Joy Sengupta is a Powai based musician , fingerstyle guitarist and multi-instrumentalist living and working in Nahars Amrith Shakti, Powai. An ex-member of the acclaimed indie ban, 'The Raghu Dixit Project', he is now working on his debut album, composing for ads and Bollywood, and teaching guitar in his spare time.
Joy spoke to us about his deep love for music, future plans and why he loves being a resident of Powai.
How did it all begin? Where did the love affair with music start?
Born to a Bengali dad and a Tamilian mom , I spent my childhood listening to Bhajans, Carnatic classical,Bollywood Classics and Rabindrasangeet under one roof. But what really caught my attention as a school kid , was the emergence of Bengali Rock Bands like Fossils and Cactus. I was awestruck by the sound of the electric guitar and the flair of performing arts.
Tell us about your musical journey so far.
I was more of a singer when I was in school and college, performing with various bands across Kolkata and taking part in college competitions. After I quit my job as an Infoscion, I developed a keen interest towards the sound and intricacies of the Acoustic guitar. Under the tutelage of my brother Satish Raghunathan, I got introduced to the compositions of The Beatles,Simon and Garfunkel,Illayaraaja and the Fingerstyle Guitar Genius Tommy Emmanuel.
I took part in the ALL INDIA FINGERSTYLE GUITAR COMPETITION 2016, where I came in the top 10. I started playing Guitar Sessions for Bengali,Tamil and Bollywood Movies and Ads,apart from releasing my first original Fingerstyle Guitar Composition – “Journey of Joy”. I was also featured as an artist by the acclaimed Youtube Channel “Friday Night Originals” for my original composition – ‘Yearning’. In 2017, I started playing the Banjo,Charango,Mandola and Classical Guitar for the acclaimed indie band “THE RAGHU DIXIT PROJECT”. I also started performing my Solo Fingerstyle Guitar Act later that year.
I’ve recently shifted to Mumbai, where I do music composition,arrangement,Guitar sessions and live shows, apart from teaching Guitar.
What kinds of music personally appeals to you?
I listen to a lot of Indian Classical and Middle Eastern Music.Apart from that, genres like Bluegrass,Blues,Western Classical,Funk,Fingerstyle and EDM also inspire me as an artist.
You are originally from Kolkata so why did you decide to move to Mumbai?
Honestly, Mumbai is the place to have a fulfilling career in music. There is no dearth of good work here, and the people in the industry thrive and grow together as a community. My dream of becoming a Bollywood composer brought me to this city !
How different is the music scene here compared to Kolkata?
The music scene in Kolkata great and there are tons of uber talented musicians there. But when it comes to regular availability of work,hassle free payments and professionalism , Mumbai appeals to me a lot more.
Why did you choose Powai?
First of all , the scenic beauty of Powai enthralls me. A stroll amidst the green canopies or sitting silently beside the Powai lake, rejuvenates the artist within. Apart from that,Powai has a very strongly knit community with lots of musicians and activities all round the year, which helps me take a break and enjoy some social time.
You also teach music. How do you find that experience?
I have been teaching music for the last 6 years on Skype and in person across Chennai,Bangalore,Kolkata and Mumbai.Apart from composing my own music , this has been the most enjoyable experience for me till date.Interacting with different people, instilling a deep interest for the instrument in them and seeing them grow as musicians, gives me immense pleasure.
What do you think of the live music scene in and around powai?
The live music scene around Powai is excellent with lots of new venues coming up for independent artists to showcase their talent.
Tell us a bit about your upcoming projects.
Currently , I am working on my debut album, with the band “Joy&Nandini” , which has original songs spanning across multiple genres and our own reinterpretation of classics.
Apart from that,I am composing for ads and short films and arranging music for other artists/films. I also have plans to revive my Solo Fingerstyle Act very soon, which is an instrumental amalgamation of Carnatic Classical and Western Classical.
Any future plans you would like to share with us?
I am planning to open up a Music Academy in Powai, later this year. Also, stay tuned for our debut album. Cheers !