“Find that happiness in music which you get while eating your favorite food” - Sonic Shori — The Showrunners Exclusive pick

Today’s article is going to be the most inspiring one as no matter how much I talk about sonic, it’s not gonna be enough. I know sonic from the time when I started attending pianoman’s regular gigs. I used to catch him performing with some coolest bands and artists from India and all over the globe. Let’s say he can pull off any gig in a way where you will never be able to figure out if he’s a better rock player or pop player, funk or bollywood player, latin or jazz player. No one can define that because he’s so good at his job that my words aren’t enough to define his versatility. I would say just experience it yourself and don’t believe what I am saying.

Sonic comes from Jalandhar, Punjab. Him and I have few mutual likings like Video games, Cartoon series, Rajmah Chawal, Sugarcane Juice and Double Shot Cold Coffee. The list is long but I can only recall of these things right now. Btw Sonic has a huge and rare collection of G.I.Joe’s action figures and he keeps getting a lot of supercool goodies from latest movie releases. Although we are adults but sometimes it makes me jealous and I can’t lie about that. He likes to travel a lot. Apart from his tours and gigs, He prefers going to hills a lot and keeps finding new places to visit. He loves nature and it shows in his conversations and playing. He’s a big fan of food and If I’m not wrong, he once took a flight to Chennai just to eat a South Indian meal. That really is dedication buddy. I don’t remember a lot but I do remember that he has this particular place for chole bhature in west delhi and sonic would stay up all night just to visit that place 7–8ish in the morning as the stock runs out very quickly. But why am I talking a lot of these things? Let’s check it out.

Sonic Shori is a Delhi based bassist/bass instructor. Sonic has studied music from Swarnbhoomi Academy of Music. He completed his studies and came back to Delhi and started playing gigs and sessions. Later he got to know that the renowned bassist Panagiotis Andreou from Now vs Now is coming to India as SAM’s bass faculty. What’s next? He enrolled again to take lessons and to learn more music from him. Panagiotis Andreou is a Berklee graduate, who plays bass and performs konnakol rhythms with the renowned jazz trio Now vs Now along with Jason lindner (Piano/Synth) and Justin Tyson/Mark Guiliana (Drums). Rhythm has always fascinated Sonic. Hence he started studying konnakol and it really helped him broadening his rhythmic & creative spectrum. He has really worked hard on his fundamentals and bass playing techniques. He’s really close to his craft that it’s not just about playing bass and getting over with it. He says that everyone who learns music should always keep a check on his rhythm first. He believes that rhythm is the foundation of any music style no matter what style you love. This love for rhythm got him playing drums and I kid you not, you haven’t heard that kind of drumming. First time when I heard his drum recordings which he recorded on his phone, I was blown away. It’s so full of possibilities and new explorations that only a modular synthesizer can only produce sounds like that.

His vision for music is pretty transparent and clear but it’s easy to say and tough to do. I’ve been attending almost every pianoman jam and I have observed few things about him. He’s always early for soundcheck no matter what. Every musician is suffering from some sort of stress, anxiety and depression and it shows when they’re performing onstage. I can’t even recall one time when he played onstage half-heartedly. He will always share this positive environment onstage which makes him even better musician. He believes that you can take a simple two notes idea and develop those two notes idea into a solo with just giving it a rhythmic structure. In his words,”You see those spaces in between the groove? Cool! Now try to play only in those spaces and see what comes out”. And it’s not easy trust me. You need a hell lot of focus and control over yourself to achieve 1% of it.

Conversations with sonic are very productive and inspiring. Pretty straight to the point with simple examples. He has been a big support for me whenever I found myself lost. He once asked me why do you play guitar or any kind of music? I couldn’t come up with any answer as I was so distracted in life with short term goals and became so worst that I couldn’t even play music with intent. He simply asked me , “What do you like to do the most? What makes you really happy?”. I replied, “Making new music, playing video games and eating my favorite food”. He instantly replied, “So start making/playing music with intent and see if it gives you the same satisfaction and happiness like you get from playing video games and eating your favourite food. If not then you’re too far away from music at this moment or probably you’re just doing it for money and fame which is even stupid because real musicians never did it for money and fame”. That was first ever time I realised the real meaning of music and I learned a lot that day.

Sonic is a nice and motivating person. You bring any sort of issue and Sonic will give you such amazing advice which will make you think twice about everything wrong you’ve been doing and Its clearly his experience talking straightforwardly. He has been through all sorts of ups and downs which we can only imagine. If someone will ask me,”Okay! Name me one musician you would want to be like”, I would instantly say “Sonic Shori”. Also I must mention, There’s no match for his sense of humor. You can’t even imagine what’s coming next if you threw a funny pun to him. He’s a genius.

From Jagrans to Jazz festivals, his dice kept rolling everywhere. He has played numerous international gigs. He has played with local bands like Antariksh, Afterglow, Chasing Laika, Kaash, Paddy & friends etc. He’s played at every pub, club and venue for like 10–12 times each, you name it. He has played almost every major festival in India. I can’t even start on writing the number of live/studio sessions he has done. Sonic has played with almost everyone no matter what style as I’ve mentioned earlier. What makes him even better musician? I’m my opinion, I’ve seen people being cocky and choosy about who to play with, they’re mostly biased towards their favorite fellow artists, they don’t enjoy music at times with new artists and then this entire behavior and a biased mindset won’t let any new musician nourish or step in. That’s where Sonic breaks the barrier and goes ahead playing with anyone no matter how good he is or how much he knows. It like exchanging energies and converting them into positive and confident vibes for that person onstage. He will never disrespect anyone. He’s really welcoming that way.

He always wins every heart and gains respect for these amazing gestures apart from his mind-blowing playing and musicianship. It’s my pleasure to see him being himself onstage and sharing stage with him, doing hangs, learning new things about music and life. Unfortunately he’s not very active on social media and look at the irony, He’s an active professional session bassist and a great music instructor. He’s pulling it off really well without self promoting himself at all. He’s currently the part of pianoman house trio. You can catch him performing live every Sunday at Pianoman Delhi and every Monday at gurgaon. And If you play then please join him onstage, you will know what I’m talking about. Haha!

That’s it for today! I will see you next time with another inspiring musician in the next edition of The Showrunners pick of the week.

Stay safe, stay home and keep making music!

Mohan Kumar

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