Muswell Hill musician's new album tops the blues charts
- Credit: Ajay Srivastav
A new album "put together between lockdowns, global political upheavals and bouts of anxiety" topped both the iTunes and Amazon UK blues charts on its release.
On June 25, Muswell Hill's Ajay Srivastav released Powerless, featuring the singles Golden and The Path.
The album explores issues of identity, division, and inequality, and "builds a harmonious bridge between the Mississippi Delta and the Ganges".
“I wanted to have a positive message on the new album, to be spiritual but bluesy,” he said. “I have a lot of hope, a lot of love.”
As 2020 wore on, the pandemic, political upheavals and the summer of Black Lives Matter gave the themes of the album a different feel to debut Karmic Blues.
“The first album was beautiful and positive, but I’m going in heavy with this one," he said. "What’s going on in the world played heavy on my mind. The world is divided, I’m anxious and upset."
He continued: "[Title track] Powerlessness, for me, is not being able to hit back at whoever has knocked you down. So, we knock someone weaker than ourselves down. We’re seeing that all over the place.”
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The album, Ajay says, retains a feeling of optimism, despite images of war, struggle and injustice.
“The album opens with The Line, which is all about the polarized times we live in,” he said. “And it closes with Shanti, this Sanskrit mantra for peace of mind. Inner peace and inner strength are what this album is ultimately about, because if you’re sorted on the inside, the chaos of the outside world can’t get you.”
After discovering Muddy Waters’ I’m A Man, it was the blues that inspired Ajay’s path into music, but it was British blues boom heroes like Keith Richards and Ray Davies who led to his early forays into rock’n’roll.
In the course of his career he replaced Nitin Sawhney in the ranks of DJ and broadcaster Ritu’s world-music band The Asian Equation, wrote Asian-fusion songs, and fronted a 60s-style soul and funk revue playing Bollywood songs – the brilliantly-named Botown.
Powerless is available on all digital platforms and can also be bought at www.ajayhq.com