Pranav Bhasin’s first single of 2023, and eighth over-all, is about the concept of excess through the story of a girl trying to find satisfaction in a hyper-capitalistic world. “A satire on buying more and feeling less,” is Bhasin’s succinct summation. Produced by Jugaad Motion Pictures, the music video is poignant. Called Screaming on the Fly, the track premiered at the prestigious SXSW Festival 2023 last month, where it was also nominated for best music video. Director, writer and electronic music producer, Pranav collaborated with singer-songwriter, Rohini, who has given her melancholic voice to an atmospheric, moody track with perky lines. Pranav tells us more about it below.
LEARNING THE TRICKS
I started with a free pre-installed software called Garage Band. I made a few silly songs and put them up on SoundCloud as a joke. One of them was called Hindustani Dildo and it had a Sunny Deol movie dialogue looped to a beat. There were a bunch of innuendos.
My musical influences are all over the place. I was directing an advertising project a few years ago and my producer got annoyed when I played music in his car because he didn’t get why I was listening to stuff like Utopia’s Full One Hour OST or the stranger Daft Punk songs on a normal afternoon. He thought I was listening to pressure cooker sounds. There are so many influences — A.R. Rahman, U. Srinivasan, Air, Moth Equals, Childish Gambino, Glass Animals, Tame Impala, London Grammar, it’s a very long list. I don’t think music is born out of other music only, but rather cinema and visual art and books too. I take a lot of time with my songs. There’s a lot of patience and revisiting. Sometimes months or years. I’m just getting started.
SCREAMING ON THE FLY
I remember standing by my window one afternoon, humming the chorus to myself, rushing to the laptop and playing the first draft out. I had felt like multiple friends were dealing with this shopping-to-cope-with-life phenomenon and found it funny. My closest friend deletes Swiggy and Zomato now and then and has a love-hate relationship with it. It was really a flood of these emotions around that translated into lyrics for the song. It felt like a testament for our times.
I’m looking forward to my next single release. It’s a collaboration with the same vocalist (Rohini), and it was made around the same time as SOTF. For the songs that will follow, there are more acoustic instruments. I’m recording drums for two other songs this weekend. I have no idea when they’ll release. Hook me up with people who aid releasing songs in this content-overdose landscape!
My short films have been received better in the west than in India, so I’m blessed to be traveling out every year with my films, and am exposed to cinema and brilliant filmmakers from across the world. I can’t point out where the visuals come from. Halfway into shooting this music video, I remember Dheer (Executive Producer and Jugaad Motion Pictures co-founder) calling me from somewhere in Europe and speaking well of the song, and how he thought there could be a cool Pranav Bhasin x David LaChappele music video made for it. I saw the legendary David LaChapelle imagery and was blown away. There are hints of that in this video. Also Dheer is a legend.
ELECTRONIC SCENE IN INDIA
Oh I love so many of the Indian indie artists coming up right now. I’m also seeing more labels being formed by the day. It’s going to be wild in a few years. What I’d hope for is that we don’t imitate the west entirely and have some of our own sound. Lifafa is such a worthy and appreciated start. Originality will sustain.
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Words Hansika Lohani