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Shashwat Bulusu’s Music Video For ‘Sunset by the Vembanad’ is About Skate Culture in India

The Baroda singer-songwriter enlisted skateboarding cinematographer Boyer Debbarma to work on the clip

David Britto Aug 20, 2020

Baroda singer-songwriter Shashwat Bulusu. Photo: Chinmay Deshpande

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When Baroda singer-songwriter Shashwat Bulusu released his 2019 debut single “Playground,” a notification popped up that cinematographer Boyer Debbarma liked the track. Out of curiosity, the musician landed on Debbarma’s profile only to discover that the filmmaker was documenting skate culture in India. “I messaged him to see if he’d ever be interested in shooting a music video for one of my songs; he said ‘yes’ and that was that,” says Bulusu. The track chosen to compliment Debbarma’s visuals is the rustic and flowing “Sunset by the Vembanad.”

According to the artist, from all his songs “Sunset by the Vembanad” has the most “out there” story. Skate culture is something that Bulusu has been in love with since he was in school. He says, “I always fancied it and thought of it as something foreign.” Although the singer-songwriter abandoned skating, he recalls that it is quite a meditative experience and that people who partake in it use it as an escape from boredom and anxiety. “This essentially became the idea for the video, a boy stepping out of his home and finding an escape for a short while through skateboarding and sometime in the forest,” says Bulusu.

In the captivating clip, Debbarma has captured the protagonist played by Kunal Chhetri, riding his board across streets, doing tricks, finding solace in a forest and more. The superbly produced music video was shot across Shillong, Tripura and Guwahati by just Debbarma, Chettri and a few friends. “It’s crazy how one person [Debbarma] could create something so beautiful,” says Bulusu.

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The singer-songwriter tells us that Debbarma’s work is a cross-section of nature and skateboarding which has been portrayed quite clearly in the video. “It is such a unique perspective because skate culture has been historically an urban sub-culture,” says Bulusu. He adds, “He’s [Debbarma] got a very unique eye and it’s a joy to be associated with him and his work.”

After moving to New Delhi last year, Bulusu was forced to go back to Baroda due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, he’s been spending his time well working on music and also pursuing a career in law. The singer-songwriter is also putting an album together, that he’s been working on for three years now. He says, “I’ll be getting into the studio soon to complete it.”

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