In Conversation with Mayur Narvekar a.k.a BANDISH PROJEKT

Attributes: Others

We recently met Mayur Narvekar - a Composer, Producer, Dj, Remixer, Performer and a multi-instrumentalist who is also the founder of 'BANDISH PROJEKT' at a recent gig organized at Blue FROG Pune and decided to tell you more about the outstanding music he produces. 'Bandish’ in its Indian classical connotation means “composition”, while Projekt reflects its innate extermination. Classical Indian Ragas unconventionally conjoined with electronic beats is the spectrum of versatality BANDISH PROJEKT promises. BANDISH PROJEKT fused melodies of yore with IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) when artists across the globe were spektical about even using the term 'IDM' to define their genre. Intelligent dance music (commonly known as IDM) is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s. It was originally influenced by developments in underground dance music such as Detroit Techno and various breakbeat styles that were emerging in the UK at that time. BANDISH PROJEKT was formed in 1997 and continues to make soulful fusions between Asian sounds and IDM, giving both styles of music new dimensions.

From the echo of festivals across India into the live energy of over numerous gigs, BANDISH PROJEKT has resounded in Dubai, UK, Sweden, France, Amsterdam, Australia, played at Glastonbury, Edinburg Fringe Festival, Sommerszene Festival (Austria), Melbourne Electronic Festival, Village India UK, Incubate festival and BBC Asian Network tour hasn’t seemed to have captured enough of the BANDISH PROJEKT streak since 2007. In 2014, BANDISH PROJEKT received the GIMA Award (Global Indian Music Award ) for the best EDM track "TRAP" from the EP "I am Not Alone". From Productions of Bollywood Films and documentaries, extraordinary club gigs, fusions and concerts for leading corporate houses to creation in drum n bass sessions and tuning in to the best radio stations in India, Bandish Projekt is guaranteed to blow your mind!

Keep scrolling to read our exclusive interview with BANDISH PROJEKT.


How did Bandish Projekt happen?

I was a classical musician, I used to play the tabla and music was within me. I wanted to do something alternative with my instruments and that is when I got into listening to different kinds of music. Drum n bass was one of those styles of music which I really liked back in the day. So I really hooked on to it, I started making some beats then and it all started from there.

What are the production softwares you started with and what kind of softwares do you use now?

The first software I started with was Cool Edit Pro which was a demo version, then I used Fruity Loops which was also a demo version. I then moved to Reason and worked on it for 5-6 years and now I use Ableton.

We know you are a multi-instrumentalist, what instruments do you play put together?

I am a percussionist, I play all percussion instruments which are Rhythm. I don't play string instruments. I also play a little bit of keys.

What was the first instrument you learnt and at what age?

I first started banging on the dholak in my early childhood since my dad used to play the dholak. That lead me to learning the Tabla when I was two years old.

Who are your inspirations and influences?

Classical music has been my biggest inspiration however, I don't listen to much of that now. But yes, there are a lot of electronic Godfathers like Aaron Koblin that I've been listening to, not just one.

The late 90's was not really an electronic music scene, what were the challenges you faced while creating Bandish Projekt?

The late 90's was not really an electronic scene in our country all together. Right from listening to music, to making the music, to playing it was a challenge. So it started with where can you find that kind of music, once you've managed that then the question arises how do you make something like that, where do you find the gears and tools required to make that kind of music. Now, after you've made the music, where are you gonna play it? There is no place in town where you can play your music. So it was not just one challenge, every step was a challenge. I can't say I have overcome all those challenges even now, I am still struggling in a few areas.

Talk to me about the movies and documentaries Bandish Projekt has provided music for

Bollywood movies I am doing now but documentaries, yes. I just finished a documentary called 'The Confluence' which is based on the Maha Kumbh. However, that music is totally different than what I do or perform now. I have like different aliases - there's Mayur Narvekar who is like a sane person, then there is BANDISH PROJEKT who is a slightly mad character who makes these Indian classical sounds fused with electronic beats, then there is this guy called 'Mosillator' who nobody knows about. My first Mosillator video is due for release in the next two weeks.

Please share details of national and international artists you have collabrated with

I've known Randolph Correia from Shaa'ir and Func, we are playing together now and we share common love for drum n bass. Pravvy Prav is another artist I have performed with, he is a good friend, he's a drummer. Also there are other artists like Last Mango in Paris whom I've collabrated with. So it's like a journey, whenever I meet good artists I have a relationship with them and we continue that relationship with our music.

How was your experience playing at The Glastonbury Festival in 2007?

It was a dream come true! Glastonbury Festival is the world's largest multi-genre music and arts festival. There was Fatboy Slim playing on one stage, Trentemoller on the other stage and Bjork on another. It was an absolute honor to have been able to share stage with such great artists and BBC was supporting our act. So, it was really cool. It's nothing I can compare to, it was an out of the world experience.

Your first single 'Alchemy' beautifully brings out the essence of the constantly transforming 'Hindustaan'. What were you thinking when you composed the track? Please tell us about the video too.

I wanted to showcase India in a very new age form. Animation has always been a part of Indian culture however, it kind of lost its charm and people couldn't relate to it somehow because of television and other media. I wanted to show India in a very quirky but still reality but still funny but still emotional kind of a way - the versatile India. There are many things about India that are not exhibited or referred to as 'cool', I wanted to show India in a different light. The concept of the song is intense and hence, the lyrics are intense. It took me around 6 months to create that video with the help of a technical and an animation team.

Do you have a message for your fans and aspiring musicians?

Yes, offcourse! Just keep looking out for new stuff and keep doing what you're doing. There are so many great artists working on such great music and I am always looking for new musicians, they keep sending me their tracks on facebook and email. I strongly believe that there should be an encouraging point for everybody. Unfortunately I am unable to respond to everyone who sends me music because I am doing so many things but the whole point here is that you have to keep doing it, you can't give up. When I started, for 10 years there was nobody who even said a 'hi' to me, leave alone responding to how my track was but I kept doing it. I had nothing to do with anything but music and I am still doing it. It doesn't matter whether somebody likes it or doesn't, I am doing it for the sake of music. I think if you're true to that self, it'll take you wherever you want to go. Perseverence is the key!

Tags: pune, musicians in pune, Bandish Projekt, electronic music in pune, Mayur Narvekar

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