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Exclusive Premiere: Ambient Duo Beluga’s Buoyant Debut Song ‘Wasabi’

Mumbai’s Harshad Shetty and Joywyn Daniel talk about the long road to releasing their upcoming EP ‘Seeking Atlantis’ this month

Anurag Tagat Mar 07, 2020

Mumbai ambient duo Beluga. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Slowly and steadily – almost as though it was mirroring the sonic style itself – ambient music has been gaining popularity in India. Producers such as Riatsu aka Shadaab Kadri have been successful in taking it to festivals, while bands like Pune’s Aswekeepsearching are now working on a record specifically to help with sleep. Longstanding artists like Yidam’s label Liquid Frequency was revived in 2019 with a compilation album of India’s ambient producers, Peninsula Volume 1 .

Mumbai duo Beluga, who have just released their first track “Wasabi” and are prepping their debut EP Seeking Atlantis for a March 29th launch, say they’ve always found a reasonably sized audience for ambient music. Producer Joywyn Daniel says with a laugh, “Ambient music is definitely more popular with introverts who refuse to get out of their bedrooms, balconies and terraces, or maybe that’s just us.”

Formed by Daniel and producer-guitarist Harshad Shetty in 2016, Beluga wrote “Wasabi” in April last year. Unlike all the other tracks they were poring over, this was one of their quickest creations. Daniel says, “I don’t think we’ve ever nailed down a song as fast as we did this one.” Centered around a percussive melody and lightheaded synthpad work, the duo introduces a striking dancehall-esque vocal sample to change the mood. Daniel says, “I was binge watching the [British crime drama] show Top Boy and the soundtrack throughout the series absolutely blew my mind. Just listening to some of the music on the show made me want to have a bit of fun with some dub/reggae/dancehall ideas.”

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Released on new music label Misfits Inc., Beluga plan to release two songs from the five-track Seeking Atlantis every Sunday starting next week, followed by the full release on March 29th. Daniel adds, “We also have a few collaborations lined up, so stay tuned for that.”

Stream “Wasabi” below.

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