I’m a first generation Indian-American. I grew up watching a lot of Bollywood movies, and started listening to Electronic music around 13 years old; I guess I was attracted to the unconventional nature of the rave scene. After going to my first music festival in 2014, I started producing out of curiosity. Eventually the hobby turned into desire and passion, and I applied for ICON Collective Music Production School; I recently graduated in October 2018.?
I fused Indian sounds and instrumentation, Reggaeton grooves, and electronic sound design: Bollywood and Moombahton. While attending ICON, I decided to try remixing a Bollywood song. I thought, “Fuck it, I’m Indian. This could be fun.” I just googled the top charting songs in India and picked number 1. I ended up enjoyed the process much more than I expected, so I remixed 4 or 5 more songs before I started writing originals. I definitely feel like I found my “sound”.?
I usually start with basic drum groove, but will occasionally get inspired by a melody first. I also write primarily in Indian scales, although I was never trained in eastern theory. I just started looking them up and experimenting, but this ultimately made it harder to get random melodic ideas popping into my head.?
My creative process for this track was inspired by the one that came before it, since this is the second track in a 3 track EP. I usually find myself writing songs in pieces (e.g. writing the drop first skipping the build, etc.), but to continue the story I wanted to tell I ended up making the track more progressive. The three distinct sections are meant to be evolutions of each other, shifting with energy and vibe.?
I started with the kick, and built everything else around it. The heavy latin influence is in the Dembow groove, all the other drums are meant to compliment that. I love writing drums, and spend a lot of time playing with different rhythms and grooves which usually results in a lot of layers.?
I love using Kontakt for my drums and instrumentation. I feel like it gives me both the freedom and versatility to create original music with well-recorded ethnic instruments. I spend a lot of time fine-tuning velocity when using Kontakt, always aiming for a live/natural feel. I dabble with Serum when I want a good digital sound, and use more analog sounding synths in other cases. In this track I messed with audio a lot for the vocal chops and layers. I produce in Ableton 9, and love a lot of its stock audio effects.?
I credit a lot of my mixing practice and knowledge to the teachers at ICON. I focus on three main mixing elements: volume, panning (stereo image), and EQ (frequency cleaning). I also like to leave a lot of headroom when writing so my tracks aren’t competing for presence, and turn things up as needed. I find myself using a calculator (for time based effects and tools) and a frequency octave chart as I produce. This helps me fine tune my EQ cuts, compression, and effects. Always check tonal balance in the mixing stage as well. I love using Ozone to master digitally, amazing tools! I have to credit the most recent master to Mesta Bish and Vito Finamore at Punching Dolphins (https://punchingdolphins.com). I had the privilege of having Mesta as a mentor for a few months; he taught me many mixing and mastering tips.?
This one’s though for me. I was introduced to EDM through Eurodance and Trance artists like Basshunter and East Clubbers, but was compelled to start producing by Above and Beyond. I guess I’m inspired by someone like Skrillex’s ability to innovate, but also by Above and Beyond’s message and experience. I don’t have any specific Bollywood “heroes”, although I am greatly inspired by my culture. I was also indirectly inspired by the legend Dave Nada, who invented Moombahton.?
Oh, the most epic of dance scenes. I pictured a whole story as I wrote this track! Please add the gif… make sure Shah Rukh Khan is in it, LOL.?
Yes, part of the reason I wrote this track was to serve as an idea of what to expect from me (my sound). My artist name is “lukpatel”, a combination of my American nick-name “Luck”, and my last name “Patel”. My artistic vision exists between cultures.?
A dream goal of mine is to help build the bridge between Eastern and Western music, and ultimately Eastern and Western culture.?