May every courtyard have the shade of trees,
May every garden bloom;
May we see a world where everyone loves nature…
These are lines from musician Roshan D’Souza Angelore’s latest project, ‘The Earth Song’. The video, which was uploaded on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX7HoG2LxW8&feature=youtu.be) on May16 has garnered a sizeable fan following. The song in nine languages is a collaboration between 17 singers, five instrumentalists and six lyricists.
Roshan is a much-in-demand music arranger, an accomplished guitarist, singer and music teacher. He brought in a fresh approach to composing in Konkani. Speaking on the phone from Mangaluru, Roshan says the timing was right for ‘The Earth Song.’ “I thought the people-less scenario during this pandemic was a boon to Mother Earth. The air and water were purer, birds were flying… When I shared this with my friend, Dilraj Rodrigues, also a musician, who is a chief engineer with the Merchant Navy, his response was instantaneous. ‘Why don’t we produce a song? I will bear the costs’.”
Dilraj was at sea then but that did not stop the friends from going full steam ahead. The promo was uploaded on May 13.
‘The Earth Song’ started as a re-creation of a song Roshan composed in 2011. “The original was in Konkani and we had earlier decided to re-structure it into a quarantine song in Konkani, it however grew into a multilingual song, involving many artistes,” says Roshan, adding that Dilraj even managed to include the captain and the crew onboard the ship in the video.
The six-and-a-half minutes song is a slow rock ballad, according to Roshan who otherwise dabbles in blues, jazz, contemporary, pop, indie-rock and Indian classical. With nearly two decades of musical experience behind him, Roshan has nearly a dozen albums to his credit and has done music arrangement for 135 albums.
“For ‘The Earth Song’ apart from Dilraj and six lyricists, my friend Ivan Pereira helped with video editing and cousin Melroy D’Souza pitched in for publicity. Ivan and Dilraj and I are founder members of the Konkani rock band Teetotalers. Alwyn Fernandes, rated among top 10 guitarists of India by Rolling Stone, recorded his section from Dubai. Musician brothers Sanjay (keyboards) and Sanjeeth Rodrigues (drums) are part of the project.”
While Josy John from Kerala is on bass guitar and Roshan on backing guitars and keyboards, Nithin Koottungal did the mixing and mastering in Ernakulam. Talking about the title, Roshan said, “Michel Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ is a classic. We could not get over the connection. We thought we will call our composition ‘The Earth Song.’ Three decades ago ‘We Are The World’ was created as a benefit single for famine relief in Africa. This is our small attempt for a green earth.”
Sing out loud
The singers featured in ‘The Earth Song’ are Lavita Lobo, Joshal D’Souza, Robin Sequeira, Nihal Tauro, Meera Crasta, Shilpa Cutinha, Prajoth D’Souza, Ashwin D’Costa, Roopa Prakash, Prakash Mahadevan, Sreshtha Ghosh, Orson D’Souza, Rynel Sequeira, Joel D’Souza, Renston Fernandes, Nithin Koottungal and Adolf Jayathilak.