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SpeakEasy: Apernit
He has been called ‘India’s fastest guitarist’ but all this young musician wants to do is be true to his craft, play with his heroes and put India on the musical map. As he releases his fast-selling debut album, Apernit talks to us about playing guitar, the power of perseverance and his plans for the music community.

On his debut album - a guitar-based labour of love…
My album is a pop/rock, guitar-based album. It is based on the acoustic and electric feel of the guitar with songs in different keys. If you notice on a lot of albums the tone tends to be the same but in my album each song has a different and unique significance. The lyrics are based on events that have occurred in my life – the sorrows and joys.
I had a dream as a child that I would release an album and I have been working for the past 3 years on this. I finished my graduation this June and the day after my final exams my song aired for the first time. My elders told me to build a strong foundation, to go through college, finish and then work on music. It’s working well so far. Album sales are going good and people are saying they like my music. For a while now we’ve had people from other countries come here and make this kind of music but I think Indipop can also do something new. My USP is guitar.

On being called ‘India’s fastest guitarist’…
See, I have been playing guitar from the age of 7. People have labelled me ‘the fastest guitarist in India’ but I just aim to play better each day. When people kept saying I was so fast, I tested myself and I found that I could play 22 notes in 0.76 seconds. In fact I am trying to make it better. I never thought I would be so committed to it though. Now I practice 20 hours a day.

On learning the craft…
I wanted to learn how to play and so I taught myself. The thing is I don’t have an ego problem. If someone is better than me I try to learn from them. If you want to learn, you must pick up everything that you can. People often try and memorise a song using tabs from the net. Instead if you just learn the basic rules that songs are built on, you can apply those rules to any other songs and learn more! So I worked on it like that. I always say that I am a droplet of music and music is just like a sea – I will take many lifetimes to explore music fully. Also, to learn better, I think guitarists should be flexible and accepting of all genres of music. You often find guitarists who look down on all forms of music except the one that they like but that attitude does not work. You can’t play to satisfy your ego. You have to be humble in your approach.

On life and destiny…
Musically I give credit to my hard work and faith and the time I have spent with my guitar. But I must thank my mentor Mr. Saket Jalan from Bangalore – he provided me with a lot of support and believed in my passion and my talent. He was the one to start the album project. Also, I thank Mr. Siddharth Patwa, one of my seniors who always believed in me. He produced my album and manages my events. With God’s grace I have got their help.

You can read the rest of our feature on Apernit in the August 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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