The Yellow Diary: The Story Behind the Music

The Yellow Diary started off a few years ago from their base in Mumbai and have never looked back. Their musicality as a group comes by way of the individual efforts of Himanshu Parikh, Rajan Batra, Vaibhav Pani, Sahil Shah, and Stuart DaCosta, combined into a single sound that has led to hits like "Marz" and Rab Raakha. To know more about the story behind the name and who each band member is, here is our chat: 

The Yellow Diary is a unique name. Tell us about the inspiration and meaning behind this name for you.

Our songs come from personal experiences or experiences of people around us or philosophies. Stuff you would go home and pen down in your personal journal like a “Dear Diary” vibe.

The colour yellow is a mysterious colour. It generally denotes happiness and brightness. But it has a dark side to it as well, physical illness, cynicism, etc. So just as the colour yellow spans from dark to bright, our songs span emotionally from dark to bright. Hence every page of the diary is a different song with a different emotion.

All of you come from different walks of life. What do each one of you bring to the table in terms of your personality?

Most of us are from Bombay excepting Rajan who is originally from Delhi but it's safe to say he has earned his stripes as a Mumbaikar. 

But from day one we all bring a little bit of our own flavour which tends to come together quite beautifully. Rajan (Singer and Lyricist) is the seed, and writes the beautiful lyrics but is a complete goofball to hang out with.  Vaibhav Pani (Guitarist) brings the rock into our sound and is the funniest of us all keeping us in constant splits. Sahil Shah (Drummer) is the grooviest and the baby of the group. Stuart DaCosta (Bassist) brings versatility, great musicianship,  and always down to party. Himonshu Parikh (Keyboardist and Music Producer) is the nexus that kind of keeps us all connected, and has the gift of zooming out and seeing the bigger picture.

You've received millions of views on your songs on YouTube. The medium through which music is listened to has changed drastically, as we can see today. What is the most elating thing for you as artists? The views, the performing, the music-making?

All 3 things are connected, we couldn't perform if we didn't make the music first we wouldn't be able to put out anything without first going through the process of music making. But with YouTube and all our digital and social media we are able to see how our music reaches out to people and gives them a certain sense of joy, which in turn for us is the most elating thing. Like climbing a mountain to enjoy the view from the top.

Groups are bound to have what I like to call 'creative chaos' - opinions that diverge professionally when it comes to music making. How do you manage that chaos?

All of us are extremely goal oriented and we trust each other implicitly, our chaos is managed by putting our egos aside and doing what is best for the song. We might have conflicting ideas sometimes, and with the current technology and our awesome producer; we are able to explore each of our ideas before we make any creative decision.

Given the crazy times we are in right now, how are all of you keeping in touch and keeping your creative juices flowing?

Well all of us in lockdown have been kind of sulking cause we aren't able to hang out and make music together, but we have laid down a strong treasure trove of songs that we have written over the last 4 years of us hanging out. And have been digging into the archives to see what we can put out for the time being, until we figure out how to jam latency free online.

Tell us about “Dhoondti Firaan”; how did the collaboration come about?

So, “Dhoondti Firaan” (originally “Rab Raakha”) is about a belief that while you are focusing on your way forward, towards your goals, there is a higher power looking after your loved ones. This belief becomes a motivating strength to journey on forwards. In this time of lockdown, there is a physical lack of connect between people . And the belief that someone or something, whatever you believe in, is taking care of the ones you can't be with right now, gives you hope, faith and positivity. That’s what we wanted to share with everyone.

The idea of the collaboration actually came through our manager Jui Lele at Sony Music. It was shortly after the release of “Rab Raakha”, when Akasa, a longtime friend of the band had taken a great liking to the song. All of us absolutely adore Akasa as an artist and as a human being and it just felt like the right thing to do!


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