Sahej Bakshi

Apr 8, 2017 @ 21:38

“It’s so worth it”

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+ Image courtesy, Sahej Bakshi

Profile
Name: Sahej Bakshi
Occupation: Electronic music composer at Dualist Inquiry
Soundcloud: Dualist Inquiry
Instagram: @Dualistinquiry
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Offbeat: Has the electronic music industry in India evolved over the last few years?

Sahej Bakshi: It’s come a long way from where it used to be. A few years ago, there were only a handful of DJs and producers. Now it’s impossible to count the number of active musicians in the country. Even when it comes to festivals and fans, everything has been growing and it is great to see!

O: How did you get into the space of electronic music production?

SB: I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 9 and only discovered electronic music when I was 19. Luckily all my friends were massive music lovers, we used to go to parties and events almost every weekend. In addition to that, I was lucky to be a student of an amazing music school, the Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California. So it all came together beautifully.


O: How hard is it to break through in the international circuit being Indian?

SB: It is not easy by any stretch. Our scene is still in it’s adolescent stage and it’s only recently that we’ve started receiving some international attention and curiosity. Although it’s just a matter of some artist being ready and in the right place at the right time, in front of the right people and, boom! We’ll have our first homegrown international success story.

O: What’s your creative process like?

SB: I think of myself as a collector of memories and life experiences, especially when I’m tour and travelling from place to pace.

When I finally get back to my studio at home, I wait for the outside noise to die down. Which can take a few days at times. Once I’m finally in a still and silent space, I try to take my memories and emotions and make something out of them. It’s just like recycling in many ways.

O: Sounds fun! Does it ever get stressful?

SB: To be honest, it’s quite stressful. There’s the general unpredictability that comes with being a full-time musician. You’re constantly on your toes, ready to put in overtime and then some. At first the constant travel is a lot of fun but after a few months it starts taking a toll on you mentally and physically. That’s a lot to deal with. But at the same time it’s so worth it. It’s deeply satisfying because making art and music is something I love doing and don’t want to stop anytime soon.


O: You’ve said that you end up touring a lot, what’s the upside/ downside to it?

SB: The benefits of constantly touring is that you get to visit all the cities in which you have a fan base. It’s a lot of fun and a chance to see new places. The lack of sleep and constant movement can be a bit difficult at times but it’s nothing a short break can’t fix.

O: What kind of music festivals do you like to perform in and why?

SB: I really loved the vibe of playing at smaller, niche festivals like Magnetic Fields in Rajasthan and Malasimbo in Philippines.
O: Live electronica/Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has often been associated with hardcore partying and drugs. Due to this perception, a lot of people show up at these gigs but do you think they understand this genre of music?

Believe it of not, drug use at EDM concerts in India is almost nothing compared to the States or Europe.

SB: When it comes to mainstream EDM concerts in India, they are highly regulated events where even alcohol sales need multiple licenses. Also, I’m not sure if there is anything to ‘understand’ about EDM. It’s simple really..it’s just about having a good time and that’s why it’s immensely popular.

O: What advise would you give any upcoming music producers/dj’s?

SB: I think being able to hustle is important nowadays. Especially since there are so many artists trying to get their names out there. However, I do believe that those with unique and outstanding music have to hustle less than the rest. At the end of the day, “making it” is all about having the right people find your music. And music that connects with people, travels and takes on a life of its own through word of mouth and social media. Every musician needs to be able to hustle to some degree, because there are so many great opportunities that need to be grabbed in rider to get to the next level.

 

 

Interviewed by Offbeat

* Offbeat is a collective based in Kolkata, India that focuses on promoting the underground music scene in the City of Joy.
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Last modified: October 17, 2018