The group – that formed in 2014 – includes musicians Rohan Ramanna, Divya L. and Amandeep Singh
Although Mumbai outfit .DOE started working together seven years ago after drummer and producer Rohan Ramanna put together a big band called The Live Cycle that included guitarist Amandeep Singh, vocalist Divya L. and late pianist Karan Joseph, amongst others, it is only now that the group has been able to share their music in the form of their spectacular eponymous three-track EP. Singh says, “We wanted to start a project solely to make music that we really enjoy making and playing.”
In regard to why the band took a while to release their material into the world, Ramanna tells us that it wasn’t their intention to sit on the music, but that they faced plenty of obstacles along the way. He says, “Being an indie musician is something that we feel is still greatly misunderstood by society. There is a considerable investment of time and finances that go into creating music and the content that comes along with it. On top of that, a string of bizarre personal tragedies really did make it even more difficult. Sadly, there is also an immense amount of exploitation that goes on in the industry and of course, COVID-19 didn’t help either.”
One of those tragedies was the loss of Joseph in 2017. The band recalls the pianist coming in to play on the astounding “Don’t Care” after which he was excited about the project and keen on joining the group. “We didn’t intend on having a solo on the song, but he just went for it, and it was just so pure and beautiful that we kept it in the final version. Truthfully, Karan was actually meant to be part of this interview, on tour with us and in all the photos and on all the songs,” says Ramanna. Divya L. adds, “Karan was as humble as he was talented and an extremely warm and sincere human being.” That session would be the last time the band saw Joseph and Divya L. explains that “it definitely is one of our most fond memories of Karan.”
The record also includes the dreamy “Nothing Gold” and the ethereal “Amnesia Haze” that bring on board musician Ajay Jayanthi with his violin and viola parts added to the mix. “We met Ajay Jayanthi many years after we started the recording process, and it was a real blessing. This wasn’t something we had originally planned but now looking back we wouldn’t have done it if we weren’t delayed,” says Ramanna.
Sonically, .DOE’s self-titled EP is a magnificent juxtaposition of hip-hop beats, jazz harmonies and R&B vocals that make for a splendid listen. When it comes to the record’s lyrical theme, Divya L. says, “There are multiple meanings based on the interpretation of each listener. It is nice knowing everyone takes something different away from it. We want people to make it their own and relate to it.” Singh tells us that the recording process for the EP was “long and scattered” and spanned over four years. The group recorded a majority of the live instrumentation at Ramanna’s now-defunct Mumbai-based Cotton Press Studio. “Honestly with everyone’s chaotic schedules, we took any opportunities as they came and tried to keep it as organic as possible,” says Singh.
Looking ahead, the band is keen on getting on the road next year and has already begun planning a tour while also putting together videos for their songs. “We’re really excited to have finally put this project out into the world and even more so to share the new music that’s been brewing,” says Divya L.
Stream ‘.DOE’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.