaged following. Additionally, Maqta has contributed background scores to Mumbai-based G5A's visual exhibition series 'Movement,' collaborating with artists worldwide, and scored U.K.-based graphic novelist Andrew Sztehlo's 'Ruins.'
This multidimensional approach showcases Maqta's ability to bridge cultural and artistic boundaries, making his contemporary sounds resonate with the Indian audience while addressing a global listenership through his personal lyricism.
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