Songs from a diary: The Yellow Diary interview

by Sreedevi Manohar

The Yellow Diary has made a name for itself in the indie music scene in less than half a decade, blending ‘poetry with rock’, exploring a range of emotions. The Mumbai-based alternative rock 5-member outfit has released six songs in two EPs, in addition to performing hundreds of live shows across the country.

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'The Yellow Diary' has a very nostalgic ring to it. What is the story behind the name?

Our songs come from personal experiences or experiences of people around us or philosophies. Stuff you would go home and pen down in your personal journal like a “Dear Diary” vibe. The colour yellow is a mysterious colour. It generally denotes happiness and brightness. But it has a dark side to it as well, physical illness, cynicism, etc. So just as the colour yellow spans from dark to bright, our songs span emotionally from dark to bright. Hence every page of the diary is a different song with a different emotion.

What inspired “Kaun Mera”?

The inspiration behind Kaun mera is the relationship between time & change and how it affects us. Time is directly proportional to change and they move forward constantly. But also, they're invisible. For us humans, it's easy to lose track of time and hence the track of changes it causes. These effects of change are specially more hard hitting when they happen to people we thought we know, and one fine day, they just don't seem to fit in our idea of them.

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The video of “Kaun Mera” features an illustrator at work. What was the narrative you wished to convey through the artwork?

The video concept was a collaboration between us and the illustrator. We wanted him to listen to the song and show us the thought that he got from it. His final concept talks about how two people, in their most connected moments, create two bridges that connect the spiritual distance between them and form what is known as two bodies and one soul. This is only possible when you are constantly aware of the changes that occur in each other with time.

From your first song “Marz” to your latest “Rab raakha” and “Kaun mera”, how has your creative process and soundscape evolved over time?

As far as our soundscape goes, we’re always open to trying new things and not sticking to the same kind of genre if the song demands it. Between Marz to Kaun Mera, we’ve explored some completely different soundscapes in songs like Kashmir, Dheere Se, Hor Disda, Dhoondti Firaan. Our creative process keeps evolving with us, and the main reason for that is our understanding of each other and the ease of communication. It’s such a comfortable environment to throw ideas and suggestions at each other without the fear of judgement, and that makes for an extremely efficient creative space.

You have been actively supporting fundraising initiatives and awareness campaigns for COVID relief. Tell us a bit about that.

This ongoing pandemic has affected the whole world physically, emotionally and financially. It's important for all us to spread awareness on all these aspects. Maintaining social distancing norms, being a social support for family and friends and supporting small businesses are crucial to get through this pandemic. It's our social responsibility as artists to raise awareness regarding the same.

What is next for you?

We have a lot of music that’s just waiting to come out for you guys! Covid definitely derailed our plans a bit, because we want to make sure we are adhering to self quarantining and not meeting each other. As soon as a sense of normalcy is reinstated we will go ahead, complete and release a few songs this year.

As far as our live shows go, we just cannot wait for everything to start up again, and get back out on stage for all you lovely people!