Hear Vancouverite Indian-Origin Producer Skinny Local’s Dystopian Album ‘Radio Bombay’
The filmmaker and music producer taps into metal, hip-hop and even psytrance across seven tracks
During the Shivratri celebrations in February this year, Vancouver-based music producer and filmmaker Bhaveek Makan aka Skinny Local found himself somewhere in Gujarat at a party of sorts. “There was a mobile DJ set playing psytrance. People were chanting, as well as listening to background Goa psytrance. It was incredible,” the Indian-origin artist says.
With family from Mumbai on his mother’s side, Makan’s connected with India’s hip-hop scene as well as Canada’s diaspora Indians, including producing for rap duo Cartel Madras. Part of bands since 2009 and launching Skinny Local in 2016, his just released album Radio Bombay is a dystopian concept record that jumps genres like you would when you switch radio stations, featuring Malayalam rapper ThirumaLi, Candian artists Neesh, Clay Osiris, Justin Iverson, VP the Makk, plus pianist Naman Verma.
Experiencing Shivratri celebrations led to Skinny Local creating “Skinny Mantra,” a seriously heady and hypnotic psytrance tune. The rest of the seven-track album flitters between organic and electronic, with an emphasis on sound design. “My background is actually screenwriting, and I usually adapt albums from these screenplays. It is a lot of fun world building through music,” Makan says.
Taking from his previous album Androids of India (2019), this album brings together electronica (“Future,” “Lotus City”), metal (“Dead Tech” and “Sick”) and more familiar, club-friendly hip-hop in the form of “Jumpstart,” which features ThirumaLi throwing down with Canadian west coast hip-hop artist Saint Soldier. The video, the first to release off the album, features footage from India given the animated treatment, plus shots of both rappers and Skinny Local. Makan says of the collaborations between diaspora artists and Indian natives (like Kochi producer Parimal Shais’ album Kumarikandam Traps Vol. 1) helps the community grow. Makan adds, “It is so dope to see some artists in the diaspora take musical ‘risks’ with their sound. I believe we are all melding together, especially with the cross-country collaborations.”
Watch the video for “Jumpstart” below. Stream ‘Radio Bombay’ here.