India in the House
Of late, many global EDM (Electronic Dance Music) superstars like Armin Van Buuren and Swedish House Mafia have performed at packed concerts in India. Inspired by their love for the genre, Bangalore-based duo, Argenil — Anil Prasad and Rohit Gandhi, who believe that Indian traditional beats make for great dance experiences, are ready to introduce a new genre they call Hindustani House. “Anil and I played together in multiple bands and also represented the college team B band. While this was happening, I downloaded a production software and created sounds and beats to add to the band’s live shows and from there, I got into music production and entered the world of EDM as a producer,” says Gandhi. His partner, 22-year-old Prasad learnt to play the guitar at a music institute for about five months. Since then, online videos have become his guru. “Once Rohit and I started talking about Argenil, I watched EDM artistes and learnt the art of DJing,” adds Prasad. Fxcerpts from a chat.
Argenil at a live gig. Rohit Gandhi (left) plays more than five percussion instruments while Anil Prasad manages the console and plays the guitar
Q. How did Hindustani House happen?
A. We wanted to bring out actual Indian sounds and ethnicity in the form of music to the world. We were big EDM followers and combined Indian sounds, scales, vibes and electronic sounds into one genre. We called it Hindustani House and Hindustani Trap. When we made the first track, Tha-di-ki-na-thom, it was an experiment; an overnight Eureka moment. Rohit was working on a new track and he used flutes, tabla, a vocal line used by bharatanatyam dancers and replaced it with the existing elements of the track.
Argenil EDM artistes
Q. How did Tha-Di-Ki-Na-Thom get aired on US Radio?
A. We were unaware of it. We got a call from our managers (who are in Miami and NY respectively) for an immediate Skype session. When we went live, we saw our song being played on US radio, live in front of us. That was a dream come true. We will never forget that moment; it was priceless. It also became an overnight sensation on Reddit, which was a bonus.
Q. Is this genre different from remixes?
A. The style includes original tracks. We make them from scratch with a basic backbone, which might be a beat, a melody or just a vocal. We create our own melodies using different Indian instruments and then place them in our tracks.
Q. How did you decide to put the project up on crowdfunding?
A. After the success of our first single, we decided to release an EP (short for Extended Play, a musical recording that contains more music than a single, but is usually too short to qualify as a full studio album) in this style. We wanted to crowdfund because we had insufficient finance to take such a big step and also to make people aware of our initiative. The platform Fueladream.com, offers a zero per cent commission rate if your campaign fails to get funded completely and return the funds if the campaign fails to succeed. We’ve raised a lakh so far.