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Gary Lawyer
This man really needs no introduction. Often called the man with the golden voice in our country, he’s regarded as the finest Indian artist in the field of western popular music. He has to his credit three albums on the HMV / EMI label, and even a song on a compilation album along with the likes of Kenny Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot and Don Williams. In spite of very lucrative offers from leading Hindi producers and composers, he’s refrained from compromising musically, only doing the music he believes is part of his being; his soul. His name…if you didn’t know it all ready…is Gary Lawyer.

And on his latest effort, Gary Lawyer proves that, even after more than 30 years in the business, he's still got it. We caught up with Gary Lawyer himself, and this is what he had to say...

The Record: So what’s the new album all about?
Gary Lawyer: It’s basically something straight from the heart. The new album has eleven original songs. It's an achievement in itself that I got myself another album out…(Laughs) The majority of the work has been done by my producer and close friend Mahesh Tinaiker…

TR: Any surprises in store for a long time fan who’ll pick the new album up?
Gary: Sure. Two of my older songs are here as well. Garden In The Rain is one those, and it’s from my first album all those years ago. We decided to go with that song, for it’s my producer Mahesh Tinaiker’s favourite song from the old days. And the other song is Mother Nature from that same album as well; it's a song about biking which I really love. Long time fans will enjoy the way we’ve redone them...given them a kind of resurrection so to speak.

TR: It’s been years since we’ve seen a full length album from you. Why did Unbelong take so long?
Gary: It’s a long story actually. I had signed on with an Indian record company (I’m not mentioning names)…and they had signed me on with good faith. That was in 1999 and even though I knew that the company wasn’t doing well...I still stayed with them and waited patiently for the album to take flight. After a while it came to the point that we were not going anywhere with the album...and then when they weren’t answering my calls…finally it was time to move on…

TR: That must have been a terrible experience?
Gary: It was. But things eventually did turn around. I had done an all India tour for Black & White and it turned out to so successful that it got me thinking that maybe they would be interested in the album. So finally I went to Black & White and laid everything straight with them. Listen guys, I told them, I have 50% of a great album and would you like to put in the funds for the other half and we'll get a deal? And hats off to them…they didn't even hesitate…they said Gary if you're convinced about it, we’re right there behind you 100%.

TR: So things turned out for the best in the end. Unbelong is an interesting title for the album. What’s that all about?
Gary: In fairness to Black & White… Unbelong is their tagline and for me it made sense because I’m pretty much an Unbelong person myself. (Laughs) There is no such word I know...but I am a very natural laid back person and like to live life...and the title struck me as nice title. I even wrote the title song about it...it's all about being yourself and being happy with who you really are…that sort of thing.

TR: There are quite a few rocking songs on Unbelong…stuff you can just put in your car CD player and cruise down the city with. Did you plan it out that way?
Gary: No I didn’t consciously pen them down with that in mind. (Laughs) I had sent 25 songs to my producer Mahesh and I left the selection entirely unto him. I liked all the tracks equally...but we narrowed it down to a couple of songs that that I really wanted. Initially the idea was to have about 8 songs…but then 8 became 9…9 became 11 and there was even a 12th song! (Laughs again) But finally we just stopped and said that it would save for the next album…

TR: What made you decide to become a musician? Was there a singular moment while you were growing up that you knew you would do this?
Gary: I think I was born with this whole thing to relate to music...I remember as a child I couldn't relate to anything...but I would pick up sounds very fast. For example a car horn would spark off a song in my head and it's a strange thing. Even songs I heard as a child…I remember if I heard the song...I would always remember the lyrics. It's an inbuilt thing in your brain...you're cut out only for this…I always knew I was a singer before anything else...


You can read the rest of our feature on Gary Lawyer in the January 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
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