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Interview: Prithvi Prakash is the caring role model the world needs

Known best for beautiful releases such as Yarn and Balance, we sat down with Prithvi Prakash recently and had one of those genuine chats you just can’t make up. She flows so splendidly and gives the world those tender Butterfly kisses we all needed, on this massively insightful interview.

Hello there. We truly appreciate your time. Please tell us more about how you started in the music world and what fueled your passion.

I’ve been singing since the age of four or five. At the age of six, I started learning Indian classical music when I moved to India and through that I stayed connected with music for the next 10 years. But I think I realized that I wanted to pursue music full-time after I came to Berklee College of Music.

Tell us more about living in India and USA. Which country do you prefer and what are the differences in your opinion?

So I was born in the US and I was brought up in India. I’ve lived about 12 years in India and came back to the US for college. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite but I think I’m grateful for having experienced the culture of two different countries. Living in India had me exposed to a very different music scene. I was trained in Indian classical music and also grew up on a lot of Indian film music. Then I came to the US and I was exposed to the whole Indie scene in the US which is way bigger in the US than it is in India. With that came a whole bunch of genres including EDM, singer-songwriter, folk music and everything in between. I think my experiences of living in both these countries has helped me understand my sound as a musician and opened my mind up to so many different opportunities that I can access in both countries.

Please tell us about your most recent release and the creative process involved.

My most recent release is called Butterfly. The song is extremely special to me. The song is written from the perspective of my parents. One day during the pandemic I was just inspired and the first thought that crossed my mind was how it must feel for my parents to have me grow up and leave the house and go out there to make my own identity after having nurtured me and protected me for all these years. Butterfly is a metaphor for the metamorphosis of a butterfly from a caterpillar and is written from the lens of a mother or a parent watching that metamorphosis and the different emotions they experience while watching their child go through life.

How do you distinguish yourself from other artists?

I don’t think I have ever written a song or produced a track with the thought that I need to be different or I need to stand out from other artists because that really hinders the natural creative process. Having said that, I do bring in little elements of my culture and of my influences that I have grown up listening to into my music. These experiences are unique to me and by bringing them into my music I can only hope that I can create a signature for myself.

How have your experiences crafted your sound to what it is now?

Having trained in Indian classical music for over 15 years the way I think about melody is heavily influenced by that. Along with that I also listened to a lot of AR Rahman, Coldplay and Taylor Swift and this unique blend of such different influences helps me craft a sound that is unique to me.

Where is one venue or festival you’d love to play live?

I have never played a Sofar concert before and I would love to play a Sofar concert or any sort of intimate concert because I think my music is very emotionally intimate. The thought of being able to connect emotionally with all the people in a room through my music is far more exciting to me than playing a large festival with thousands of people in the audience – though, I am not complaining if it happens!

Last, what are your hopes and dreams for your career?

I just want to make good music, really high-quality music and reach new audiences to take my music where it deserves to be taken.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Just For Us: Prithvi Prakash flies so high in the awaiting pureness of the friendly Butterfly

Breezing away the darkness and all those sneaky distractions, Prithvi Prakash turns our moods around with a beautifully thoughtful single all about the gliding Butterfly.

Prithvi Prakash is a Texas, USA-born Bangalore, India-raised indie alternative artist and music producer who performs with grace and love on each track.

Prithvi’s artistic vision involves creating an immersive experience with each song through sonic storytelling.” ~ Prithvi Prakash

Breathtaking for all the right reasons, Prithvi Prakash is a kindhearted angel who sings with a glorious mindset which keeps it genuine. It’s rather hard to dislike a single made with such an understanding of the needs of a lost world who need to see the loveliness of nature again.

Butterfly from Bangalore, India-raised indie alternative artist/music producer Prithvi Prakash is the kind of peaceful melody which should make cold hearts heat up in unison. This is a wonderful track that will ease the wicked worries of current times, to unleash a smile-filled aura to make everything okay again.

Stunning our souls and washing away the pain, is a reminder that the world can be so simple if we just stop and look up.

Turn this up deep on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Have a backbone: LunariaN implore us to leave the armor behind on Proclamation: Phantoms

With a cinematic-like experience featuring a myriad of different instruments and powered in with a proper message to learn from, LunariaN closes the door on self-doubt and instructs us to find that strong backbone on Proclamation: Phantoms.

LunariaN is a Jakarta, Indonesia-based indie experimental rock band that after gaining buzz before 2014, took a break and returned during the recent challenging covid times.

Taking us on a rather marvellous ride and demonstrating to us their world-class skill set, LunariaN slams all the doubts away with a supreme performance for the ages. This is world-class right the way throughout and shall embolden many to follow their dreams, in a world which seems harder by the day.

Proclamation: Phantoms from Jakarta, Indonesia-based indie rock band LunariaN is a heavy experience which shall never break the soul, only enlighten it. Powerful but never too much to consume, we find a single constructed with that expert knowledge which has been forged over time. Their tight bond is still swollen and ready for more. It feels like we’ve just witnessed the return of an outfit that makes glorious music to be admired for its creative genius.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Forget Your Pain: Diyatom Deb sees the shooting star burst into relevance on Girl Who Loved The Night

Shining bright and piloting us through the sketchy storms and into calmer days of possibilities, Diyatom Deb drops a 6-minute stunner to wake up all the sleepy heads and take us into a movie-like atmosphere on Girl Who Loved The Night.

Diyatom Deb is a Delhi-born indie rock singer-songwriter who studied at the Global Music Institute and is currently in 3 different bands as the lead singer.

Growing up in Shillong, he got trained in Indian Classical music. Later in life, he got influenced by Rock and Pop music and heavily draws his influences from singers like Don Henley, BB King, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Freddie Mercury, Aretha Franklin, and Donny Hathaway. During his school days, he got the sense of melody from Kishore Kumar.” ~ Diyatom Deb

Delighting all listeners with something ear-tinglingly exhilarating, Diyatom Deb is the kind of modern-day entertainer who loves to stun all hearts and bring us all something rather real and memorable. Timeless in nature and showing the world what classy music sounds like, this is an absolutely spellbinding experience.

Girl Who Loved The Night from the massively passionate Delhi-born indie rock singer-songwriter Diyatom Deb is a rather illuminating song which will cause many tears and numerous emotions to swirl around like an emotional whirlpool. Pulsating in nature and sung with a real vibrancy, to wash all fears away into the evening’s memories.

Listen up on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Interview: Upasak Mukherjee tells us more about the Resolution (Berklee Two Track)

We had the pleasure of speaking with Upasak Mukherjee recently and we found out more about Resolution (Berklee Two Track). Finding out more about India, travelling and Valencian orange juice, we hear how epic 2023 has been so far for this talented and humble creative.

It’s a pleasure to sit down with you Upasak. How was your 2023 been so far and what would you recommend as a healthy breakfast?

Upasak: 2023 has been really epic as of yet! I started the year off by taking my temporary leave from Boston and moved to Spain for the coming semester in Berklee Valencia. Other than all things music, I’ve been travelling around Europe and trying to learn about this beautiful part of the world as much as possible. Going with the theme of Spain, a healthy breakfast would be some café con leche and bocadillo with plenty of olives. Maybe on other days, some Valencian orange juice can substitute the coffee!

How has your connection with Berklee College of Music helped your career so far?

Upasak: After getting accepted into Berklee, I have been a part of some amazing collaborations and projects. Other than having uber-talented classmates and professors, some opportunities that arise simply from being a part of the college is mind blowing! I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the Grammy-nominated Indian Ensemble and record for the Grammy-winning producer John Paterno. I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with Rob Lewis and Kala Ramnath ji, both of whom have been part of Grammy-winning albums. I have also been a part of several performances in Berklee’s biggest venue, one of which has been streamed in the Georgetown Literary Festival. Recently, I have been featured on Berklee’s YouTube channel performing two of my tracks, including one original. I am also a board member of the Film Scoring Network club in Berklee and have had the good fortune of interviewing people like John Roesch, who has worked on the sound design of several iconic movies like Star Wars, The Dark Knight, the Matrix Trilogy, etc. Being a student ambassador, I have also represented my college at Interlochen Center for the Arts. These are just some of the things that come to mind, and this list is ever-expanding! I am looking forward to many more exciting things in the future!

What do you miss most about India?

Upasak: The food! After travelling outside India, I am convinced that Indian cuisine, especially Bengali dishes are the king of all food.

What advice would you give to emerging creatives in this industry?

Upasak: Don’t compare yourself to anyone. There will always be someone “better” than you in whatever field you are in. Be curious about what makes other people shine while being grounded in your own strengths. The good thing about being a musician is that it is a group activity. Take advantage of that. Collaboration is always a better alternative to competition!

What was the training like to be a tabla player, producer, composer and student of Film Scoring?

Upasak: I have been a student of the Tabla for a very long time! Learning the art of Tabla playing from my Guruji, Pt Subhen Chatterjee has shaped my entire musical identity. I have been lucky enough to have learnt the traditions of this age-old art from him and my newer musical adventures are definitely rooted in this knowledge. Film Scoring has also been a big curiosity in my musical life, and I am currently learning the technicalities of the art in Berklee. I have also been really inspired by Andrew Huang’s goofy music production videos and after taking his course, I decided to learn the art professionally. Currently, I am doing a major in Film Scoring and minor in Music Technology in Berklee. I regularly compose for scenes and am currently engineering and producing a few songs in the Berklee Valencia studios with my talented friends. Having a deep knowledge about these very different areas of music-making is definitely not easy and it takes a lot of time, effort and practice to get better. I am learning, creating and working hard in developing my craftsmanship in these areas every day and the growth I am experiencing in Berklee is very satisfying!

Please tell us more about Upa Chalupa” and “Tabla Solo (Rela)” by Pt. Subhen Chatterjee.

Upasak: “Upa Chalupa” is the latest in a series of music videos I have been working on since the last year. It all began when Desiree, who was in my harmony class, told me that she wanted to collaborate with me. These collaborations resulted in some Instagram videos that gained a lot of popularity in Berklee and eventually, I applied for the Two Track auditions and got in! “Upa Chalupa” is definitely the most elaborate of my rhythmic arrangements as of yet. It uses many elements from Indian classical music, like Sawaal Jawaab, Tukdas, Chakkardars, etc. I also like to learn and incorporate any rhythmic elements that I find attractive in my own compositions and hence, you will find sections with metric modulation, beatboxing, J Dilla beats, baião grooves, etc. All these elements make the track truly global! The Tabla solo is something that I learnt from my Guruji a few years back. It is a traditional composition in the cycle of fifteens. Even though it is a traditional composition, I incorporated the harp in this track, since the tone and the mood fit perfectly in this arrangement and this combination of instruments is very rare, resulting in another unique soundscape!

Last, how would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard a song before?

Upasak: This sound will brighten your day, make you dance and move, but also, it will make you count beats and look deeply into the rhythm! It will take you on a journey and fill your heart with joy!

Listen up on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Take You Inside: Ukrainian artist Allexa Bash doesn’t want any regrets on Stay

Taken from her powerful 8-track release called Dark Angels, Allexa Bash is rather exquisite on the superb single to play on full volume and with passionate intensity, Stay.

Allexa Bash is a classically-trained Ukraine-born Dubai-based indie alternative singer-songwriter who has an outstanding vocal proficiency which is fused with her remarkable work ethic and love for her craft.

A brilliantly versatile musician able to cover pop, rock and jazz, Allexa’s interest in music began when she was just four. She would use a fake mic from her grandmother as if it were real before she progressed to writing her own lyrics.” ~ Allexa Bash

Lathered in so much atmospheric energy to swim deeply inside, Allexa Bash is in top form and shall change perceptions with one of the more unforgettable arrangements in recent history. Everything is so classy and without fuss, you see, as our hearts heal from all anxiousness.

Stay from Dubai-based indie alternative singer-songwriter Allexa Bash is one of the more dynamic sizzlers possible in our ears. She sings with a world-class ability and this is a real stunner to play when extra motivation is needed. Crisp to the core and features an impressive arrangement to ease all romantic worries away.

When two hearts want to stay, anything is possible.

Turn this up on Spotify. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Gwac paves the way towards acquiescence in his alt-indie-folk single, Stacks

South Korea-based singer-songwriter, Gwac, unveiled the quiescent alt-indie-folk melancholy in his debut EP, MOHO, on December 19th. Narrating themes of loss, denial, regret and acceptance, the 4-track EP flows through the grief cycle, hitting the most visceral spot on track two, Stacks.

With hints of Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea paired with the monoculturalism-shattering world music motifs, innovation mellifluously spills. The accordance set up by the angular guitar work and woodwind instrumentals fed through torrid effects reflects the storms we weather before we arrive at a state of mind where we break through the listless frustration and arrive at a place of acquiescence.

“Throughout the making of this EP and digging through past experiences, I learned that sadness has a lot of dimensions for me. Some of the saddest memories are sometimes the most beautiful things I know. There’s no need to try and erase them or run from them. By just letting it be, I see a bit of light in my unsettling mind”.

On that note, Gwac’s mind may be one of the most beautiful things I’ve encountered in 2022. His tangible songwriting and instrumentally conceptual talents are one thing; his ability to recontextualise pain and share a brighter philosophical perspective with his listeners is fundamentally requisite in these times.

Stream Stacks on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tokyo’s Sumi has made her dark electronic debut with the hooky anxiety exposition, Closing In

Tokyo-based singer-songwriter Sumi made a strong debut with her dark electro-pop single, Closing in. By utilising metaphors that expose the most insidious aspects of anxiety in the imaginatively amalgamated soundscape that blends her sonic roots into the contemporary moody pop trends, Sumi became one of the most promisingly individual artists on the airwaves.

The emotions in Closing In may be intimately inspired, but in 2022, Sumi is speaking for the masses as we battle with the sharp claws of imposter syndrome and the claustrophobia of reality closing in, leaving our dreams in the rubble of the cortisol spikes.

Before making her solo debut, during her stint in LA, Sumi played with several bands and collaborated with artists and producers to create songs on network shows such as Naked and Afraid, Teen Titans Go and the Ellen Degeneres Show. We can’t wait to see how far her solo career takes her.

Closing In was officially released on September 21st and is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bahrain-based band Hotboxgroove are at their groovy best on Midnight Blooms

With a mysteriously frightening intro that shall stun your senses awake, Hotboxgroove shows us why they’re so highly regarded on the underground with an instrumental gem to play loud right now on Midnight Blooms.

Hotboxgroove is a Bahrain-based indie alternative 6-piece band who fuses together a potent mix of jazz, blues and funky psychedelic to get hearts beating worldwide.

Displaying so much skill and precise timings to solidify a quite outstanding performance, Hotboxgroove has the power to change the mood of the world with a monumental anthem of patience with Midnight Blooms and they certainly deliver. Brimming with a head-nodding style which shall get your soul alive quickly, we find a rather special song waiting to be loved.

Midnight Blooms from Bahrain-based indie alternative 6-piece band Hotboxgroove is a track that might get even the sleepiest souls to awaken from the dead again. Circulating with a world class sound that has so much value in a world with so much sadness, and shall get that blood flow streaming properly again.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Searching on Google: The Groovaban find that motorcycle on the cruising new track A Retro Dude

Feeling all happy and good after a long journey to get there, The Groovaban leads the way and shows us what it takes to find that merry place you shall never leave without a fight on A Retro Dude.

The Groovaban is a Kanchrapara, West Bengal, India-born indie RnB solo singer-songwriter and music producer who started his creative journey when he was 16.

With a chilled style that is never too much to stomach, The Groovaban shows us the way and into that guiding light to take all that stuffy darkness away. Bringing forth so much quality and hope, this is a touching song that will be stuck in your head for ages.

A Retro Dude from Kanchrapara, West Bengal, India-born indie RnB artist/producer The Groovaban is such a delightful song to brighten up your day. There is so much grateful charm here to truly admire, that seems to have a magnetic effect and put us in a better mood.

When you know what you want, everything changes forever.

Hear this new single on Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen