Sure, many of us know that music heals, but that does not mean that a doctor is a musician, right? Well, Amitesh Mishra proves that an individual can scale the high notes of the two disparate vocations, medicine, and music. Mishra is a Bay Area physician and is coming out with his second album, Milan, where he’s played the role of singer, composer, director, and at times, lyricist. Being a medicine-man is a privilege in his opinion, but music has been a life-long compulsion, a “way of getting in touch with inner emotions.”
Mishra’s two lives are seemingly conflict-free; the unifying theme between the two professions is touching someone’s heart, which he believes is truly possible with music and medicine. Mishra’s music therefore aims to connect with people and get their groove going, instead of being a feat of technical artistry.
In keeping with the mood, Milan will be launched at a night club, on the regular Bollywood night. The album is a work of fusion not just of various artists (among others, singers Anisha Bakshi, Madhvi Mehta, and mixing/rhythm/drum artists Mike Walti, Raashan Ahmad, Manesh Judge, and Kush Khanna); it also brings together Mishra’s own different musical influences. He uses his formal training in guitar to set a steady pace and mood for most numbers. A light classical background has him crooning evocative notes in the Hindustani style.
The lyrics and music of “Teri Zulfein” hark back to the Kishore Kumar era of banter and tease, a rock beat with heavy guitars is reminiscent further of easygoing times in college. “Ya Hari” has Harjeet Mehndi (Daler Mehndi’s brother) explore a romantic melody; “Shabakher” has flamenco-guitaring and is labeled as a true club mix. “ABCD” is a whimsical duet tethered in rap.
Mishra credits his success as a musician in part to the practical experience he gained playing in high school and college bands, and to being surrounded by music in his formative years. A young Mishra watched his father, Gajendra Mishra, who also sung on Milan, successfully stage one of the first musical shows in the Bay Area called “Umang” in the 1970s. One of Amitesh Mishra’s first vocal performances was for a radio show when he was just seven years old. Mishra continued performing, his artistic career achieving maturity in Hindustan Di Kudi, his first album, released in 2009 under the Wize Mindz label.
Music has been a constant companion in Mishra’s life, and it is no surprise that he turns to music in demanding moments. He says that music “is especially important for me as a physician where so many emotions are encountered on a daily basis in the struggle to cure my patients.”
Saturday, Nov. 20, 10 p.m. Avalon Night Club, 777 Lawrence Expressway, Santa Clara. $10. Download music at www.amiteshmishra.com.