London, Feb 25 (PTI) A 25-year-old British Indian doctor whose passion for music resulted in a band with some of his fellow medical colleagues has embarked on his first UK-wide tour, with the launch show in London recently proving a sell-out.

Gulzar (Gulz) Singh Dhanoya started the indie-rock band named Gulz during his university days as a medical student. It was over the COVID pandemic that the singer-songwriter plucked up the courage to put out some of his musical creations onto the audio streaming service SoundCloud and soon this one-man bedroom project struck a chord with an ever-expanding fan base. The lead singer and songwriter is now busy rehearsing with his four bandmates for their next live gig in Birmingham on March 16.

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“How it usually works is that at the moment I go away and think of an idea for a song and it's very bare bones. Then we go into a studio rehearsal room and all of us together kind of think about our parts and we just keep playing it over and over. It's a great way to kind of balance our creative ideas,” Gulz told PTI.

While two of his other bandmates are also National Health Service (NHS) doctors like him, two are professionals in other fields which he feels helps bring some flexibility to striking a balance with late-night hospital shifts. He admits sometimes wondering how they are all able to commit to their music with stressful full-time jobs.

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“It's a huge commitment. Obviously, the working day is long and then it's fitting in shows and rehearsals and social media stuff. It's like a second job and one that doesn't realistically pay compared to a ‘normal' job. It's very cliche, but it's just because we love it,” he said.

Born in Newcastle to a Punjabi father born in India and mother born in Southall, west London, music was a part of Gulz's life from a very young age. From strains of Mohammed Rafi to Stevie Wonder, his musical influences were an eclectic mix – something that chimes with the kind of tunes he is now creating lyrically and musically.

“I began by sort of writing music that sounds like the music I like and have tried to retain that in some ways. I just try to weave certain themes of my life at the time into the stuff that I'm writing, be it relationships and breakups or just having some fun,” he said.

Currently based in Brighton and completing his second foundation year as a junior doctor in the National Health Service (NHS), Gulz plans to take some time off later this year to focus entirely on music for some time. Asked about the ongoing strikes by NHS junior doctors demanding better pay and working conditions, Dr Dhanoya says the band fully supports their medical colleagues in the industrial action.

“We always hope the next set of strikes will be the last one because junior doctors don't want to have to strike. But sadly there's no other way to be heard by the government. The working conditions and pay right now are really not acceptable. There's so much responsibility that doctors have, with people's lives at stake literally, and the working conditions and pay do not reflect that at all,” he said, pointing out that in real terms all his colleagues are fighting for is an extra GBP 5 an hour.

Juggling their work shifts and rehearsals, the band is all set to perform at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and then their tour is slotted for his home crowd in Newcastle followed by Manchester towards the end of next month. Beyond that, Gulz is open to bookings and asked if a tour to India may be in the offing, the doctor-musician sounds very excited at the prospect of playing a gig in the country he has so far only visited with family to spend time with cousins in Punjab.

“After August, I'm out of contract, which sounds dramatic but it's actually a really good thing because it means that I've got a lot more flexibility in my time and work. So, I would love to go to India and perform, in case any promoters out there want to reach out,” he said.

Meanwhile, the band – dubbed the doctors/rockers – have sold-out shows in the UK to look forward to with tickets selling out fast on their socials.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)