We wanted to make a playlist for easy listening and different moods tackling everyday emotions that all of us feel, which is that of collective loneliness. Alonely was written about feeling comfortable in our differences in a day and age when every changing internet trend tells you how to be. It’s about embracing our lonely weird selves and existing in its glory. It feels great to find that our music has reached out to so many hearts. It gives us fuel to make more music.
Retro Kolkata : First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview. For those of our readers who may not be familiar with your sound yet, how would you define your own genre within electronic music
Paloma & Adil : We were really glad to receive an initiation from Retro Kolkata. We are looking forward to playing amidst the mountains. We like to call our genre experimental electronic mood music. It aims at being a mood based electronic experience with thought provoking lyrics and melodic guitar playing.
Retro Kolkata : How did you get started as a duo? Can you recall the moment when you thought you could form ‘Panda’ together? How did you all first meet each other? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
Paloma & Adil : We met through a mutual project when we were at university around 5 years ago. We realized that we had similar working styles and decided to join forces and form Paloma and Adil aka PandA to express through experimental music.
Despite being an English language band(primarily), it was surprising to receive support from people of all ages.
Retro Kolkata : What are some of your initial memories with electronic music? And can you name a song that really made an impact on you and why?
Paloma & Adil : There’s no particular song as such but we had a listening session and certain artists resonated with us, like Made in Heights, Sylvan Esso, Rhye among others and we knew which direction we wanted to take after that.
Retro Kolkata : Tell us more about the first track ‘Monkey Mind’. What was the concept behind? How did your sound evolve since that first track?
Paloma & Adil : Monkey Mind is actually not our first track. Our first track is Hold on Or Let it Go which was a song based on the uncertainty of feelings that lovers usually embark on. This song was 5 years ago. Our sound has definitely evolved a lot since then although our sentiments behind the making remain the same. Our sound has become more incorporative of pop and jazz melodies, inclusive of the changing currents around us.
Retro Kolkata : Let’s talk about your newest EP ‘Alonely’, which is already a massive hit. What was the creative process behind the amazing track? What was the story/concept behind the track? How does it feel when you get so much support from your listeners?
Paloma & Adil : We wanted to make a playlist for easy listening and different moods tackling everyday emotions that all of us feel, which is that of collective loneliness. Alonely was written about feeling comfortable in our differences in a day and age when every changing internet trend tells you how to be. It’s about embracing our lonely weird selves and existing in its glory.
It feels great to find that our music has reached out to so many hearts. It gives us fuel to make more music.
Retro Kolkata : Since you are on the scene for quite a long time we are sure you went through many challenges. Do you think in India pursuing music professionally specially in the band circuit is still not a preferable option for all?
Paloma & Adil : It is a rite of passage for every artist to go through ups and downs in this industry and we are no exception, however we have been quite fortunate to have supporters all around us right from our first release. Pursuing music as a career option is definitely a risk but we believe that a balanced approach usually works out for most people. Being self-aware is the key.
Retro Kolkata : As a music artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
Paloma & Adil : The difference between art and business is quite huge and apparent. However, if one has to make a living through their art they must participate in the business side of things, so they remain quite intertwined with each other all the time. We wish there was a way where artists would not have to undervalue themselves just to get ahead or get more business and some balance could be achieved in this transaction.
Retro Kolkata : Where do you think you are all happiest: In the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Paloma & Adil : The two spaces have their own charm. The recording studio is where everything is stripped and an artist finds themselves in the birthing process of a new song so the feeling of creation is quite unmatched. While on the other hand the stage has an energy that cant be equated with anything. The rush of baring one’s soul out on stage under the warm lights is a very liberating experience for an artist. It is where we learn to be one with our performance. I think as a duo we thrive in our live performances but as creators the process of recording is very important to us as well.
Retro Kolkata : What would you say are some of your biggest highlights as of 2022?
Paloma & Adil : The lockdown being lifted was perhaps the best part of 2022 for us. We were really grateful to have survived the pandemic with minimum damage but having a semblance of our pre pandemic life returned to us was perhaps the biggest highlight of 2022 so far.
Retro Kolkata : What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Paloma & Adil : Apart from performing at the Teesta Triveni Art Carnival soon we also have gigs lined up in Kolkata. We are re-releasing a new take on an old song of ours in the month of October as well. This song was very special to us as we met on set while this song was being made so we are excited about rediscovering it in our own way again.
Retro Kolkata : Any current plans for future releases?
Paloma & Adil : We would also like to release another EP soon, hopefully by the end of this year or the beginning of the next as soon as we finish recording.
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