The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Saahil Bhargava
Having already cemented himself with a flurry of bold and anthemic releases over the years, including his incredibly well-received debut EP last year, Indian-American Saahil Bhargava is back again to deliver the euphoric new offering 'Ascent'.
Channelling a raw and driven alt-rock aesthetic throughout, 'Ascent' perfectly illustrates why so many have been singing his praises of late. Jam-packed with fresh and driven hooks, soaring atmosphere, and his own passionate vocals layered throughout, he is definitely looking to turn some heads with this one.
So with the new single out now, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and inspirations over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
I think the first band I really got into was U2 (thanks to my parents). But the first one I found by myself was Linkin Park. Both really inspired my singing style and also my songwriting.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Plenty of them! I was in metal bands, jazz combos, Top 40s cover bands and many more. I think one of my stranger ones was this group in high school that did rap-rock songs (like Linkin Park, Fort Minor, Gym Class Heroes etc.). We had a very interesting lineup of two rappers, one drummer, a guitarist/bassist and then me playing keyboards, guitars, digital instruments and singing. We played a lot of cover songs but never got very serious. What was fun about it was we were all just friends who were having a blast on stage.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
Storytelling for sure. Given that each of my songs are set in their own world, I think crafting a story and telling it to my audience has always been the big goal. Each story drives my lyrics, melodies, harmony and instrumentation.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
This is a tough question. I'd probably say "Cancer" by My Chemical Romance. It's a very simple song in execution, but so powerful in how it approaches talking about cancer from the perspective of the patient. Another one would be "Movement" by Hozier. I really like how the lyrics and the chorale elements came together on that song. And it's so flowing and soft, yet powerful and resonant.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
Probably the first time I heard a mix of "Ronin." To be honest, if that mix hadn't sounded as good as it did, I would have quit music entirely. But I got chills from hearing how well that song came together. It is a really special song to me because it was kind of make-or-break as far as I was concerned with how I was approaching songwriting.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
I'd say Muse. Their concerts are just huge spectacular events, and their music is so energetic. I'd love to be able to join them on stage for a performance of "New Born" or "Supermassive Black Hole."
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
I think I kind of answered that above. I'll go with another artist. I'd love to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar (his new album is clearly on my mind). He is a masterful storyteller and has so much to say through his music. I'm a massive fan of how he executes his vision. Definitely go check out the new album!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
If I'm being optimistic, I see myself having written a concept album and playing it live in the biggest venues to all sorts of people around the world. The idea for this album is one story connected by all the songs. That's always been my goal. To have one giant story performed through music and visuals. Beyond that, I think I'll also be writing songs for movies, TV and all sorts of other content. Places to showcase music storytelling. Already at work on music for an upcoming animated movie, so stay tuned on that!
Saahil Bhargava's new single 'Ascent' is available to stream now. Check it out below.