Exclusive Stream: Kolkata-Bred Singer-Producer VASU’s Dreamy Electro-Fusion on ‘Parwaaz’ EP
Vasundhara Gupta, who is classically trained in vocals, studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and Valencia
For someone who has received Indian classical vocal training since the age of five, Kolkata/New York artist VASU aka Vasundhara Gupta employs her stirring, sublime vocals sparingly on her new EP Parwaaz.
If anything, the five-track record showcases VASU as a forward-thinking electronic music producer. She says, “I think sounds have more power than actual words. A great big orchestral crescendo holds the power to convey oceans of emotions and churn your heart in just a few seconds. That’s what is so magical about music.”
Studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston and then at the Valencia campus, VASU picked up music production and soon found work in the U.S. after she graduated in 2017. Alongside composing, production and sound design gigs, the artist admits she could barely give any time to follow up her debut EP One from 2017.
As it turns out, the lockdown changed VASU’s pace and brought about a re-evaluation of her work as a freelance sound engineer, composer-producer and artist. The outcome of that shift is Parwaaz, a meditative listen which marries effect-heavy Indian classical vocals, journeying electronic production and a dancefloor-friendly remix of the record by Kolkata producer-DJ 8-Bit Culprit aka Faraz Ehsan. Overall, a lot of ebb and flow on tracks like “Jaagu Main Saari Raina,” “Rogue Waves” and “Interlude” reflect Vasu’s self-described “minimal” personality.
The title track, however, invites Japanese sarangi artist Yuji Nakagawa. The track has been in the works for at least a couple of years, when VASU was seeking sarangi players to replace the artificially written samples on the song. VASU says, “A good friend commented with Yuji ji’s name on it, and we started a dialogue that led to us working on this (as well as other projects) together! It’s an honor to have him play on ‘Parwaaz.’”
While a stop-motion animated music video for “Rogue Waves” by filmmaker/animator Shraddha Tiwari has been in the works since 2019, VASU is confident that it’ll “be worth it at the end.” There are also more singles and a duo project with 8-Bit Culprit called Sataarah. “At the moment, I plan to explore work in Mumbai while continuing working with my U.S. colleagues remotely.”
Listen to ‘Parwaaz’ EP below. Stream on all platforms from July 9th onwards.