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January 21, 2019

Electronica Duo Burudu On Their Musical Influences And Style Sensibilities

Text by Tina Dastur. Photographs by Shweta Desai. Styling by Ojas Kolvankar. Hair and Make-Up by Jean-Claude Biguine, India

One look at Nakul Sharma and Sahil Bhatia will tell you that they’re just regular, unassuming guys. Their music, however, is anything but. Here, the boys behind Mumbai-based electronic band Burudu step out of their jeans, tees and hoodies and slip into colour-coordinated, fuss-free ensembles as they share their thoughts on fashion and music with Verve

A lot of us have, at some point in our youth, had Utopian fantasies about starting up a venture with our best friends. And there are the ambitious few, who power through the commotion and actually see their dreams come to fruition. Take, for example, Nakul Sharma, 26, and Sahil Bhatia, 28 — the two faces of Mumbai-based electronic band Burudu. Having met at Kingston College, London, in 2012, they soon discovered their mutual passion for music and founded the band a year later. As college-goers, they would upload their music to SoundCloud, and that’s where record label Seamless Recordings noticed them, soon handing them their first EP, Sun Theory. Encouraged by the response to their music, the boys continued creating strong tunes, hoping that they could convert their passion project into something big along the way.

After finishing with college, the two friends went in different directions — Sharma returning home to Mumbai and Bhatia, New Delhi — and so, they had to overcome the hassles that come with any long-distance relationship…not to mention the frustrations that come with internet connections that were agonisingly slow for their needs. Still, they would exchange music and offer feedback to one another over multiple Skype sessions. Soon enough, their distinct electronic beats — often interspersed with orchestral elements and modern synths — saw them performing at festivals such as Magnetic Fields (in 2016), Ziro Festival of Music (last year) and La Isla 2068 (earlier this year in Mauritius). More recently, they performed with a live band at Flea Bazaar Cafe in Mumbai and Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune.

As the Burudu boys get ready to release new music in the near future, it’s worth listening to their debut album Ditties that they released last year. It features a number of collaborations with both national and international artistes, and unique tunes that range from German pop and Creole rap to Hindustani ragas. And it is in this ability of theirs to be innovative, experimental and unafraid to push the musical envelope that their inherent appeal lies.

Excerpts from an interview….

Musical influences
Nakul Sharma (NS): “My roots are in Mauritius…that’s where it all started for me and what I picked up there still seeps into our music.”
Sahil Bhatia (SB): “London…and Icelandic band Sigur Rós.”

Tunes they enjoy
NS: “I like listening to all kinds of music, but anything with a string quartet moves me.”
SB: “Anything…though I enjoy listening to stuff with melodic but noisy phrases.”

Artistes that inspire them
NS: “Oliver Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon.”
SB: “Jónsi from Sigur Rós.”

Style philosophy
NS: “I’m all for simple and comfortable clothing. My style is understated. It’s usually jeans and a T-shirt…and a hoodie whenever possible.”
SB: “I like to keep it simple and easy. I don’t feel like I need to give much thought to my wardrobe, just so long as I look alright. I do like suits, though!”

Biggest fashion no-no’s
NS: “I’d steer clear of leather pants. I need to be able to move freely on stage and feel good about what I’m wearing — leather pants don’t fit into either category.”
SB: “I will never wear three-quarter pants. They look ridiculous and will either interfere with my drum sticks or the bass drum pedal.”

Fashion brand collab
NS: “I’d pick Adidas for sure! Love the shoes. Love the clothes.”
SB: “A line of jackets with Massimo Dutti.”

On loop on their playlists
NS: “Pray by Jungle.”
SB: “Glow by Being As An Ocean.”

Learning a new instrument
NS: “Well, I would really love to learn the violin.”
SB: “It’d be bass, for me.”

In the pipeline
Both: “New music that highlights where we’re headed. We’re compiling a bunch of songs and want to put them out soon. Time will tell….”

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