Suryakant Sawhney on how he makes his online gigs work and the formidable process of making music
The digital edition of this year's NH7 Weekender music festival features a power-packed line-up and a unique interactive experience. The 11th edition is using state-of-the-art technology to create an immersive experience. And the line-up includes American folk rockers The Lumineers, Melbourne-based jazz-funk outfit Hiatus Kaiyote and Thai singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit and homegrown acts such as Prateek Kuhad, Taba Chake and more. We speak to Delhi-based electronica artsite Suryakant Sawhney, who's the frontman of indie outfit Peter Cat Recording Co and also will be performing at the festival with his solo project Lifafa:
Your music makes for very intimate listening. How well has it translated to online gigs?
The online gigs I've done so far have been unorthodox in their presentation because I don't think a normal live show I put on necessarily translates the same way into the online format. What's exciting in an online gig is the potential for engaging people as a cross city group and surprising them. The music almost feels secondary at times. I don't really enjoy online gigs. I'm a very camera conscious person and so I've tried to approach them as a filmmaker rather than a musician.
What can we expect from your performance at NH7 Weekender?
It's going to be a weird, funny, intimate and slightly absurd show. Yes, there's plenty of new music from my new album. Superpower 2020.
How was this year and the lockdown, creatively speaking?
It'll be easier to assess this after some time has passed. I don't think it was a necessarily extraordinary creative time for me and more about administration and consolidation of aspects of my life. I don't creativity ever stops anyway, it's an ongoing process in all aspects of life.
What do you reach out to to get creatively inspired, when you feel a writer's block?
I've never had a writer's block to be honest, there's always a long pending list of songs overdue for completion and release. The complete process of writing to production to release is incredibly draining and exhaustive. I don't enjoy it anymore.
What else were you reading, watching and listening to during this year?
I've begun watching a lot of podcasts from Joe Rogan to Eric Weinstein to Lex Fridman. They've been the highlight of the year in terms of really helping me think more critically again in general, something I hadn't realised had stalled.
What projects are you working on next?
My wrecked body.
Rs 199. December 5 - 6, 7 pm. NH7.in