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Peter Cat Recording Co’s Frontman Releases First Album

Suryakant Sawhney’s electronica project Lifafa is a different persona

Rolling Stone India Jan 22, 2013
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Suryakant Sawhney. Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

As the frontman of Delhi gypsy/psychedelic rock band Peter Cat Recording Co [PCRC], Suryakant Sawhney is mostly mellow [read super baked] and is given to occasional bursts of energy usually as he riffs off on the synthesizer. This month, Sawhney launched his new electronica project Lifafa that he describes as “post-party” music [read stoner electronica]. “When everyone’s done and a more serene musical ambience is needed,  I’d like to be that guy [playing music].  The name isn’t any reference. I just like the way the word sounds, perhaps the ambiguity of it too,” adds Sawhney.

The vocalist says “too many ”˜talkative’ people found out too early” about Lifafa that was meant to be a secret side project. But considering he had a nine-track debut titled Lifafa I ready, it would have been tough to keep a lid on it. Lifafa I was released recently under a Creative Commons license with a name-your-price download option, a decision prompted by Sawhney’s use of samples, over which he has no copyright authority “or any real right,” as he says. “I’ve recorded most of the samples myself at churches, train stations, parties and general sounds I may have discovered.” Like PCRC’s sound [“Clown On The 22nd Floor”], Lifafa too uses samples from film soundtracks.  I’ve only used about three samples which aren’t my own, which are Kancha Cheena’s background music from Agneepath,” said Sawhney referring to the lead character in the Hindi film, adding, “Tezeta, an Ethiopian folk song and some Mohammed Rafi mash-ups.” 

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Sawhney isn’t worried about the sound of the band crossing over into his solo project. “Production techniques are naturally getting mixed up, but I try to give each one its own essence and not stray into electro rock or something I particularly dislike,” says Sawhney.

As for what his band has been upto, PCRC has just returned from Goa, tells us Sawhney. “Goa was mostly r & r. We worked on most of the songs for the new album, went swimming, rode scooters and played three memorable gigs, which went for like 3-5 hours each,” adds Sawhney.


Lifafa I is available for streaming and pay-what-you-want download here.

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