Arham Fulfagar is an indie singer-songwriter from Guwahati, Assam (Currently based out of Mumbai) who is a freelance video editor by day and writes poetry when he's not making music. He started putting his songs out in 2020 and his music stems out of his personal experiences. He is mostly inspired by artists like Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne, Tom Odell, Anuv Jain, Prateek Kuhad and more. He writes in English as well as in Hindi and does spoken word, too.
Anatomy of the Genre
Everything I write is very honest and simple and thus relatable to a lot of people out there who listen to my music. I don’t use complex words or twist things up. I would say my songs are just genuine. The kind of music I have been putting out lately is inspired by genres such as folk, indie rock, folk-pop and they have an acoustic and singer-songwriter vibe. It would really be difficult to take up a genre and say that this is my genre especially when I’m at a stage where I’m trying to find my place amongst them. My songwriting style is inspired by artists like Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne, Anuv Jain, etc.
Make it alright - The Latest to Drop
I wrote this song back when I was in college and there was this one night I sort of had a breakdown and pictured a little boy sitting in the corner of my room and crying. I picked up my guitar and started singing ‘’I know what you’re crying about, hold my hand I’ll make it alright”, and started blabbering on the same chords and recorded it on my phone. When I moved to Mumbai last year, I came across this song and decided to complete it and record it. I tried to add the pop vibe to the folk in this one by adding a proper hook line and a bridge like that of an Ed Sheeran song where he raps in between verses. I mean the songwriting however still remains the same, like if you show just the lyrics to someone they would know it’s something Arham would write.
Challenges to an Album
The biggest challenge is almost always the same: making my music reach the people who like listening to the kind of music I make. For any musician, releasing an Album is a pretty big deal. Which is one of the biggest reasons most people start with singles and then proceed to an EP or an Album. It’s easier to get streams on singles, it’s a fast moving world and the challenge with an EP or an Album is that some songs might just be skipped by people and not get the attraction it deserves. Also since I’m planning to release an all-hindi EP after releasing these English singles, I’m navigating this new side and hoping for the best results. Hitting that right strategy with marketing is a big time challenge for an independent artist like myself.
Most of my listeners are young and use Spotify and Apple Music to stream music so I try to push my music the most on these platforms. The algorithms of these platforms are hard to crack, because the more listeners you have, the more your music is pushed to new listeners through playlists. So it’s a little difficult for someone who starts from scratch and does not already have a lot of listeners. I think Youtube works best in general because it’s used by literally everyone and people like visuals along with music. Meanwhile Soundcloud is a platform that I mostly use to send unreleased music to friends and editors of music journals and blogs.
The Nearest Turn Leads to an Album
Over the past couple of years I’ve written lots of songs and a lot of them are sort of incomplete but personally I feel most of them have a great potential. So yes, there’s an album that’s on the way but before that I’m releasing my debut EP titled Ham Chalein with 4-5 hindi songs. The title track of the EP is a song that has really gotten viral amongst my followers and friends. It’s my most popular unreleased song and they have been calling it ‘The Kabootar Song’ and clearly I’m very excited about this EP. It’s kind of hard to prepare an EP in the middle of a Pandemic when I really don’t trust myself with recording everything at home even though I have the equipment. I need to coordinate with a producer from Mumbai while I record the guitars and everything at a studio in Guwahati. It’s a challenge to get the kind of music that you have in mind when you’re not talking to the producer one on one. I hope I release this EP first thing in 2021.
I performed for the first time at a DIY festival with the best vibe in Himachal Pradesh, and the response I received can't be put into words here. It was just so overwhelming. I hadn't expected my songs to make this kind of impact at all. It’s without a doubt the highlight performance of my life. It was very cold up there and I was super nervous because I had never really performed like that before. It was also like a solo trip for me, so also my first solo trip. I didn’t know anybody and I was also really scared for some reason. But it all turned out to be just so beautiful. I met some insane artists and amazing people there. It was the performance of a lifetime. Surrounded with yellow lights and yellow vibes, wonderful audience. At the top of a mountain, under the stars. What else could I ask for?
An Ode to the Roots
For the first 18 years of my life I lived in Guwahati with my parents. Of course the place has a great influence on me in general but I wasn’t really a singer-songwriter until I moved out of here. During my school days here, I used to listen to lots of classic rock music and even metal. It’s because of living in a place like the North East that I’m comfortable writing English more than Hindi songs. The music scene here in the North East is also something I’m really happy about and proud of, because it’s more than just Bollywood here. But then again since I hadn’t really started writing songs until I moved to Bangalore for my college, my nascent stage as an artist doesn’t really have a lot to talk about the local support from here. I started working on my original songs only after graduating from college when I decided to move to Mumbai and start completing my songs and recording them and it has only been about a year since I did that.
Every time I put a work of art out there, I get these long beautiful messages from random people about how it made them feel and it’s so overwhelming and motivating. The feeling is just inexplicable, I feel so good. The happiness of seeing my songs get streamed on major streaming platforms and making the slightest impact is just too pure.
I question myself about the plans I make but never have I ever doubted my choice of being a musician. I do ask myself what I could be doing better but that’s only a part of my growth. I'm a big believer of the Chaos theory, and I'm incredibly thankful for everything that has happened in my life, good and bad, because they've got me here.
The people in India like listening to the songs that they hear in a Bollywood movie and the majority almost neglects anything that’s not Bollywood. In European and American countries, the concept is a little different and a little better for independent artists and bands. But nevertheless, it’s commendable how the listeners here have grown fond of the whole indie music scene over the past few years. A lot more people have started listening to indie music lately especially after hits from artists like Prateek Kuhad and Anuv Jain over the years resulting in our hopes for the scene in the coming years getting stronger.
On the Anvil
I have lots of songs that I’ve already written, I’ve been writing a lot more lately. I’m really excited to release more and more of my songs. I have a new single coming at the end of this month itself. Besides music I am also a spoken word artist and I have a few hits that people really like and I’m looking forward to putting out more pieces. I haven’t performed a lot in my life but I feel really positive about performing a lot, once the world is safe again. I can’t wait to travel and perform as soon as this get’s over.