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Premiere: Riatsu and Trumpeter Joshua Trinidad’s Ominous Video for ‘He Was Right Here’

The Mumbai producer teams up with a Denver artist via Bengaluru label Subcontinental Records for a collaborative album ‘Lithium’

Anurag Tagat Jul 02, 2020

American jazz trumpeter Joshua Trinidad and Mumbai producer Riatsu aka Shadaab Kadri have released their collaborative album 'Lithium.' Photos: Courtesy of Subcontinental Records (Trinidad); Pratik Shetty/The Raw Lab (Riatsu)

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Curated by Bengaluru label Subcontinental Records founder Arun Natarajan, Lithium brings together the minds of Denver, Colorado trumpet artist Joshua Trinidad and Mumbai ambient producer Riatsu aka Shadaab Kadri. Released today, there’s also a video for “He Was Right Here” that’s directed by filmmaker-photographer Sharath U. Holla, with Arun’s father playing the role of a man who alters his mind-frame through the happy pill that lithium became known as.

Kadri, who’s previously worked with French trumpet veteran Erik Truffaz, says when the label came to him with the collaboration, he found Trinidad’s material “very different” as a trumpeter. Trinidad, who has performed with the likes of BadBadNotGood, The Mars Volta and George Clinton, says he immediately found Riatsu’s music “beautiful and deep.” It led to the trumpeter’s first collaboration with an ambient artist, featuring six tracks of dark, evocative music which weave in and out of fairly psychological spaces.

Trinidad adds, “Shadaab is extremely talented and has a deep connection between the sonic platform of music and the human soul and heart. He connects the worlds. He connects listeners to something greater than the physical.” Kadri says going in with no expectations has always led to “nice, positive outcomes” and that was the case with Lithium as well. “Our chemistry hit the spot right from the get-go.”

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Exchanging ideas online and often sharing drafts with the label, Kadri is all praise for Arun as well, who also took on commissioning the music video. “He doesn’t show us anything until the end of it but it really resonated with me, the music video,” the producer says. Trinidad terms Lithium as “one of the best experiences I’ve had in creating music.”

While Trinidad has his own trio to focus on, Riatsu’s upcoming projects include collaborations with fusion artist Shilpa Ananth, harpist-songwriter Nush Lewis (carried forward from their performance at Magnetic Fields Festival last year) and a remix for New Delhi electronica artist Karajimo. “It’s gonna be a busy 2020,” Kadri says.

Watch the video for “He Was Right Here” below. Buy/stream ‘Lithium’ here.

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