A most interesting pop-oriented album that transports the listener into the deepest and darkest regions of the time after sundown” is how music critic Dick Metcalf describes Ameet Kamath’s new Indie-Pop album “Into the Night.” Metcalf raves that Kamath’s vocals are “infused with the kind of energy that guides the listener into the spaces he sings about.”
This is India-born, New York City-raised and Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter Kamath’s second album. In it, he weaves stories of the night with his evocative interpretation of the pop genre. The sound is reflective of an artist born in one world and shaped by another.
All 13 songs invite the listener to the nocturnal world with themes of love, loneliness and heartbreak, before metamorphosing into an upbeat promise of dance and dreams. Kamath, an American citizen and native of India, embraced Western pop and jazz music long before he earned his U.S. passport. Many of his songs redefine the Indian Diaspora, with artistic expression straddling both cultures.
As a young boy growing up in Mumbai, Kamath sang church hymns and anthems at his Jesuit grade school. He was deeply influenced by The Beatles, Culture Club, ABBA and Queen, and treasured his music collection, which included bootleg recordings of American Top 40 and Britain’s Top of the Pops.
He came to New York City as a techie with a self-described “nice-Indian-boy haircut” in 1995. With the money from his first paycheck, he hired a voice coach and, subsequently, gained his performance moxie by busking in city parks and singing in nightclubs, most notably Marion’s Continental in the NoHo neighborhood. The rest is a modern American story.
“I am not your traditional Indian import. I sought out a life in America in order to express myself; that’s the promise America always had for me,” said Kamath, 42, whose debut album, “Greasy Rails,” was self-produced in 2010 after moving from New York City to San Francisco. His debut effort earned him laudable reviews, along with the critical acclaim of his peers and the musical maestros he had worked and sang with over the years.
“In my music, I’m telling stories so that the listeners can understand life as I do – constantly negotiating spaces, first as an American immigrant in the 21st century and now as an artist,” said Kamath. “I am not a starving artist, but I am starving to express myself,” he said, laughing.
Kamath will perform at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, at The Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. CD release party to follow the performance.