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Exclusive Premiere: Ramya Pothuri and TRODD Confront Love in ‘Pain or Pleasure’

The melancholic-pop offering marks the singer-songwriter and producer’s second collaboration

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Jessica Xalxo Jul 26, 2019

The making of “Pain or Pleasure” was a lot more of an organic process. Pictured above (from left) Ramya Pothuri and TRODD. Photo: Courtesy of Artists.

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Since the release of their 2018 R&B/soul single “To Stay,” Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Ramya Pothuri and producer TRODD aka Tanmay Rathod have found their collaborative groove. While the creative process for “To Stay” started out with an email, the making of their latest single “Pain or Pleasure” was a lot more organic. “Tanmay actually came over to my place with a track that he had been working on. He started playing it out to me and immediately all these melodies formed in my head, so I quickly got my phone out to record. Most of the song was written in that initial burst!” shares Pothuri. 

This time around, TRODD and Pothuri worked together from the ground up. Weeks passed and the nitty-gritties of the song were fleshed out with Pothuri incorporating the rhythm of the guitar. “It’s really fun when songs come out in that flow, and you’re just in the right moment at the right time,” she says. 

“Pain or Pleasure” is the perfect song for rainy days and sleepless nights. Pothuri’s saccharine vocals glide over the boomy percussion and silky keyboard, swelling into a dreamy force as the chorus beckons. TRODD guides listeners’ ears to both the vocals and instrumentals with rhythmic and timely productional emphasis. Waves of synth ever so slightly glitch and undulate as they navigate the aural planes of the track and the bridge of “Pain or Pleasure” is immersive, with both vocals and instrumentals entering an echo chamber of palpable beats. The vocals do not fight the production for space. 

“I constantly try to expand my horizon by experimenting with whatever I do, even in my daily life. It can give you an unexpected [and] surprising output,” says TRODD. The producer takes a break from electronica, crafting a moody-pop soundscape in “Pain or Pleasure,” one he trusted Pothuri to resonate with from the very get-go. “As a producer, I have a holistic approach to the tracks I make and I’d say that Ramya does complete justice to both the beat and the story I intend to represent. We meet, jam and create an experience,” he shares. 

“Pain or Pleasure” is a song that explores the mindset of a person in love but also, that of one who questions their standing in a relationship. The way Pothuri sees it, the song slows things down, allowing listeners to gain clarity with respect to their feelings. “I think that’s something a lot of us need,” she says. 

This isn’t the end of the line for the collaborators. Pothuri and TRODD intend to release more songs together with the former even teasing at a stream of singles set to drop over the next few months. For now, Pothuri is heading back to her native St. Louis, U.S., where’ll she’ll be playing shows through the summer. 

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