Kamphor | Artist Spotlight
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
The mystery of life as such as that we don't really want. And this is perhaps expressed no better than during our teenage years. The expulsion into the world as we crash into a world of deviant desires, either through success or through failure, still is decorated by not knowing whether that satisfies us.
This experience of a longing that leads towards nihilism is captured, quite surprisingly, with peppy tunes and groovy beats by Deepankar Mohanta a.k.a Kamphor's single, 'Last Dance'. His thought is that we are too busy making choices we make, and by the time we realize, life has passed so quick. And that we are fated to die holding hands so sick, a metaphor to how the pained longing and suffering shall leave us with. Whether there is any truth to it is left to the listener, but Kamphor makes his point in energetic music, a striking contrast to his lyrics. An existential crisis-filled lyrics.
"The song was conceived at a random moment of inspiration. I was amidst completing another song which I had left due to not being able to write any meaningful lyrics," he says about the track. "The song was shelved for a while and I was between writing another song which came to the same end. Disheartened, I was fiddling with the guitar and the tune came up and words just sprouted out of my mouth. And the basic structure of the song, the melody and wards, was completed in a half-hour sitting."
Now 28 and in Bangalore, Kamphor recorded the track at Oviya Studios, Karol Bagh, which, in his words, is "one of the best in the city for indie artists no doubt." His producer, Vasudev, is also a YouTube content creator. The song was recorded one track at a time starting from the basic scratch of the track with rhythm guitar and then layering it with lead parts, vocals, and backup vocals. "Backup vocals were not pre-planned but some in-the-moment experimentation which worked out for the best in the end."
Kamphor is largely influenced by The Doors, Nirvana, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, along with Ankur Tewari, AR Rahman, and Amit Trivedi among others. "I get inspired by different concepts, techniques, and songwriting expanse of various artists and try to imbibe the same in my music." He adds, "I try my best to distinguish myself. Any resemblance is simply coincidental," he tells us with a tongue emote.
Interestingly, Kamphor was a band started in 2014. "However, now Kamphor is more of a project, since the band members have drifted apart. Now, it is just me, Deepankar Mohanta, the original founding member."
Finally, when asked about his choice for collaboration with someone Indian and foreign, he says, "Ankur Tewari or Prateek Kuhad, and John Frusciante and Flea."
You can check his music here -