Album art by Anand Radhakrishnan
Following an intriguing stream of Instagram posts, Burudu’s full-length album Ditties is a collection of 12 mesmerising tracks—each an exploration into the musician duo’s music sensibility. Pretty much their most ambitious project so far, Nakul Sharma and Sahil Bhatia have managed to create a rather dynamic experience by throwing in all sorts of artists in the making of this album. From Daniella Bastien and Greg Vilmont’s Creole spoken word poetry complementing Burudu’s instrumental tracks to Viraaj Saxena’s drumming and Franziska’s voice adding that extra layer of vocal finesse, Ditties is full of such fusions. Sukanya Chattopadhyay’s voice in Indriya is a personal favourite for its grace that often comes with Hindustani classical music. We speak to the duo about their inspiration and craft.
How did the Burudu duo, Nakul and Sahil, come together?
We were both studying in Kingston University back in 2012 and ended up staying at the same campus. We eventually met, and somewhere at the end of 2012 we started jamming on ideas.
What’s your creative process like? How do you both come together and create?
A song can be based on a musical idea or even just a thought. While working on a song, one of us always has a clearer picture of where the song is headed and he takes the lead, while the other jumps in with good or better or worse ideas. We are very free-flowing and patient.
Burudu performing at antiSOCIAL Mumbai
What’s the story behind the band name Burudu?
We had finished our first song (Red Cat) and wanted to put it out. We decided to do it under one name rather than having it under both our names. The name was simply a sound we both liked. I wish we could give you a deeper meaning here but that’s what it is.
Ditties has been full of collaborations with some incredible artists—both Indian and international. How did you go about curating this list and approaching them? What was the experience like?
The experience was phenomenal. Some were people we knew of and thought would make for very interesting collaborations, we approached them in hope that they’d be open to our ideas; while some have been our friends for a while. We simply asked them if they’d like to share with us their excellence.
Ditties is an ambitious debut full-length album with 12 tracks. What was the best part about working on such a huge project? What has the response been like?
Every stage of it has been so much fun. Both of us wanted to work on an album for about two years. We tried and scrapped a few as well. But I think with Ditties, we just discovered a new side to Burudu, which was exciting. We also got to learn a lot.
Nakul Sharma and Sahil Bhatia
What is the creative thought process that has gone into the making of Ditties? Why is it named so?
It was this discovery of our new sound that led us to come up with an entire album. It was right before we started to compose the first song that we decided to be more free-flowing. We talked about giving each other full creative freedom, more than we had before. There’s something sweet about how Sega Rhythms mix in with Post-Rock Synths. We knew we had discovered our new sound, and that led to everything–from post-rock driven tracks to 140 bpm dance tracks to orchestral pieces.
The album was originally named ‘Ditties of Peace and Truth’; but shortening it to just Ditties made the same amount of sense.
Ditties is an amalgamation of spoken word poetry and music. Are you open to experimenting with other art forms as well? Any particular ones you’re looking at?
There’s nothing new as of now but you never know when the inspiration strikes. We have no restrictions in terms of what we can or should use.
You have a history of interesting artworks (Zardin Zetwal) and now, Ditties’s album artwork. Who did you collaborate with for the same?
For the album we worked with Anand Radhakrishnan, who we got introduced to by our Manager Nishant. We shared the album with Anand to listen to, we gave him sometime with it, after which we had hour long discussions where we eventually started breaking up the key emotions of each song. He’s a very special human being because other than being incredibly talented, he’s humble and incredibly enthusiastic on anything related to his art.
Burudu performing at antiSOCIAL Mumbai
Any track that’s particularly close to your heart?
Nakul: Ghosts, because it was the first one and sort of inspired the rest.
Sahil: I enjoy all of them at different times for different reasons.
Nothing is set in stone just yet but it’s essentially picking up from where we left off in the studio.
Text Pankhuri Shukla