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Zyakuni In My Backyard is in the groove


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Founded in 2012 by childhood friends Anushka Datta and Shraddha Jennifer Singh, Zyakuni In My Backyard (ZIMB) story is similar to that of any new-age young musician—they started by uploading musical covers on YouTube. Even though ZIMB had made their presence felt in the live music space in Delhi, the band wanted to create their own sound.

Fronted by Datta and Singh on vocals, Noel Sakhi on keyboard, Aman Massih on drums, Aradhya Khurana on bass and Saarah Roy on the guitar, ZIMB has released their second single Storm on November 21, and will be releasing their EP this month. In this edition of Soundscape, we speak to Datta about coming together as a band, their upcoming EP, and more. Excerpts:

How did you form ZIMB?
The band was initially a duo. Shraddha and I would often upload videos of cover songs on YouTube back when we were in school. It was only when we got a chance to play live in a show that we decided this was more than a hobby, and we could become a proper band. Noel had been our friend since school and she joined in 2017, and we found Aman by chance on Instagram a few weeks later. In 2019, after changing a string of bass players, Aradhya became our full-time member. The band was finally complete last year when Saarah joined. The formation has been a journey of its own.

Do you prefer to make only pop music or do you believe the band blends different genres?
We do not stick to one genre actually. While people might say we have an inclination towards pop music, each of us have different tastes in music so we love to experiment with various genres. Since we began with creating covers, it also helps that each of us have played different styles so it adds a number of layers to our music.

Take us through the process of creating Parking Lot and Storm.
Whenever an idea strikes us, Shraddha and I usually send each other voice notes. Each of these songs began as a fleeting thought, till everyone else brought in their ideas, reharmonised, and changed everything up during the recording. For Storm, we only knew that we wanted to explore the synth-pop genre. Everything else was made on the spot and I am just glad with what it turned out to be.

Did the pandemic hurt your music-making process?
The pandemic definitely put a lot of gaps in the regularity of our practices and recording sessions. But most of the writing was done remotely over late-night video calls, so we managed. Stuck inside our homes for so many days gave us a lot of time to think about what kind of music we wanted to be known for and honestly, if I think about it, we wrote some of our best works during the pandemic.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming EP.
There is no particular theme to the EP. As a debut, we tried to sum up everything we like about music into it. The five tracks can very well be singles, but the final sound of the EP ties them together. Starting from an energetic track, we have put together a rock ballad, an acoustic piece, and two of the pop singles, which we recently launched, Parking Lot and Storm. The EP, you can say, is a representation of us as a band—varied as individuals and yet a unit.

‘Storm’ by ZIMB is available on all major streaming platforms

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)