Nucleya and Ritviz collab officially for the first time with ‘Sathi,’ that’s trending now

Two diverse artistes, with two unique sounds — Nucleya and Ritviz — have just released the first song, Sathi, from their eight-track album, Baaraat. We catch up with the duo to find out more...
Sathi, feat Ritviz and Nucleya | Pic Credit: Anirudh Agarwal
Sathi, feat Ritviz and Nucleya | Pic Credit: Anirudh Agarwal

It’s almost impossible to not vibe to Sathi; a new song that released just three weeks ago, featuring the talents of music producers Nucleya and Ritviz. The song, which released on August 13, is already trending on most audio streaming platforms and has combined views of over nine lakhs on YouTube. But why is this exciting?

Well, mostly because everyone thinks the two music icons have collaborated before, when they actually haven’t! Pune-based Ritviz Srivastava (better known mononomously as Ritviz) is a popular name in most Gen Z circles across the country and is known for his 2019-hit Liggi that currently has over 131 million views on YouTube. Goa-based Udyan Sagar (better known by his stage name Nucleya), who won the Global Indian Music Awards in 2016 for best Electronica Single, is one of India’s most popular electronic music producers. The two artistes have known each other for a while now and Ritviz has also remixed some of Nucleya’s earlier tracks. We catch up with the duo on a call from Goa, where mobile networks are as unpredictable as the next monsoon swell, to find out more about the song and the ensuing eight-track album, Baaraat. Excerpts.

So, you haven’t collaborated before?
Nucleya: Who said it? No, tell me who said it? Bring him in front of me… (laughs) Just to clear the air, though, we’ve been working on music together for the past six to seven years now, but we’ve never put anything out… so, all these allegations that have been made are all incorrect, your honour! (mimicking a lawyer).
Ritviz: Udyan and I have wanted to do something together for a long time now, because, let’s be honest, we’re too sexy together.
Nucleya: Yup, there’s too much chemistry between us.
Ritviz: But yes, I guess the confusion came about because I remixed a few of his earlier songs. That wasn’t a collaboration, more like me being a fan!

Tell us something about this album, how did it come about?
Ritviz: For me, straight up, I have to say that this is a dream come true. The fact that it is finally happening is itself a huge deal for me. Because, let’s be honest, six to seven years ago when I met Udyan for the first time, I was like any other kid in the country, I was like: OMG! I am meeting Nucleya! And then cut to today… whatever is happening is unreal.
Nucleya: You’re just too sweet, bro! Just way too sweet. To answer your question, though, for me, I have worked with so many artistes in the past 10-15 years and most of the songs I have released have all been collaborations. And out of all the people, my most favourite song writer, producer, artiste and human being by far, is Ritviz. I have always loved his music, so dearly. I always admire and sometimes feel envious that he can come up with such incredible melodies. So, this collaboration was just bound to happen. Also, this guy is a genius. For example, I had this song, a demo really… that had something missing and I just needed something that would make it work, you know…like glitter. And I asked Ritviz and he was like: Bro, I’m just going to hit the gym for 30 minutes and then I’ll get back to you. Thirty minutes later he calls me back and says: The song is ready. And then he played me the song and it was brilliant! I was like how did all of this happen? And he says: I was exercising and I came up with the song. I mean, what a gangsta man!

You both clearly have a great dynamic, tell us more?
Ritviz: What he’s not telling you is how awesome that demo was, I mean, I’ll obviously get excited. I think that’s what works for us; we get excited about each other’s music. I remember even when he released Lights (from the album Raja Baja in 2016), I begged him for the stems and I remixed it in a day. This doesn’t happen very often with me. You need to reflect that level of energy. Otherwise, sometimes you take years just to complete a song. So, a lot of my productivity levels with his work are actually because of him and the kind of stuff he does.

<em>Ritviz </em>& <em>Nucleya</em> | Pic Credit: Anirudh Agarwal
Ritviz & Nucleya | Pic Credit: Anirudh Agarwal

Why did you decide to release ‘Sathi’ first?
Nucleya: We had quite a few songs that we had planned and we were quite excited about putting them out, but collectively we decided that this was the one. This song had the energy that we wanted. It’s a great song to open an album with.
Ritviz: This is an intro to our relationship in many ways. The whole album is about us meeting each other and our two distinct sounds coming together. The album will show how each of us can sound very different and how we’ve stepped out of our comfort zone. This track will definitely create the mood for the rest of the album.

And how many more tracks are we expecting?
Nucleya: Seven more tracks and after that another album…
Ritviz: And then another album…
Nucleya: And then another album! (laughs)

I don’t think your fans would mind that at all. But, moving on… Nucleya, you seem to have something for the South?
Nucleya: I wish that I was born in Chennai. I wish that I knew how to speak Tamil. I love South India so much! Even though I don’t understand any of the South Indian languages, I still vibe with all of them. I feel these languages and I love the food... I love everything. The cinema, the music, the women… everything is just so beautiful. It’s 10 times better than any other part of the country, in my opinion.

And Ritviz, you’ve been ridiculed online for having lifted all your tracks from South Indian wedding songs?
Ritviz: It’s hilarious. And it’s true (laughs). And it’s on point. So now, I’m like what can I say, my trick has been exposed… (laughs). That said, I want to collaborate with artistes from there and probably I’ll learn something about that from Udyan?
Nucleya: Bro! You are an institution in yourself; you don’t need to learn anything!
Ritviz: Now, what does one say to something like that? (laughs).

<em>Ritviz </em>& <em>Nucleya</em> | Pic Credit: Anirudh Agarwal
Ritviz & Nucleya | Pic Credit: Anirudh Agarwal

Glad to hear so much enthusiasm about the South and possible future collaborations — but, aren’t you worried about losing your unique flavour and sound in a collaboration?
Ritviz: There is a fear, definitely. But it’s a good kind of fear. Your sound kind of changes, you learn new things, you look at things differently, so, ultimately it’s all for the better. It’s not even about music anymore, this is bigger than music. This is about learning how to live a life. When I see Udyan, I don’t see him as Nucleya anymore, I see the dad and husband in him and you realise that his music is a reaction to this life. And I learned a lot from that. This is so much more than just a musical collaboration.
Nucleya: The most important thing for me as an artiste is to collaborate. That’s the only way you’ll learn new things. I have also learned so many new things from Ritviz during the making of this album — I don’t think I have learned that much in the last four-five years. Each collaboration will teach you something new. To take risks, to not be fearful, to have some foresight, to be able to see through confusion — I learnt all of these things from collaborating with Ritviz. Also, I’m 42 and he’s 24 and yet, he had so much to teach me — it’s amazing. When I was 24, I was also fearless and Ritviz reconnected me to that younger self of me. Okay! It seems like the title of this article is going to be: how Nucleya loves Ritviz!
Ritviz: And what is wrong with that, bro? I am in love with you. (laughs)
Nucleya: Me too, bro! (laughs)

And what about film music? How comfortable are the both of you working in that industry?
Well, I haven’t worked on any film OST yet, but that hasn’t stopped people from lifting my music.
Nucleya: People need to know how mainstream film musicians really mess around with independent artistes and that’s not cool. But yes, for me it’s all about finding a project that allows me to contribute without sacrificing my creativity. That said, a good project is a good project, it really doesn’t matter if it’s a film project or an independent one.
Ritviz: I completely echo Udyan’s feelings.

And sticking to the flavour of the hour, who are the artistes that you would like to collaborate with, if given a choice?
Nucleya: Dead or Alive, Laxmikant Pyarelal, AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Bappi Lahiri and definitely Prodigy.
Ritviz: AR Rahman and Kanye West and I just want to watch them work. I can’t even imagine a collaboration, honestly.
Nucleya: Yes, with AR Rahman, honestly, I just want to watch. Seriously, I don’t mind even serving coffee for everyone in his studio as long as I get to watch him create music.

So, finally, what’s the next track we can look forward to?
Ritviz: I think it has to be Ari Ari.
Nucleya: It definitely has to be Ari Ari and it’s coming out soon.

‘Sathi’ is now streaming on all major audio platforms.

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