Imaad Shah: ‘I’m Fascinated by Retro Futurism’
The Madboy/Mink producer takes inspiration from Sixties’ space-age on his solo debut EP, ‘Boy’
After years of being in two minds about it, Imaad Shah has finally stretched his wings to a solo project. The one-half of electro-funk duo Madboy/Mink recently released his debut EP Boy and not surprisingly, it is nothing like his work with the duo. “The Madboy project is about solitude and isolation,” says Shah.
Although Shah’s solo material predates the stuff he’s done as Madboy/Mink, he never got around to releasing it because the duo kept him busy. “These songs [on the EP] were always there on the back of my mind and I’d keep coming back to them, tweaking them.” Shah says it was encouragement from friends and family, not to mention music partner Saba Azad that persuaded him into releasing the EP.
Boy features four tracks, all boasting trippy synths, pounding bass and vocals that seem to be coming from a far end of a tunnel. The tracks stay true to Shah’s vision of exploring a production-driven atmosphere. While Madboy/Mink’s music has a raw electro-funk vibe, Shah says he wanted Boy to explore psychedelic and abstract sounds. “I find myself fascinated by retro-futurism and the imagery it creates,” he says, highlighting the Sixties as the primary inspiration for the tracks on Boy. “I love the space-age vibe of the time and their representation of what the future could look like. Our entire understanding of space and the future is through art, music and film.”
Shah said he needed to work on his own for the sake of his sanity – to use the studio as a laboratory and explore sounds that didn’t fit Madboy/Mink’s aesthetic. “I got to mentally divide things, which was very important to my process of making music. I got to be a control freak!” he laughs. That being said, Shah is clear on the fact that Madboy/Mink will not be taking a backseat. “They are parallel. And the joy is in the fact that they are counterpoints to each other.”
Listen to Boy here
April 28th 2016, Bandstand, New Delhi
May 7th 2016, The Humming Tree, Bengaluru