People often ask me if I am connected to Daler Mehndi, says Samar Mehdi

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Sep 2018 10:32:20


“Generally acoustic guitar is considered to be a stepping stone before going to electronic guitar. I want to tell people that, it is not a stepping stone, it just needs to be explored. Electronic music has come in with much force but I want people to explore the instruments and sit with them. There is a big meditative side to acoustic guitar or any other instrument. If you sit with it you can feel the calm.” ~ Samar Mehdi

By Pallavi Singh

“I started playing guitar when I was 19. Music was not allowed in my family. I used to play drum and flute in school about which my family knew nothing. I sneakily learnt keyboard as well. Once a friend of mine dropped his guitar at my place and never picked it back. I started practicing on the guitar. I used to lock my room and sit inside the cupboard to play guitar so that nobody in the family knows that, I am playing an instrument. Now they support me and when they see me growing they actually have come around really well,” said Samar jovially while telling about the start of his journey and recalling many stepping stones overcoming which he has come so far.


Known as the ‘One Man Band’ 29-year-old Samar Mehdi has found his way through his passion for music. He is not just a guitarist but also a writer and composer. What makes Samar unique and so popular among youngsters is his off beat handling of the guitar. Samar creates sound of as many as five instruments using his acoustic guitar, while he performs in his soulful voice. “In my case I only play guitar and with that acoustic guitar I make sound of percussion instruments like drums, electronics etc. I emulate with scratches the sounds, table and dholak sound through tapping on the guitar. Basically through guitar I produce the sound of drum kit and other sounds. I use the first two strings which become my base, the remaining four strings become my lead guitar. I use the complete guitar better in this way,” said Samar.


Samar has never had a formal training and has learnt by trial and error method. He has so far played in more than 15 cities like Ahemadabad, Bhopal, Indore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, New Delhi and various others. Samar has also released an album ‘Urooj’, with songs written, composed and sung by Samar. He has written eighteen songs and has many more lined up. He will soon be performing in the NH7 music fest. “I wanted something in which I could express my feelings completely and I wanted to make something of my own I wake up with so many ideas and when it is about me I can ideate it further in my own way. So I started writing songs, started composing them and then I started singing. It is very rare in the country to find someone who can create sounds of many instruments from one instrument,
this fact also came as an inspiration,” he added.


Telling about his journey Samar said, “I was part of a band Acrimony formed in the year 2008 but then everyone went separate ways. Then I moved to Mumbai but took up filmmaking part time due to which my music took a backseat and I found that my creativity did not get enough room. So I decided to come back to Bhopal. It felt so right to come back and I felt free. The first song that I wrote was ‘Aazad’. People like Vishal Dadlani and other big names shared it, which was an amazing feeling. People often ask me if I am connected to Daler Mehndi.”


Samar has also written a theory on the use of acoustic guitar and how it can be explored. Telling about it he said, “Generally acoustic guitar is considered to be a stepping stone before going to electronic guitar. I want to tell people that it is not a stepping stone, it just needs to be explored. Electronic music has come in with much force but I want people to explore the instruments and sit with them. There is a big meditative side to acoustic guitar or any other instrument. If you sit with it you can feel the calm.”


“You do not need to have connections to make it big. It is all about not being scared and you have to break the ice at some point. I never asked someone to share my work but when they do it themselves it is the best feeling. I am trying to make simple observation. Work hard and praise will simply come to you. I might be releasing a single with the name ‘Martbaan’ and ‘Iltiza’ soon,” added Samar.