Introducing Soham De

10646698_811754975542113_4036066519882332622_nIt is my absolute pleasure to introduce you all to the musical talent that is Soham De. I first heard of his music when he playing a gig hosted by Gigti.com, great supporters of independent music that I recommend you check out. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the gig, but when I checked out his music I was instantly blown away by his guitar technique on his song ‘House of Bones’. This song perfectly showcases a wonderful natural songwriting and vocal talent.

So, who is Soham De? This talented singer songwriter originally from Kings Lynn in Norfolk began writing songs from the age of 10. When he was 12-13 he started a band with a few of his friends which didn’t go well but it did help him to become a better musician. His talents are all self taught and apparently he used YouTube to learn his fingerpicking skills. Soham is currently living in Durham where he is studying at University but his music remains his number one passion. Since moving to the North East he has been gaining a lot of attention with his music and deservingly so. This attention resulted in him supporting musicians such as as Gabrielle Aplin, Saint Raymond, Bondax and Kal Lavelle. He has also performed at venues such as The Bedford, The Waterfront, The Junction and Selwyn College as part of Cambridge University’s 2015 Mayball.

In September 2015 saw the release of his debut album ‘Ghost’ which I will talk about this more later in this review. I got the opportunity to speak to Soham himself about his music, inspirations and more. This is what he had to say:

Who or what inspired you to become a musician and which musicians have influenced your sound?

There were a few people that made music really special for me: one was a guy who performed in a primary school assembly when I was in year 3 I think. It was the first time I’d ever seen someone play and sing with a  guitar that I actually went ‘wow, how does he do that?!’. that probably start the interest in performing with an instrument and singing. In Secondary School, there was a guy called James Christie who played at some music assemblies and he was insane, playing it on his lap incredibly well and opening up that aspect of guitar to me. A really big inspiration throughout the first few years of secondary school as he also wrote his own songs and gigged. I wasn’t really gigging at 11-16 just sort of working on my music and practising (I was terrible at getting them anyways ha ha)

A huge inspiration to my music now is Ben Howard, primarily in his songwriting and his performance (based off YouTube videos, I’m gutted I haven’t seen him live yet). His guitar style and work was incredible. The guitar tuning and techniques I use were originally inspired off songs I’d learned via YouTube namely Further Away and Depth Over Distance. Later it was artists that really emotionally affected me in some way, such as Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Phoebe Robinson, Jay harrison, Ditte Elly, John Mayer, Gabrielle Aplin, Ed Sheeran and more.

When you write new music what is the most important part to your process?

For me, the most important part is the emotional connection I feel when playing, regardless of the actual ‘point’ of the song. For me, it’s all about what the words can trigger as opposed to if they make sense or tell a story or something of that sort. It can just be one phrase that really stands out out or a whole verse, maybe in how it sounds of if only the verse makes sense in itself and not in the context of the song.

I like the music and lyrics to be unclear in what they’re exactly about because it means I can take the lyrics and interpret them or match them to my current situation, or just an idea or story in my head. It’s the emotion and tone of the music that I really care about.

Talking about writing music, which is your favourite song your EP and why?

I don’t really know! Each song was written with a different idea or reason in mind (in terms of how I felt and what I wanted form the song). So listening to each song, for me, gives off a different feeling or different variations of the same feeling.

‘Grey Hair’ was based on a sort of idea in my head which I just went with but I guess for me it’s about growing old and looking back and being happy that your regrets paled in comparison to the things you did that gave you joy. That’s a thing I take fairly seriously and so I’d say that was a song I was quite proud of. In terms of favourite, I can’t really say, sorry!

If you were headlining a world tour, which 2 musicians/bands would you choose as YOUR support?

Ha Ha, the dream (not really). At this point in my life I’d pick Phoebe Robinson and Jay Harrison. They’re based in Norfolk (well, Phoebe’s in London now for Uni) and they’re both phenomenal, in my opinion. I’d gladly pay to see both of them as their performances and music are huge inspirations (Jay’s performance is breath taking and ‘Blackbirds Tongue’ by Phoebe Robinson is one of my favourite songs ever so far). If I was lucky enough for such a thing to happen, there’d be so many musicians I’d want to do that kind of performance (Abigail Blake, Emi McDade, James Christie, Jake Morrell, Liam Jary e.t.c)

What are you future plans and goals for your music?

Right now all I want to do in terms of music is write and perform music that makes me happy and is honest to the best of my abilities. I want to improve, work on my guitar and singing, listen to more artists and most importantly, keep writing. I just want to be good at what I do. Hopefully in the future I can make music a profession but right now it’s still time to improve and find out what music I really do want to make.

‘Ghost’ is a flawless album and one of the best acoustic driven releases I have listened to from a modern day musician. The music that Soham produces is mesmerising with an intimate charm with a sound that you would expect from one of his smaller gigs. The balance between Soham’s delicate vocal talents and his intricate guitar technique is such a delight to listen to. This combination seems to intertwine to create music which feels so natural and flows so effortlessly. The way he uses the guitar to deliver emotion with its intricate sound is highly impressive. When Soham uses his finger picking skills it is like his guitar sings on its own and tells its own story. A fantastic example of this is the song ‘Grey Hair’ which is feels like a duet in the way both Soham and his guitar both sing. His guitar skills reflect a captivating emotional atmosphere which is mirrored by his vocal talent. This song maybe be 6 minutes long but it doesn’t feel that long as its arrangement (like all of his songs) has a great depth that delivers a sound that sweeps you away.

Now let’s talk about the lyrics and vocals that this album has to offer. When I have talked to Soham he has always highlighted the importance of connecting to his music when writing new songs. When you listen to the lyrics and the the tender emotion in his voice you can hear exactly why this is important and it shows why his music sounds so good. My favourite song ‘House made of Bones’ showcases this talent the most, actually this song has everything which makes his music stand out so much! His vocals are simply stunning and are accompanied by some mesmerising guitar skills. I really can’t get tired of listening to this song, it’s just one of those songs that is near perfection to me.

‘Ghost’ is an album which I really can’t pick a fault with and trust me I’ve tried. The reason I have looked for a fault is to try understand why Soham’s music is not more well known, but this still remains a mystery to me. How can music this good remain in the shadows? This is why I needed to help give it a voice and I hope his music received the credit that it deserves. I strongly recommend that you listen to the music on the videos embedded in this review. When you agree that his music sounds so good, then you should go purchase his album from the usual online stores like Amazon and iTunes. You will not regret it as every song is an art in itself.

‘Ghost’ has set the bar high and I will have high expectations when it comes to his future releases. His latest song ‘By your Side’ (filmed on On The Sofa) shows that he can meet my expectations, click HERE to check it out. I am confident that his next EP/album will sound so good and that it will be featured on my site, so watch this space.

If you want to learn more about Soham or when he is playing next then head over to his website at SohamDe.com. Alternatively, visit his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. Remember, independent musicians like Soham De need the help of the fans to help spread the word about the music. So go spread the word about the music that matter to you today!