Lover boy in BKC

Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 08:20 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi |

Ahead of his maiden India gig, neo-soul and indie-rock artiste Phum Viphurit discusses evolving as a musician and the logic behind his dreamy, romantic videos

Phum Viphurit's favourite acts are Bombay Bicycle Club, Mac Demarco and Daft Punk
Phum Viphurit's favourite acts are Bombay Bicycle Club, Mac Demarco and Daft Punk

Darling, I got my trust issues/ Warning, you stay away/ If we meet at the rendezvous/ Take me away, sunray,” sings 24-year-old indie-folk and neo soul artiste Phum Viphurit in his 2018 hit, Lover Boy. The Thailand-born and now, New Zealand-based singer-songwriter’s music would easily fit into a Sofia Coppola movie. With a shimmery sound and a dreamy aesthetic, which trickles down to his viral music videos, Phum (born, Viphurit Siritip) — who in the short time of two years since the release of his first album, Manchild — is any indie-rock lover’s dream.

And if you think about it, genres like neo-soul, dream-pop, shoegaze and art pop have never really had their time in the sun in this country, where the audiences are largely inclined towards Bollywood, metal and now, Hindi hip-hop. Then, it comes both as a surprise and respite that Phum will be playing tomorrow at Third Culture’s Neon East Fest.

Edited excerpts.

Your music has several influences — indie, folk and neo soul. How do you reconcile these genres in your compositions?
I do bounce around a lot between genres and influences, especially when I play live. I am an active music geek and listen to a lot of different kinds of music, so it is natural that a single genre or style doesn’t represent my sound. It is constantly evolving.

You were born in Thailand and grew up in New Zealand. Then, you moved back to Thailand for college. To what extent have these diverse cultures shaped your music?
It’s opened me up to eastern and western cultures. I could be bumping to Estelle’s American Boy on my way back home only to come through the door and find my mum blasting ’80s Thai music. It has allowed me to view and experience things from multiple perspectives.

I was eager to find out a little bit more about your musical journey. I believe you started with the drums?
I did! To this date, I still love the drums… it’s the easiest, once you get the hang of it, especially while jamming with other musicians. I started writing when I was 17 and covered songs for a few years. My journey is gradual and rather ordinary. When I moved back to Bangkok for film school, I wrote in my spare time. Things grew bit by bit, and here I am, about to play in Mumbai for the first time.

Your music videos have garnered a lot of views. They’re quite aesthetic cinematically...
I am a big cinema geek. It’s nice to tell a story through sound, but when you can link that to a matching moving image, it can create a more wholesome sensory experience.

How has your music evolved in the last three years from your first album, Manchild to Bangkok Balter Club, which released this year?
Growing up into a working man from a naive student was the biggest change. Your opinion and attitude towards things changes once you’re a bit older. I used to only write using the acoustic guitar and build from there. But with the latest EP, I approached it from many different angles and with a more rhythmic attitude towards writing.

On Today and October 13, 2 pm onwards
At Neon East Fest, JioGarden, BKC.
Log on to
Cost Rs 1,500 to Rs 9,000

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