Rehan Dalal is a Canada based Indian singer-songwriter who is on a mission to revive soul music with the help of his talent. He wasn’t one of those musicians who start playing music before they start walking, but he has made it further than most. Two albums old, the Mumbai raised star picked up his guitar in his college days and has never left it since. He has already made a mark on the Canadian audiences, and has started finding his places in his home country as well. We spoke to him about his struggles, the music scene in India, and how he feels it is different from that in Canada, and much more.
You have admitted to joining the field of music a little late. However, you managed to have two amazing albums and one EP to your credit, rather quickly. What were the struggles you went through during the process?
As someone that was pretty late to picking up an instrument there was a definite struggle to get my musical abilities to catch up the sounds in my head. I’ve grown a huge deal as a musician . I assume it’s a journey I’m going to be on for a very, very long time!
There were also all the typical growing pains: Learning how to put a band together, how to record in a studio environment, how to book shows, etc.
After two very positively received albums, do you think the crowd recognises you?
Well, as you mentioned, there was a lot of relationship material on my last few records. The impetus for my writing is usually things that affect me deeply. At the time I was writing for my last record it was a lot of things happening in my personal romantic life. Lately it’s been a lot of things happening in the world around me: the seemingly unending streams of violence, watching some of my friends struggle with adulthood or running into bigotry. Some of the new material is political, some of it is more just telling the stories of people I know and just for good measure there’s a couple songs about love.
I wouldn’t say I’m too familiar with the music business in India. I’ve only just dipped my toes in. From what little I’ve experienced, it seems to operate quite differently than here in Canada. For one, there are certainly more outlets for live music here in Canada. There’s also a very strong support system (both public and private) for the arts here, which makes being a musician a lot easier. That being said, the scene in India is still in it’s infancy, so there’s far less noise to cut through and I think it’s a lot easier for new bands to make a mark there.
I think there’s a tremendous amount of raw talent there. And it’s great to see more music schools popping up and people starting to value an education in music.