The Central Asian country of Uzbekistan is most famous for being in the path of the storied Silk Road connecting the Far East to the Mediterranean.
It is also the homeland of NEEDSHES, an alternative/rock/indie-pop band founded by songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Otabek Salamov. Now based in Moscow, Russia, the band–rounded out by Ivan Petukhov (guitar) and Alexey Manakhov (drums)–continues to expand their sound rooted in Queen, David Bowie and James Brown in 2020 with their latest single “You Make Me Feel,” an indie soul ballad of encouragement and comfort in a new environment.
“It was our second place where we lived together with my wife,” Salamov tells American Songwriter about the basis of the new single, which we are proud to premiere today. “I just worked in my place. And I was wondering about how it feels, it was really comfortable. I was calm, not nervous like all these years before. In this period I was able to concentrate, do the work, and live a full life. I think it would never happen without my wife because she bet on me, and bet on our project. She was really supportive.
The chorus came to me together with the melody and the lyrics ‘you make me feel right.'”
For Salamov, it is his hope that the song–which is accompanied by a breathtaking animated video created by the frontman himself–will provide a similar sense of comfort and catharsis to listeners as it was for him while putting it together.
“I wanted the sound to give you the softness, brightness of this life, a sense of completeness,” Salamov explains. “I wanted you to have a feeling like you’re flying through soft clouds and feel this big world. And it’s not ugly, it’s beautiful, everything is friendly around you. I think the main reference was that feeling when I was a kid and I first saw The Lion King and heard Elton John’s song. It helped to feel all this huge Africa’s stuff, animals around you – perfect creatures of nature. You also can find it in Moby’s songs when you’re melting into the sound. Maybe, also some Coldplay vibe, when Chris’s playing the piano and singing with his incredible confident and soft voice. I just tried to catch this mood.”
In October, NEEDSHES, will be performing online at the socially distanced version of this year’s MONDO NYC music and technology conference. And while its unfortunate the band will not be able to travel to the United States to play the festival, Salamov is grateful to have this outlet by which to bring the music to a wider audience beyond Europe and Asia.
“I just wanna be a kind of an artery for the music that goes from the Universe down here, without making myself important and all this shiny stuff,” he tells AmericanSongwriter. “I enjoy the idea of being like a priest in a church who looks clean and neat enough for delivering the main mission without trying to get attention for his ego. Like the amazing Benjamin Zander says about being a conduit for music: ‘People don’t come to the church to see a priest, they come for the glory of God.’ No idols, just pure music.”