Sax appeal

Goan saxophonist Jarryd Rodrigues recently released a sax-y new single titled ‘Collide’. NT BUZZ checks it out

ANNA FERNANDES | NT BUZZ

The beat goes on in spite of the pandemic. And saxophonist Jarryd Rodrigues who recently unveiled his first original release ‘Collide’ is proof of this.

For the Porvorim resident, inspiration struck in the midst of quarantine. “One morning, I had this vamp (the beginning dual sax part) stuck in my head. Normally, when I have ideas like this one, I record them as a voice note, but I decided to just go to the piano and work on that idea. And that’s how it all began to unfold,” he reveals.  The single, in fact, encapsulates his clashing thoughts during the lockdown as well as the spirit of the times.

“I decided to call it ‘Collide’ because there’s this laid-back calm melody happening over an aggressive sax vamp, and to me that felt like a clash of two different moods,” he says. This, he realised was also something he was feeling and going through at that time, personally. “I was alone in Mumbai during the lockdown and on one hand I was happy to get all this free time to practise and work on my music but on the other hand, I was all by myself and far away from my family, and that was affecting my mental space. I’m feeling much better now that I’m back home, all thanks to my parents who went to great lengths to get me back,” he shares.

And ‘Collide’ has already garnered around 500 views on YouTube as of the date of this publication. “I’m happy and so grateful with the response I’ve gotten. I’m glad that people took time to listen to it and am thankful for their appreciation towards it,” says Rodrigues.

Born into a family of musicians, music naturally ran in his blood. “I first learned the piano from my dad when I was six and then I took up the saxophone when I was much older, taught to me by my grandfather, Braz Gonsalves,” he says. For the past four years now, Rodrigues has been playing professionally and is a part of a number of fixed setups, namely: ‘The Coffee Cats’, ‘Many Roots Ensemble’ and ‘Rashtriya Swing Sena’.

In the track, vocals and saxophone recorded live were laid atop piano, bass, electric piano, synth and drums (that were programmed). “I have two major influences and they are: my granddad, Braz Gonsalves; and tenor saxophonist, John Coltrane. Around the time I was writing ‘Collide’ though, I was listening to a lot of David Binney and Donny McCaslin (two other great saxophonists) and I guess you could find some traces of their music in this piece,” he adds.

The almost six-minute long track serves as a testament to Rodrigues’ prowess not only as a musician but also a producer and composer. “Thanks to this project, I’ve learned to be a bit bolder. I would always get a little too conscious, wondering if my music was good enough to be put out there. But I’ve learned that expressing yourself involves a certain level of vulnerability and as an artiste, or even as a person, you have got to be bold, honest and confident in what you do or have to offer,” he says.

For Rodrigues’ creating the track was a true labour of love. “It took me a month to write, arrange and produce this track. I really took my time with this as I had plenty of it and wanted to be in the right frame of mind while sitting with it,” he says, adding that he’d like to give a special mention to Jubesco Fernandes and his sister, Xarah Rodrigues who worked on the track artwork.

(‘Collide’ is Jarryd Rodrigues’ first original release and is available on YouTube and SoundCloud.)