Producer Karan Kanchan And Singer-Songwriter Ramya Pothuri Present an Exciting New Collab
Part of Red Bull Premieres, the showcase also includes new tracks by artists Hanumankind and Parimal Shais, Yesnomaybe as well as Anushka Menon
Energy drink Red Bull over the years have dipped their toes in the music space countless times and to great effect. From their iconic tour bus gigs to club shows, the beverage brand is now out with the second edition of new music under Red Bull Premieres.
The four tracks for this offering have been specifically curated by Mumbai producer Tejas Nair aka Spryk and includes the boomy hip-hop collab, “S.L.A.B,’ between Bengaluru-based rapper Hanumankind and Kochi producer Parimal Shais as well as the unusual but interesting pairing of Mumbai producer Karan Kanchan and singer-songwriter Ramya Pothuri on the futuristic pop track “Wonder.” The list also features a groovy song called “The Other” by rock outfit Hoirong’s drummer Akshat Nauriyal under his solo moniker Yesnomaybe and the moody “Take” from DJ Anushka Menon.
In this interview, we catch up with Kanchan and Pothuri to discuss how their collaboration came together, what was it like working with each other, their future plans and more.
How did working on Red Bull Premieres come about for you?
Pothuri: It happened so unexpectedly! Karan had sent me the track for ‘Wonder’ sometime in April when I guess everyone was wrapping their minds around the lockdown and all the crazy stuff that’s been going on. It was really great and almost therapeutic for me to put my mind and effort into the song. I sent him what I had written on top of it, he liked it, and we were just going through the back and forth of finalizing things from there. We had no plans for the song then, and that’s when Karan told me about the Red Bull Premieres! I was super excited to hear that they loved the song, and just thrilled at how everything seemed to be coming together for ‘Wonder.’
Kanchan: Tejas had called me up and mentioned about this amazing project that he is doing with Red Bull. He asked me to send some tunes to him for the same. I think I sent about 12 different songs, but I also told him about this song ‘Wonder’ on call, that this is very different than what I usually release and was kind of my first step to put out this style of music. I mentioned it because honestly me and Ramya had the track ready which we had made when the lockdown started, but we had no idea on when and how to put it out as it was a new zone for both of us.
What was it like collaborating with each other on this song? In terms of ideating, themes, how did you guys go about that?
Pothuri: It was so smooth. He [Kanchan] already had such solid ideas in the track he sent me, it was easy to understand the space and the feel of the song and I just built off of that. From there it was just polishing here and there. Karan kind of left the theme and the song up to me, which I felt gave me so much more space to explore and experiment.
Kanchan: I always wanted to work on a song in an R&B/pop zone. Though I have worked on ideas for this before – I never got a chance to finalize on something with vocals on it and go ahead and release it. I always want to try more genres and learn more about producing music. I want to become a better songwriter so that’s why working with one definitely helped to learn a lot of things. I have known and been a fan of Ramya for three years from when I had first met her at a show in Goa. With the lockdown in place, I thought most of the vocalists and musicians might be free compared to their previous touring and jamming schedules. So I randomly hit up Ramya about this demo I was working on. She liked the direction and worked on it. Three days later she turned that demo into something special! And I had loved it since the first listen.
There was not much ideating as we both did our parts from what inspired us. We didn’t even get on a call to discuss the track, everything happened over WhatsApp.
I was under the impression she was in Mumbai itself after the track was selected for and when we all had a video call with the team is when I realized, she was in Hyderabad. That’s the beauty of the internet I guess.
What can you tell us about the song itself?
Pothuri: When I first listened to the track, it immediately had a fun, uplifting, dance-y energy to it. I loved it, but I also wanted to inject a little melancholy. The song is about the back and forth that happens in your mind, especially after the ending of any sort of relationship, where you vacillate between feelings of, for example, loneliness and regret to feelings of freedom and empowerment. One moment you wish the person was still in your life and you find yourself taking the blame, and the next you feel completely the opposite. I wanted to portray this state of mind in the song by having some lyrics contradict each other. There’s a line that goes, ‘You can never find someone like me/give yourself a week without me,’ which is immediately followed by ‘I don’t know what’s mine/could it be that I’m the needy one.’ It shows the bouncing back and forth of two emotions that can occur in all of us.
Kanchan: Sonically I was very inspired by the new pop sounds based out of Eighties pop. It’s kind of the other side of my music. Most of my listeners are only aware of the heavier trap or more of the hip-hop sound, so I was really nervous putting this out. But the response has been very warm.
Will we see more collabs from the two of you in the future?
Pothuri: I would love to! I’ve always admired Karan’s art and work ethic. That kind of energy is contagious so I’m always seeking those people out.
Kanchan: Yes! We were discussing it and we are looking forward to trying more new styles together.
What’s next for each of you individually?
Pothuri: I have two singles releasing in August, another single in September, and if everything goes according to plan an EP by the end of the year.
Kanchan: A lot more music in store, just figuring out what releases when. More collaborations with vocalists for sure.