Druv Kent is an internationally-recognized and chart-topping singer-songwriter originally from Kolkata, now based in Singapore, who left a banking career to follow his passion for music. He is the first Asia-based musician in two decades to have his music backed by the UK’s BBC Radio. With his earthy, anthemic and lyrical songs, the financer-turned-musician seeks meaning in a shifting world with contemporary folk-pop sounds blended with the fuel of his Indian heritage.
Druv is now performing live online and physically (where possible), and looking forward to his new releases Ma Ga Re Sa and Wanna Love Again, produced in Sweden. VERUS FERREIRA spoke to Druv Kent about his musical journey.
Tell us how you transformed yourself from being a banker for 15 years to a full-time musician?
With a lot of trepidation. I’ve been a musician since I was a little boy. But I’d also prioritized making a living and pursuing my passion on the side. And most importantly, I’d not written an original song. In 2013, that changed. And with that so did my life. I created this series of songs and had a revelation that I can make music of the quality of the people I admired. Once you are armed with that belief, that feeling can override your most logical endeavours.
Did you have any musical training in your early years growing up?
I grew up in Kolkata with a lot of music around me, Western pop, rock, Indian classical, Western classical, Hindi film music. I was trained in Hindustani classical tabla and light vocal when I was a young boy, but my heart was always leaning towards the drums and the English songs.
Your lyrics stand out. Is there a theme binding your recent EP Don’t Burn Away?
Lyrically the five songs in the Don’t Burn Away EP plumb the feelings I felt in pandemic isolation: grief, lost innocence, finding resolve, holding on to love, and hoping for a better tomorrow. I sometimes find myself smiling when I read my completed lyrics as I’m reminded by a music critic’s comment that my lyrics read like ghazals — songs of love, lament and longing, but in English.