New York-based guitarist, composer, and producer Shubh Saran will independently release his second full-length album and fourth overall release titled inglish on October 29, 2021. After releasing his last EP titled Becoming in late 2019, Saran toured briefly in the United States and India, and upon returning to the U.S. was faced with what became the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. During this time, Saran quickly began writing and recording demos for what would ultimately transform into inglish. The new album explores new musical territory, as Saran incorporates predominant Indian and Middle Eastern instruments for the first time, while expanding the use of modular synthesizers in the momentous arrangements.
Throughout his life, having to assimilate into different cultures has been a common occurrence for Saran, and inglish is a reflection of that progression and evolution. “I wanted to find a metaphor for this idea of existing in the world where you’re trying to navigate a global culture while at the same navigating your own culture and home culture,” he says. Managing changes in culture and language has been a repeat experience for the Indian artist, who has spent time living around the world in places like New Delhi, Dhaka, Cairo, Geneva, Toronto, Boston, and New York City.
To provide some historical context, the term “inglish,'' a portmanteau from the late 1900s, describes Indian English, a variety of the English language spoken in India and by Indian diaspora. It’s a form of dialect that has shown similarity to British English, brought by British Colonization, but has become an amalgamation of Indian and Western culture. This duality has been the focus of Saran’s most recent research and explorations in music, and it’s something that he has experienced first hand. “Within the last several decades, Indian English has taken on a life of its own, with a lot of influence from regional languages and dialects, and a mixture of ‘Queen’s English’,” says Saran, reflecting on the connection between the album title and its anthropological history.
While language is a large part of the inspiration for inglish, the reflection on personal identity and the tension between trying to retain one’s own native tongue and customs while living in non-native territories is equally present. The unboxing of how traditions and cultures get passed down by generations, and the true origins of those artifacts, was also in the foreground of Saran’s mind when writing and recording inglish. “It was interesting to see that the origins for a lot of my own internal biases about being Indian, and Indian identity, seemed actually not to stem from Indian culture, but actually came from external sources,” says Saran. “What ends up happening, I believe, is that the narratives and the biases get internalized by the community, and then sort of get re-fed back into the community like a feedback loop.”
inglish is multi-layered album that explores concepts of identity far beyond the music. As people continue to think, move, and grow globally, the essence of native culture and identity are challenged, but still remain critically important. For Shubh Saran, inglish is a longform message that pays tribute to the difficult process of assimilating while embracing your own culture.
- Shubh Saran | “inglish” | Available October 29 - Guitarist, Composer, and Producer Shubh Saran Releases New Album, inglish, Available Everywhere October 29 New Album Explores Identity and the Difficult Process of Assimilating While Embracing Your Own Culture New York-based guitarist, composer, and producer Shubh Saran will independently release his second full-length album and fourth overall release titled inglish on October 29, 2021. After releasing his last EP titled Becoming in late…