Manu Shrivastava

  • Manu Shrivastava
  • Manu Shrivastava
  • Manu Shrivastava
  • Manu Shrivastava
About the Artist

“When one isn’t dominated by feelings of ‘separatedness’ from what he’s working on, then one can be said to “care” about what he is doing… a feeling of identification with what one is doing” – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Speaking further on it, an artist true to his passion would care about everything he does. It becomes a state of being… Music, painting, writing are all just some means of showing he cares. They represent his thoughts and identification with what he is doing. Hence it is tough to separate the artist from his work!
Manu, goes with the moniker Manuality, feels like he’s a “diagonally parked car” between the parallel universes of arts and science. He is an engineer by education and profession where he works hard to bring in aesthetics and artsy touch to the work. He is a musician, audio engineer, tutor, thinker, graphics designer, photographer, hobbyist film maker, writer, self-declared philanthropist and a BIG dog lover!

"Storm in Siberia" - Manu Shrivastava
"Storm in Siberia is an experiential sound piece depicting an approaching snow blizzard and the restlessness of the sledge dogs. Listen to the freezing winds and wind chimes, feel the low distant rumbling of thunders, find the sledge dog’s sniffing and panting."
Download the FLAC Track Now


When did your Musical journey begin?

Although I was always into music, the journey started seriously from 2004 while I was in 3rd year college. The turning point was when I was turned down by a major label quoting that I have to record and produce my own album. Post that if they are convinced it will sell, they “might” consider putting the label on it. It was the time that home studios were picking up in India. I did not even have a computer that time but then set-up slowly and I learnt to make a whole album in my bedroom. “Ek Hi Zindagi” was done and released in in 2008 and sold 1000 copies only though word of mouth without a single concert/video/airplay. This is when I knew that I could definitely do it!

As a session musician, what are the kinds of music you juggle between?

I have two worlds of music. One world is where I am part of bands and do background scoring. I have been with a fusion band of 33 musicians, Alternate Rock band and the latest being Classic/prog rock band – Perfect Strangers.

Currently I am with a Sufi, Blues, Acoustic Pop band called Blurred Face.

The other world is my private one which is mostly experiential, non-structured as human emotions flow. I am not too big on compositional methods here unless I have to make songs for a particular audience. This world also includes a lot of sound exploration and acoustic meddling.

Your process of songwriting and composing includes...

My songwriting is heavily dependent on emotions and situations. It is tough for me to compose using grooves and "methods". Inspiration can also flow from any other form of art. Abstraction, experiential and improvisation is my forte while I do some commercial stuff with my band.

Some of the musical greats who have heavily influenced the musician you are today

A R Rahman, Jose Gonzalez, Mumford and Sons, Dream Theater, John Cage, Nightwish, RadioHead, Porcupine Tree, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Norah Jones have all been influential in various ways.

Apart from the major bands the local scene and a lot of Indie musicians have inspired me to write music, the most important being Jason Zachariah from Nathaniel School of Music here in Bangalore

3 of your current, most favourite indie acts that you'd recommend to anybody.

Jason Zachariah, Rainburn and Sulk Station

When can we watch you live next?

I am putting together an unplugged show for an enclosed theater experience where the audience will not have their drinks or cellphones to disconnect from the artist (which were my main reasons to get away from performing in the pub scene). There is no date yet. It will be announced on Facebook soon so make sure you hit the like button!

Interview by Anisha Peter from Headphone Zone


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