Delhi DelightHow many young electronic musicians from India do you know? Exactly. The Red Bulletin would like to introduce you to Delhi-based talent Curtain Blue
You might not have heard Indian electronic music before but it’s about time to change that since there are more and more exciting talents emerging on the scene. One of them is Abhishek Bhatia alias Curtain Blue. The Delhi-based musician’s fragile and complex songs might call Moderat or recent Radiohead to mind. This month he’s going to tour the UK for the first time.
THE RED BULLETIN: Your music sounds very electronic and modern. But do you also see elements from your home country reflected in your songs?
CURTAIN BLUE: India has a rich landscape. I love the eeriness of it and it does reflect in what I make. Since I’m also an architect, I get inspired by the environment I walk through. In fact, I’ve recorded certain street noises with kids vandalizing the place at night which I’ve used in a couple of tracks on my debut EP called Drones. Also, I’ve always liked the rhythm sections Indian music. To me, it always has had a jungle feel to it.
How do you write your songs? Who inspires you?
I’ve developed a habit of constructing songs with just my vocals. When I was introduced to a computer as an instrument, I was so excited. It’s such an expressive instrument and has a direct connection to your imagination. I was always fond of electronic music but I prefer electronic music with vocals and lyrics. The first live band I fell in love with was Radiohead. Their music is so inspirational that it makes you want to stop time and just listen to the music.
What’s it like being a young electronic musician in India?
It’s a bit challenging to be a musician in this country. Electronic music is still an underground phenomenon here and it’s difficult to maintain a rhythm. It’s tough but not impossible to make a decent living out of it. I do manage to invest in equipment and studio time by playing live music as an artist here. It’s fun! There are a decent number of good venues all over India that support electronic music.
I heard you’ve been working with Red Bull Music Academy alumni Robot Koch recently. How did that collaboration come about?
I met Robert Koch at a festival here in Rajasthan called The Magnetic Fields Festival. I was quite thrilled to find out later that he wanted to collaborate with me on a couple of tracks for his EP called TSUKI. I still remember playing at 3pm in the afternoon at Magnetic fields festival, in front of just 50-60 people, and he was one of them. He liked my set and we got in touch.
Can you name one young musician from India our readers need to check out?
I really like the duo Sulk Station. They are from Bangalore, India. I always find their music ghostly and blue. Their songs are like stories. I’m really excited to be playing in the UK along with these guys.
You’re about to travel to the UK to play a string of gigs. Are you excited?
The Great Escape festival will be a new experience for me as this is my first ever solo gig outside India. I’m also looking forward to London, Bristol and Glasgow. I am aware of the beauty of these places and as an architect I am most excited to be travelling there and experiencing them!
Check out Curtain Blue on his first UK tour: The Great Escape Festival, Brighton (14 May), Alchemy, Southbank Centre, London (20 May), The Plough, Bristol (21 May), The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow (23 May)