Author Bio: Abhishek Dasgupta, a 27-year-old computer science engineer from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (formerly known as the West Bengal University of Technology), is a former Tata Consultancy Services employee. After having worked for 3.5 years, he decided to resign on September 10, 2019 so as to embark on an entrepreneurial journey. But within a few months, life was not about to be the same ever again for anyone as a deadly pandemic by the name of COVID-19 was about to penetrate into each corner of the world. And therefore, all his entrepreneurial aspirations met a crashing halt when commenced a nationwide lockdown. Caught up in a catch-22 situation, without full-time employment in hand, he decided to pursue his 18-year-old passion for music and started writing his first book ever, Gang Gang, an anthology of authentic songs.
Interviewer: Many congratulations on your wonderful book “Gang Gang: An Anthology of Authentic Songs”, Abhishek Dasgupta! How do you feel about it? Tell us something about your book?
Abhishek Dasgupta: Thank you so much. I am feeling really elated to be finally labeled as a published author. I have always dreamt of this day. And now I can’t help but agree to the notion that dreams do come true.
My book is basically an anthology of original songs, a collection of my own song lyrics, which I have written across seven different subgenres of two primary genres I have grown up with and thus, resonate the most with, Rock music and Hip-hop music.
Interviewer: Please tell me about poetry? What is your perception about poetry and how do you relate poetry and music?
Abhishek Dasgupta: Poetry, according to me, is a subject using which we can express the different dimensions of our lives and society and, in the process, convey a message of some sort. Even the most basic message and the most basic story can find a place in poetry. And most of the time, there would be someone else too who agrees with your message. That’s how I feel.
Poetry and music are very closely tied with each other. Because song lyrics are basically a version of poetry. Very poetic songs with deep meanings have always created a huge impact in both the music industry and in the hearts of people. For example: ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. People connect with a song primarily because of the lyrics. And the tune just makes it more beautiful.
Interviewer: When did you start writing poetry? Do you remember the first time you wrote something? And what was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Abhishek Dasgupta: The first time I wrote poetry was not a traditional poem, but the lyrics of a song. I was sixteen. It was a Hindi Rock song called ‘Makdi’. The song lyrics are about the inspiring story of the little spider who kept on trying and failing until it finally managed to climb the wall successfully.
Music has played a very deep role in my life. As a matter of fact, I grew up with music. I started indulging in it more than usual at the age of fifteen after I was done with my standard Xth board exams. And now, to be very honest, I can’t imagine my life without music. Even my creativity fails to help me out in drawing that picture.
Interviewer: Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
Abhishek Dasgupta: My Mother was the first musician I have interacted with. Honestly, she is one of the best musicians I have ever seen. Although she has never sung professionally, she happens to be a really proficient singer of the Bangla music genre: ‘Rabindra Sangeet’, a genre in which singers sing the songs of the great and legendary poet: Rabindranath Tagore. She received formal education in that genre up until her sixth year and earned a certificate from ‘Allahabad Prayag Sangeet Samiti’ back during the early 80s. She even won a lot of singing competitions judged by maestros such as Ustad Zakir Hussain when she used to be in college.
Interviewer: Are you from a musical or artistic family? What was the first instrument which you learned to play?
Abhishek Dasgupta: Yes, I belong to both a musical and an artistic family. My Mother is a trained Rabindra Sangeet singer. My Aunt is a trained Indian classical singer. My late uncle used to play the sitar. And my late paternal grandfather during his younger days used to act in the acting group of the legendary actor Utpal Dutt: Little theatre group.
The first instrument I ever touched was the guitar, back in 2009. Although I never received formal training to play it, I had a lot of friends (they are still my friends) who were very proficient with guitar and were always ready to help me with technicalities, whenever I needed a helping hand.
Interviewer: ‘Gang Gang’ is an anthology of Authentic Songs. What inspired you to come up with this book?
Abhishek Dasgupta: After working for 3.5 years in TCS-Kolkata, I decided to quit so as to focus on the MBA entrance: GMAT, and come up with a business plan. I finally cleared GMAT with a score of 710 on 29th February 2020. But by the end of March 2020, COVID-19 was a pandemic. And it only kept on worsening with the year.
No business and a career gap made my resume look bad. That’s when I realized, authoring a book could be a great mitigation strategy. The first thought that came to my mind during topic selection was a book of song lyrics. Because I have a music background. And listening to songs has always been my primary hobby. Besides, this book also makes up for the fact that I’m not a professionally trained instrumentalist or vocalist and allows me to earn some credibility in songwriting. So I decided let’s go for it.
Interviewer: Please share any stanza you have written and you repeat it most of the time.
Abhishek Dasgupta: My book comprises of five volumes. The third volume, ‘Hoop N’ cross_Black’ has a song called ‘Candlelight’, a love song. Genre: Pop rock.
Here goes the chorus verse of this song:
“Later we could take a stroll down them lanes-
-where benches are parked all over the pavement
We could crash there for hours unattended-
-as we take time to feel a love so patient”
I want to say something about these lines. These literally are inspired by a broad pavement in Patuli signal, Kolkata. And you literally can spend an awesome time with your significant other on the benches parked all over this place, even during 9 PM. And be assured that no one would bother you. Although I have never done that, I felt like I should not think twice about writing a song for all the couples who spend a nice time in that jovial spot in the city of joy.
Interviewer: In terms of lyrics, what is your favorite song, and what makes it so good?
Abhishek Dasgupta: In terms of lyrics, my favorite song is that of the song ‘Hotel California’ by the legendary Rock band ‘Eagles’. This song has a very, very deep meaning. Even when as a kid I didn’t know what it meant, it used to intrigue me. It used to make me ponder over its meaning. Later when I finally understood its meaning, that it’s about you getting introduced to some elements in your life and never being the same ever again, because they stayed with you and remained associated with your name until the very end, I loved it even more. As a matter of fact, even this song is one of such elements in my life. I get goosebumps every time I listen to Don Henley singing the last line of the song: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Interviewer: What kind of books do you like to read? What books or poets have most influenced your own writing? Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
Abhishek Dasgupta: I’m mostly into thriller novels. I have read all of Sidney Sheldon’s novels. And currently, I’m reading John Grisham. If fact, I want to be known as a thriller author in the future.
To be very honest, I’m not much into poetry books. ‘Gang Gang, An Anthology Of Authentic Songs’ is mostly inspired by lyrics of songs of my favorite Rock and Hip-hop musicians, such as Eagles, The Doors, Deep Purple, Metallica, Drake, Jay-Z, and the list goes on and on. It will probably require 10 pages to talk about all the musicians I’m influenced by.
My favorite songwriter is John Mayer. I connect so deeply with the lyrics of his songs that often it feels like he’s writing his songs for me. And I look up to his songs for guidance regarding the poetic aspects of the Rock songs that I write.
Interviewer: Please let the readers know about your projects for the future? Are you working on any book?
Abhishek Dasgupta: Currently I’m working on ‘Gang Gang ii, Another Anthology Of Authentic Songs’. As the name suggests, it’s another compilation of more authentic songs, 51 more, to be precise. This book is exactly like ‘Gang Gang.’, structure-wise. But emphasizes a little more on the genres that are currently a part of the new waves of western music pop culture. For example, it has a volume of song lyrics belonging to the genre(s): Dancehall/ Reggaetón. Almost every musician in each part of the world, who belongs to the Pop culture of 2021 has in some point of time made or participated in a song belonging to this genre. And I’m planning to release this book as soon as possible.
Interviewer: Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Abhishek Dasgupta: Yes, of course. Who isn’t? I’m definitely a part of social media. I’m available on Instagram under the handle @microphonethrilla. And my readers can always reach out to me on my website: www.wisetruant.com. And I can be reached out on my author’s page in Facebook: Abhishek Dasgupta, Author.
And really soon, I’m planning to start a YouTube channel of my own, and an entertainment YouTube channel. I will update the name of that YouTube channel to all of my readers on my social media handles. I hope it takes off. My fingers are crossed.
Interviewer: What is your message to the aspirant poets?
Abhishek Dasgupta: I don’t know if I’m eligible yet to drop any message to aspiring poets. Although I HAVE written a book of song lyrics, I’m still struggling, trying to earn a name through my books. But if I have to drop a message, to aspiring songwriters, I’d say that the more that you read what they write, the more can you come up with authentic content. That is the key that opens up the blocked doors of your brain and enables you to think properly and write better.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you. I wish you best of luck for the future!
Abhishek Dasgupta: Thank you so much for this interview. Please read the book, ‘Gang Gang, An Anthology Of Authentic Songs’, if you haven’t yet. And I sincerely hope that you like the book. If you do, please review it on Amazon. That would mean so much to me.
“When you are headed for a road to nowhere, just let your soul take over and determine your actions.” – Abhishek Dasgupta
“You realise how fast slow really is when you let it grow slowly.” – Abhishek Dasgupta