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Hear Metal Guitarist-Producer Shezan Shaikh Turn to Synthwave as Ronin

The founder of Mumbai metallers Providence has released his debut EP ‘Kyoto Inferno’

Anurag Tagat Jan 15, 2021

Mumbai-based synthwave producer and guitarist Shezan Shaikh. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Sometime in the past few years of Mumbai guitarist and metalhead Shezan Shaikh progressing as a composer and producer for film with Providence Recording Studio, he realized things were getting difficult. He says, “My dealings with people from outside of the metal circuit was very demoralizing.”

The guitarist from wrecking-ball metal act Providence, Shaikh went on to score music for films, ads and videogames. “Neither sides — commercial musicians or the metal scene — cared about what I did on the other side,” he says. With his new synthwave project Ronin’s debut EP Kyoto Inferno, Shaikh walks the line with even more conviction, with a long-term goal to do things that he couldn’t do with Providence. “I wrote Kyoto Inferno with a band in mind, so my job on stage will be just to handle guitars and take care of the tracks,” he says. 

Shaikh was toying with synthwave as an outlet for nearly five years and he even made an entire album, which he scrapped in favor of the new sound he took with the four-track Kyoto Inferno. He took to the synthwave sound when he heard U.K. act Gunship (which is also created by post-hardcore/metal band Fightstar‘s members) about five years ago and immediately began writing material. On Kyoto Inferno, there’s groovy late night-friendly tunes like “Ragequit” and “Illuminati Afterparty,” both imbued with rattling synth-bass as well as guitar solos. The title track gets two iterations — with vocalist Shagun Trisal (formerly of Delhi rock band Kraken) screaming his lungs out on one track and former Providence bandmate Sunneith Revankar adding emphatic screams to “Kyoto Inferno (Soul Remix).” Shaikh adds, “The song is about depression and anxiety and not knowing how hard it hits but also finding the strength to tackle it.” 

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Armed with a ton of research on plugins and production techniques, Kyoto Inferno is finessed by sound engineer Akash Sawant, who mixed and mastered the EP. “When I sent him my reference mixes, he knew exactly what I wanted, so he finished it in two days,” Shaikh says. With the sound of Ronin being introduced to Shaikh’s different worlds, he’s now working on music videos and taking on the more cumbersome task of marketing the release. “Now more than ever, I know it’s about being out there and I’m trying to fix that,” he says. 

Listen to ‘Kyoto Inferno’ below. Stream on YouTube, Apple Music and JioSaavn.

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