Akshat Nauriyal on his solo project Yesnomaybe, his upcoming EP and augmented reality as a performative tool
VISUAL ARTIST AND musician Akshat Nauriyal’s solo project Yesnomayabe brings together all his passions under one umbrella. “I work with film, new media, emerging technologies, like augmented reality, and of course, music. Yesnomaybe is a space where I hope to integrate all my creative vices into one so that they can all talk to each other, rather than pull me apart in different directions,” he tells us. After two singles, Ashes and The Other, Akshat is working on Pastense, an EP that showcases more of his neon-noir aesthetic and synth-driven beats.
Fans know Akshat better as a drummer, especially for the left field art rock band, Hoirong. So is solo work as a producer quite different? He answers, “A long standing joke with bands is that drummers are not musicians. So from that perspective, it’s been a long journey to this point where I’m making my own arrangements and songs, and also lending my vocals to them.” But the artiste says that Yesnomaybe better articulates and encompasses a lot more of who he is. It’s his search for meaning and authenticity. “I’m addressing issues related to existentialism in the digital age, but also using the tools that are adding to it,” he adds.
The upcoming EP, Pastense, is a mix of songs Akshat has written over the past two years, and some that he is still writing. We got a glimpse into the EP with his latest offering, The Other, which was released on the platform Red Bull Premieres, last week. The number is described as a new media deep dive into digital existentialism. While refusing to be boxed into any genre, his music draws from modular synth-based sounds of the ’80s, shoegaze, IDM and industrial. Think artistes like Thom Yorke, Deerhunter, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and Tool. “The EP is a time capsule of sorts. A journey full of reminders of things I’ve learnt and experienced, which are also shared common experiences of many around me. It’s an internal response to the external world,” he explains.
As a visual artist, Akshat is also the co-founder of the St+art India Foundation, a non-profit that works on art projects in public spaces. He is currently exploring AR filters, and they also feature heavily in his music videos. “For my previous song Ashes, I built three filters which explored the use of AR as a performative tool. For The Other, I created an immersive filter which will transport people into a virtual dimension that they can explore on their own phones, wherever they are. All the filters are published on my Instagram page (@_tahska),” he says.
Akshat is working to release the full EP by October or November. “I want to develop visual elements for the songs myself, all of which takes time. So it’s a slow burn. Despite its limitations, the year still has immense potential,” Akshat signs off.
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