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Exclusive Stream: Kerala Producer Pina Colada Blues Brings the Big Band Sound on ‘Akalukayo’

Kevin Shaji has previously released collabs with hip-hop group Street Academics’ rapper Imbachi

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Anurag Tagat Sep 19, 2020

Kochi-based producer Pina Colada Blues aka Kevin Shaji. Photo: V Bharat Krishna

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On his exuberant new single “Akalukayo,” Kochi producer Pina Colada Blues aka Kevin Shaji teams up with vocalist Mridul Anil to infuse elements of big band and jazz. The Malayalam track is the artist’s fourth single out this year, this time leading with saccharine vocals and a groovy sound.

Kevin, who picked up playing the keys and basic production in 2016, has previously been part of groups such as Frequency Modulated Life. Even though he eventually picked up production and making music in earnest a couple of years later, it was his debut single “Thenale” that lit the spark for starting Pina Colada Blues in 2019. He recalls how, after sending a demo to his friend and vocalist Nikita Uday, he also called on guitarist Farish Reheman to arrive at a nearly finished track. Released by Chennai/Kochi label Offstage Official, Kevin says of his first release, “The entire process of making ‘Thenale’ helped me find my sounds, styles and persona.”

Launched in March this year, Pina Colada Blues has so far dabbled in minimal trap-meets-reggaeton on the lullaby-esque “Omana Thinkal Kidavo” and worked with hip-hop crew Street Academics’ rapper Imbachi for the chillstep-informed tune “Dreamer.” With the release of “Akalukayo,” Kevin says this is the first taste of songs off his upcoming debut EP called Tunnel Vision. He adds, “The song is about how sometimes love faces the tests of time and distance and overcoming the problems and fights in a relationship.” Modestly admitting that he’s “more of an average pianist and keyboardist,” the idea for this song came from Kevin playing a guitar melody.

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With the EP scheduled to release by the end of 2020 and early next year (“As nothing is certain these days,” the producer explains), he’s also working on a “fun and lighter” three-track EP. “That’s coming later by 2021-mid, which features Tamil and Malayalam styles. After these two EPs, I’m planning to take some time and figure out new themes and styles for the next chapter of Pina Colada Blues and I am excited about this new sound.”

Stream ‘Akalukayo’ ft Mridul Anil below. The song is out on all streaming platforms on September 20th.

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