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Koosh Saxena – “Trying My Best”

Koosh Saxena isn’t just dropping himself in the middle of an arid desert in the new video for his single “Trying My Best;” he’s acting as the protagonist in a surreal video game separating artist from objective. On paper, the conceptualism here is both conventional from a cosmetic point of view and a little experimental in terms of execution, but when set to the music of “Trying My Best,” it all plays out seamlessly. Saxena has a tremendous amount of talent as a songwriter, but his creativity is put on display even further in this striking visual treat.

Official Website:  https://www.kooshsaxena.com/

There’s a reggae influence on the groove in this song that is a bit subtle at first, but the colorful arrangement inevitably works the beat into the spotlight by the track’s halfway mark. His vocal lusts after the rhythm of the percussion fearlessly, but it never sounds as if he’s struggling to keep up with the nimble tempo; more often than not, he’s the one setting the pace with his virtuosic command of the verses. The instrumentation is the real item being showcased here, but “Trying My Best” always feels balanced no matter which portion of its four and a half minute running time we’re analyzing.

I’ve really been digging the understated discordance between the cadence of the vocal and the structure of the drum parts right around the climax of the song since first listening to this recording just a week ago, and I would largely attribute this feature in “Trying My Best” to a jazz component within Saxena’s sound. He’s working with a really diverse skillset here, and although you could argue that his is a constantly evolving melting pot even over the course of this moderately-paced new single, I don’t know that critics or fans would deem this a negative quality – more likely the opposite.

Aside from the textural contrast in “Trying My Best,” the melodies are very even-flowing, and a lot of it is because of the ease with which Saxena leads the instruments with his voice here. His natural delivery is chills-inducing no matter how many times I listen to this track, and though the video is a force to be reckoned with all by itself, I don’t think I needed to see it in order to appreciate how undisputedly profound a talent he’s cultivated for himself in such a short time on the international stage.

Relaxing vibes and sly harmonies as heavenly as a spring breeze await all who pick up this latest release from Koosh Saxena, and personally I think he’s raised the bar for both himself and the local scene he’s risen through the ranks of here. There are still some areas in his work that need some proper polishing before he can make the ascent from the underground to the mainstream, but as of now I think it would be fair to consider him one of the more worthwhile independent acts to keep a close eye on throughout the remainder of 2021.

John McCall

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