Nikhil Iyer is an accomplished Indian-American music artist and vocalist. Specialising in vocal and guitar performance, he composes songs in both Hindi and English, which highlight melody and acoustic instrumentation. Having lived in the US his whole life, whilst identifying with Indian culture, Nikhil expresses himself with an inimitable style, whatever the song may be. Documenting the colours of his soul, through art, in the form of songs, gives him purpose to create.
Combining his love for pop music with influences stemming from John Mayer and Ed Sheeran, to accomplished Indian artists like Arijit Singh and Darshan Raval, Iyer has this unique and compelling way of fusing Indian and pop music together in such a natural and organic way. This has resulted in nearly half a million streams on Spotify alone with his original releases so far, and this is without an album or EP yet to his name.
Dedicated to finding the beauty in every song he composes, Nikhil highlights the intricacies of Indian vocal melodies whilst also presenting a modern pop sound that will still appeal to both genres and audiences. His American upbringing crossed with his Indian heritage runs through his delicately crafted song making, and the result is a highly fluent and captivating listen that travels far and wide.
Nikhil Iyer begins the year with ‘Sanam (don’t go away)’, and it’s another English-Hindi masterpiece from this multi-cultured artist. It starts with Nikhil singing in English amongst a beautiful string section and his acoustic guitar fingerpicking, which then is supplemented by the rhythm, programmed by his brother, Akshay Iyer. The song, shortly after, introduces Hindi lyrics, which familiarises both sets of listeners instantaneously.
The chorus is hook-ridden and showcases Iyer’s pop-woven and relatable lyricism, singing and repeating ‘don’t go away from me’, as his dynamic range of vocals continues to impress throughout. The outro also lends itself to the pop world, where Nikhil ad libs over the melancholic production. A combination like this is an absolute rarity, and Nikhil Iyer effortlessly enchants his audiences with his rich vocal tapestry.
His aim is to bring Indian melody to the rest of the world and in a commercialised space, and this is exactly what Nikhil is doing. His use of both languages, alongside the modernised sonic direction cleverly enhances his listenership, with the ultimate goal of his music reaching out to Indians in America, in India, and then worldwide. It’s clear that ‘Sanam (don’t go away)’ has limitless appeal for Nikhil Iyer, and this could be the song that sends him on his way.
Nikhil says, “Oh love, oh my love, don’t go away from me.” These lyrics are not below the surface by any means, but they bring to light a very desperate feeling in a lover’s heart. This song talks about the hopelessness that builds within you when you fall in love with someone, knowing that you can’t live without them, knowing that you’re afraid to live a life without them.