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Exclusive: Aflatunes Tie Up With Shraddha Sharma and Enkore on Nucleya Medley “AflaRani”

Members of the a cappella collective reimagine tracks off ‘Bass Rani’ with cameos by other musicians

Nabeela Shaikh Mar 11, 2016
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[L-R] Nilay Singh, Anish Nair, Roy Navarun and Dany Marshall of Aflatunes.

Four times the bass minus the instruments””that’s a cappella collective Aflatunes’ latest release “AflaRani”. The beatsmiths from the Mumbai-based band take on tracks from [Delhi-based producer] Nucleya’s 2015 EP Bass Rani. Says beat master Roy Navarun, “The spirit of being in a band like ours is very similar to Nucleya’s, where he’s making people groove. The idea was so appealing we thought, ”˜Why don’t we cover this guy instead of covering EDM artists we usually do from the US Top Ten [song charts]?’”

Shot across various locations in Mumbai, “AflaRani” kicks off with the four members carrying out the inimitable telephone conversation that introduces “Chennai Bass” and drops into the “Jungle Raja” melody, just before rapper Enkore jumps in to spit some mean rhymes and acknowledge fellow hip-hopper Divine’s “OG beat” in the original track. The song progresses to the visarjan-esque “Mumbai Dance” as the beatmakers switch to a brass-band avatar, and jumps back into street-soul mode on “Bass Rani”, and finish up with a cameo by vocalist and YouTube starlet Shraddha Sharma on “Laung Gawacha”. The band also roped in producer Jibran Khan and audio engineer Archer D’Costa [of digital media company Qyuki] on the track.

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So how did [half] of Aflatunes manage to reproduce Nucleya’s thumping bass and serpentine Bollywood melodies without so much as a MIDI controller? Navarun says, “There are 147 vocal layers to the whole song, since we had to vocally produce each and every sound. It was pretty difficult to recreate that level of production that an EDM song has, but we put in a lot of hours.”

Aflatunes, the newest amongst the handful of a cappella collectives on the circuit, have been gaining traction with their renditions of Hindi classics like “Sar Jo Tera Chakraye” and “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” last year [racking up over 25,000 and 35,000 YouTube hits respectively]; apart from performing college festivals and even Mumbai’s hallowed Shanmukhananda Hall. The band comprises beatmakers Navarun, Anish Nair [who plays bass for prog rock band Coshish], Nilay Singh [of pop rock band Ferry Tales], Dany Marshall, Jaimish Ashar; and vocalists Aruna Jade, Jennifer Fernandes and Ruchee Varghese. Although their repertoire largely includes covers of popular tunes ranging from Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” to Dutch EDM sensation Martin Garrix’s “Animals”, the band is working on original material for their debut release. Says Navarun, “We’re working on our songs now and they’re turning out really well. So in the next three months, you should be hearing about an album or EP.”

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Watch “AflaRani” below.

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