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Gig Preview: Lifafa to Debut in Mumbai

Delhi-based musician Suryakant Sawhney promises old material as well as “spiritual” new compositions from his upcoming album at tonight’s gig at Antisocial, Khar

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Anurag Tagat Aug 05, 2016
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Suryakant Sawhney. Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

Suryakant Sawhney. Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

Suryakant Sawhney is sleepy and sitting in a cab amidst Mumbai traffic. When asked about his Mumbai debut tonight at Antisocial, Khar, he says, “It’s exciting and it’s really raining.” Sawhney, who has played in Mumbai several times with his psychedelic/gypsy rock band Peter Cat Recording Co., will perform a set as Lifafa, the experimental electronic project he floated in 2012.

The hypnotic glitch-hop influenced sounds of his debut album Lifafa I [2012] and the Bollywood disco-influenced four-track EP In Hi Ko [2014] has taken Lifafa overseas more often than gigs in India; he’s toured across Asia and Europe. He says, “When I started it, all I really wanted to do is travel. A solo artist is one of the most easiest ways of traveling.”

Sawhney will perform some of his previously released material as well as songs from his upcoming second full-length album, slated to feature 10 to 12 tracks. Talking about the sound on the album, Sawhney says with a laugh, “In a real weird way ”“ I’ve gone back to my roots, which is bhajans [devotional songs]. Basically, I used to sing a lot of bhajans when I was a kid. Maybe I’m making a lot more spiritual music.” He’s quick to explain, however, that it’s much more experimental than that. “It’s falling into the soundscapes; getting up in the morning, walking past a mosque, a mandir ”“ hearing a bunch of things in it [for inspiration],” he says.

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While Sawhney is currently looking to finalize a label deal for the album, he is already shooting a music video for his first single, called “Jaago,” which is also part of his Mumbai set. He says the song is exactly as uplifting as the title conveys.

The vocalist-turned-electronic music producer is also thinking of changing his live set up, because he feels that after playing in a band, being on stage in front of a laptop means “you get far too much time to think about life and shit.” He adds, “I’m still not convinced of the validity of playing electronic music live. I just find it really boring. I’m still deciding whether I want to be like Michael Jackson, just leave the music on and dance. That seems like”¦ I mean people don’t really care if you’re twisting some knobs and stuff.”

Lifafa, _RHL and EchoFloat perform as part of FRWD 004 at Antisocial, Mumbai on August 5th. Event details here.

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