Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Vijay Mohan is a little guy with a powerful voice. At 28 years young, Vijay’s inspirational and mature brand of pop music recently reached #1 on the ReverbNation pop charts after the release of his newest studio single “King of the Jungle”. Vijay’s sound is influenced by early and modern pop greats including Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, and James Blunt, resulting in a unique yet marketable sound.
Entertwine: Could you give us some insight into your musical background? Who or what led you to pursue a career in music? I actually couldn’t carry a tune until high school, but I have always been immersed in beautiful melodies from video games, radio, and my artistic friends. It wasn’t until I pushed myself into singing at church as a means of personal growth that I fell in love with the infectious response of an audience. Since then, I have made a habit of singing my heart out all the time. I’m not sure how much my work colleagues like it, but that’s another story.
What can you tell us about the music scene of Toronto, Canada? Could you tell us about some of the most exciting or interesting live performances you’ve been a part of? Toronto really is the musical hub of Canada, at least in the realm of pop and mainstream genres. I am still pushing toward my dream of performing at some of Toronto’s mega-venues, but even open-mics out here allow for some serious attention. As for some exciting performances, I ran a six-artist spectacle called the “Showstopper Showcase”, featuring some incredible young talent. I had come to realize that teenagers are able to rally a lot of their friends to see them perform, so I teamed up with the best of the best to fill a 400-seat venue and put us all on the map. It was awesome.
What experiences and events influenced the writing and recording of your two new singles ‘Hurricane’ and ‘King of the Jungle’? What was it like working with Mark Zubek? What musical equipment, instruments and programs were used to create these songs? “Hurricane” was my first venture into the studio, and reflected stories of heartbreak from close friends. I had never dealt with anything as harsh as the lyrical content of the song, so I performed a sort of research study of my less fortunate peers.
“King of the Jungle”, however, was an expression of my personal struggle to rediscover my self-esteem after years of being bullied and made to feel very small. This song speaks to how I held onto my dream of being able to accept myself, and how finally being able to get away from those hard times allowed me to heal and recognize that I was, in fact, the king of the jungle. I am a strong advocate of the anti-bullying cause, and this song is an anthem offering a sense of courage to the victims of bullying.
Mark Zubek is a kind and respectful professional, who knows his stuff. In the music industry, there are a lot of good and bad producers, and Mark is undoubtedly one of the good ones. He spearheaded the arrangement and instrumental performance in our two studio singles, and his production and mastering services were worth every penny. 10/10 would hire again.
You also released a Christmas EP titled “Wintersongs” in 2013, correct? Could you tell us more about this project? Having been filled with ambition after the completion of “Hurricane”, I saw an opportunity to really drive listenership through the creation of a Christmas album. I was drawn to the live instrumental work of producer Doron Zor in Toronto, who really encouraged me to infuse emotion and feeling into my performance of the five Christmas covers on “Wintersongs”. Since we finished the EP, I have been encouraging listeners of many demographics to rekindle their Christmas spirits on an annual basis.
What activities and hobbies do you enjoy outside of music? What do the remaining months of 2015 hold in store for Vijay Mohan? I try to frequent the local boxing gym to spar and train whenever I can, and I have been playing video games since I could hold a controller. My current job as a resume writer keeps me plenty busy, but I try to find time to keep doing other things I love, like learning languages and solving puzzles.
As for the upcoming months, I’m hoping to move closer to the downtown core, and fill my schedule with performances. At 28 years young, I’m hoping to balance being a grown-up with being a free-spirited musician with the drive to take the music world by storm.