Exclusive! Ritviz: ‘The experience of Thandi Hawa has been surreal’
A LITTLE OVER two years ago, when Ritviz Srivastava won Bacardi House Party Sessions and released his first original, Udd Gaye, a track in partnership between spirits company Bacardi, comedy collective AIB and dubstep producer Nucleya, he created a space for himself in the electronic music scene in the country. The song was so catchy that it became the party anthem of the year. But, what was equally interesting was its video featuring a bunch of middle-aged men dancing their heart out on the beats, a reminder of uncles having a gala time on the dance stage. It was out of the box and engaging, something that has been a constant with most of his songs that have been released since then, including Sage and Liggi, which released last year. While Sage featured a love story between a man taller than most and his girlfriend, Liggi depicted a newly-wed carefree woman in a super fun video. But, what would one do when the song is ready, waiting to be released, during a nationwide lockdown as it happened with his latest track, Thandi Hawa?
“With a new track coming out, Bacardi Sessions and I got together to brainstorm ways in which we could use the song to unite our fans digitally. Since social media is the only platform people have at present to express themselves, we thought why not use it to give them a chance to be a part of our video,” says 23-year-old Ritviz, who released the audio song in April beginning and asked his fans to send in their entries.
The video, released almost a month after, not only featured a bunch of youngsters dancing, acting, cooking and cleaning but also witnessed some doctors and nurses breaking a leg. “I’ve always been so grateful for the love I’ve received from fans over the past few years, but the Thandi Hawa experience has been especially surreal,” he shares. The video, made from over 500 entries that poured in, also featured a few of his friends and colleagues, including Vedika Pinto (who starred in his last song Liggi), Kaneez Surka, Shayan Roy and Sejal Kumar amongst others, in his bid to make it more personal.
Interestingly, the song was written over four years ago. While recounting how this song came into being, Ritviz reveals that the melody came to him first and then he strung the words around it. “The songs I create are based on two things — my experience and my imagination. Thandi Hawa was just my pure imagination. It was actually written four years ago but it makes more sense to me today than it did before... every song has its own story, which should only come out at a time when it’s ready.”
But, is he a structured artist or somebody who is all over the place? Turns out Ritviz experiences both at different stages of a song. “The making of the song is not a very structured process. It requires me to be completely absorbed into the music. I sit in my room and just keep playing around with the tunes. That’s also where I get most of my inspiration from... However, there is definitely structure when it comes to the release of a song. There are hardworking people all around me who make the launch of a song, a seamless and fun process,” he explains. When asked what’s next, Ritviz kept his lips tight but promised that there is a lot lined up, including some fun collaborations.