India’s ONEmpire Talks Canadian Producer Collaboration
With the release of their debut single and video “Shine A Light”, Indian modern rock band ONEmpire is creating international buzz leading up to 2018’s Humanity EP release. The name ONEmpire may be new; however, the musicians have enjoyed great success throughout India for the last decade as The Other People and have opened for American rock band Saving Abel and Danish pop stars Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR). As the band's songwriting had evolved, the musicians decided that a re-brand was in order.
The internet played a big part in the recording of the band's upcoming EP as they recorded in Mumbai, Canadian producer Ben Pelchat worked from his studio Kensington Sound in Toronto. Vocalist Zarir Warden talked exclusively with Pressparty about the process.
How did the collaboration with Canada’s Kensington Sound come about?
We are working with a couple of the nicest guys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in recent times. Benjamin Pelchat and Steve Raiman are supremely talented people, very creative, very smart, always thinking on their feet and most importantly, such a joy to work with! They are producing and mixing our music.
In 2016, we had representation at the annual MIDEM conference in France and we were given a report of agents and producers that may be interested in working with the band. Ben and Steve were on the list and the first time I spoke with them, within the first 5 minutes, I felt this comfort and connection. A few days later, we started working together, and it’s been one of the most amazing relationships.
Who is all involved in creating the music?
We are recording with such an interesting team. It is the 5 of us in the band recording in this very cosy studio in Mumbai. We have the amazing Mr. Loy Mendonsa (from the famous Indian trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) who is mentoring us and helping with the songwriting and composition process.
Then we have our buddy Ben in Toronto, who is in on every single recording session over Facetime or Skype. It may be a one-hour session or a 12-hour session, he’s there right through, guiding us, brainstorming and making the session so much more creative & fun! Because of the time difference, very often he’s up working with us at 6 a.m.! And we’ve got a fantastic recording engineer by the name of Abhishek in the studio so all in all, with such a fantastic team, every single session is so interesting and creative at the same time.
Tell us about the debut single “Shine A Light”
This song speaks about heartache & heartbreak...not necessarily in love or a relationship, but in a very generic way. It speaks about being in a dark & an empty space. It then speaks about the “light” which represents positivity and reassurance. So it’s basically about finding the strength, even if you’re in a tough situation, to get up and finding that “shining light”. As you move towards it, it keeps getting bigger & brighter and then finally you turn things around positively.
What musical genres and artists inspire ONEmpire?
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but we are extremely influenced by gospel pop in addition to a variety of rock music so bands like Planetshakers & Jesus Culture, along with Bon Jovi, Earth Wind & Fire, Imagine Dragons, Snow Patrol, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and One Republic.
What can you tell us about the upcoming debut EP?
Humanity is a concept EP as the goal is to get people the world over, irrespective of nationality, sex, age or anything else, to relate to the songs on it. In order to make this happen, we decided to connect each song to a particular and very commonly felt emotion.
For example, ‘Shine a light’ speaks about heartache & heartbreak, which is something that everyone feels at some point. “Run to you” speaks of loneliness and about how some people feel all alone and have no one to turn to, which can then lead to self-harm. The truth is, everyone has someone they can turn to, someone who will drop everything to be by their side, just to talk or even just to stay quiet; someone who ensures that you know you are never alone.
So this EP is all about honesty in emotions and feelings and no matter the subject, each song has a very positive spin on it.