My music had undeniably become this mutant love-child of the East and the West: Gurbax

In a recent conversation with Mumbai Live, Bengaluru-based DJ/producer Kunaal Gurbaxani aka Gurbax talks about his new tracks, journey and a lot more

My music had undeniably become this mutant love-child of the East and the West: Gurbax

It hasn’t taken long for Bengaluru-based DJ/producer Kunaal Gurbaxani aka Gurbax to build a legacy for himself in the Indian electronic music scene. Leaving the conventional path for others to follow, he started out playing guitar in punk and thrash metal bands before discovering his love of bass music while attending college in Atlanta. Today he is one of the freshest and ubiquitous DJ/ producers in India.

With massive independent releases like ‘Boom Shankar’, ‘Aghori’ and ‘Aatank’, Gurbax has gathered millions of views on streaming platforms and played on almost every major Indian music festival stage like VH1 Supersonic, NH7 Weekender, TimeOut72, YouTube FanFest, Red Bull Tour Bus, and many others.

He is also the first Indian trap artist who performed at the Burning man who featured alongside Diplo and has been recognized for being at the forefront of the bass music movement in India, which is adding a massive coup to his creative repertoire.

In a recent conversation with Mumbai Live, Gurbax talks about his new track, journey and a lot more. Here are the excerpts

First thought behind the track Dirty South and the recently released Sajna Slapper...

A constant theme in my music has been to attempt a perfect intersection between the two cultures that have impacted my life the most – Indian & American. Growing up in both places meant my music had undeniably become this mutant love-child of the East and the West.  However, up until this point, I had never actually attempted to combine the cultures of the specific cities that influenced me the most, namely – Bengaluru & Atlanta. ‘Dirty South’ attempts to do just that. It draws inspiration from the instrumentation, rhythms and musical motifs that are signature to both cities – coincidentally both situated in the South of their respective countries - and combining them in a way that’s totally refreshing & unique.

‘Sajna Slapper’ was just a fun track that I cooked up as a joke at first. The beat, by itself, had been had stowed away in my computer for a year and was totally ignored! I opened up the file up by accident one day during the lockdown and immediately was like ‘wow. I need to develop this idea’. I had linked up with Burrah around the same time after absolutely loving his music & he helped complete the storyline that I started for the track.

Planning for visuals and the supporting storytelling

I’ve thought about diving deep into the meaning behind the visuals but it’s better if I leave it to the interpretation of the viewer

Conscious decision to not include lyrics?

Yes. We initially hit up a lot of rappers for the track but because it was quite musically dense, we felt that instrumental would be the best way to go.

The biggest challenge faced by an artist today?

Financial sustenance. Artists have been facing the brunt of the pandemic with our incomes literally going to zilch.

BURNING man... your take?

Honestly, it’s been the highlight of this year. I feel lucky to have played one of those ‘bucket list’ festivals. The lineup was incredible too, I’ve looked up to some of those artists for years.

Future projects

I’m moving in a new direction sonically and have a few singles releasing soon which will start to reveal it slowly..

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