What name we should refer to him with, I don’t know. But as a friend, I call him Bams! It came to me as a surprise that he could rap when I watched Swadesi at Control ALT Delete (music festival) in 2018. The name of the track itself, ‘Parel Naahi Saral’ (Marathi translates to: Parel isn’t a simple/straight up place), was stuck in my memory even years later! I thought he was just a DJ behind the decks, but then he grabbed the mic and doubled up as an emcee too. He then began producing music, and a year later, he was playing a different stage at the same music festival, this time as Kaali Duniya!
Performing as Kaali Duniya at Control ALT Delete in 2019. Photo by Swaraj Sriwastav
All his success is testament to the fact that he writes meaningful music, be it themed around our nation’s economic issues, socio-political problems, and religious divides that plague the world we live in. There is a lot to explore and expect, according to Bams.
We had a chat with him about his music and where he draws inspirational fuel from. Read the full interview below!
Pratika: As we all know, you work on two pretty distinct genres of music – the infernal bass beats through Kaali Duniya, and your work as a producer and emcee with hip hop collective Swadesi. What’s it like to be working on such different sounds?
Kaali Duniya: Working on different music is fun, weird and challenging. It’s a little different for me as I’m battling between personalities – I want to produce two kinds of music coming from the same person! It sounds crazy, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. It has helped me express myself better.
Since I’ve started producing as Kaali Duniya, I’ve started to understand the Dubstep culture more, which in turn helped me develop my sound, and also my thought process when it comes to arrangements, etc. Producing different genres helps you explore that as opposed to sticking to one genre. You can stick to one, sure, but that’s not me. It goes beyond hip hop and dubstep for me, all the way to creating background scores. I’m fond of music in general so I’m always glad to produce new stuff!
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P: I also noticed you’ve thrown in a flip of UK grime emcee and producer Flowdan’s ‘Shell a Verse’ in your new album. What was the inspiration behind ‘DumpYard’?
KD: Flowdan’s ‘Shell a Verse’ remix has a nice tune to it. When he visited Bombay in 2018, I wasn’t even Kaali Duniya yet. There was hype all around about his coming, and I had no clue who he was.
I listened to a song one night before the show, and went to watch him live directly the next day. I was blown away watching him perform live, and that was my introduction to grime and dubstep. I got back home and wondered ‘What the hell did I just watch?’ I couldn’t believe he played a jam-packed gig at Khar Social (Mumbai, India). I got an A Capella version of the track, so I made a remix and kept it ready. That’s sort of where my journey started, and I’d play the track live too. I discovered the beauty of Dubstep and 140bpm, which led me to dig in more. Later, when I was happy with what came out of it, I started producing under the Kaali Duniya moniker somewhere in 2019. I was only limited to producing hip hop music until then.
DumpYard is a product of frustration. There’s no concept as such. If you listen to the songs, all of the songs aren’t finished in terms of the mix; if you’ve seen my Soundcloud, some tracks are even uploaded as they are with the same file name. I did the same with my other solo work under BamBoy. I didn’t have a computer at the time, and I’d produce music on other friends’ laptops. I had a lot of my material on my earlier computer, but nothing ever happened. I just kept making music, and I still have a lot of music that isn’t a part of any of my bodies of work.
I play some loops during gigs to test them live. I was wondering what to do with all of this music, and uploading it on Soundcloud seemed like a decent thing to do, so people can give it a listen. I do have much more unreleased stuff yet to come, but DumpYard was surely pure frustration. I’m now equipped again with my laptop, so back to producing some tunes!
P: The theme of your music – irrespective of genre – is meant to voice dissent that many of us youth feel. What are some of the pressing issues you think our generation faces the most today?
KD: The youth of today and people from my generation are facing many random problems. There are people from different classes and backgrounds who have their own set of issues to face. Some people don’t get water at home on time. If people have to try and get a home loan, their CIBIL record doesn’t allow them to even if they are in need. Take any example, for that matter. When people listen to music, they try to escape their problems. At times, I want to make music where people can try to SOLVE their problems rather than enjoying it with a drink in hand, or escaping from it.
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P: Which bass or dance music artists have inspired you to a life of creating the sound specific to ‘Kaali Duniya’?
KD: A lot of artists have inspired me, especially artists from India – Raakshas, NaaR, Stain and Panik from New Delhi, Delhi Sultanate and his projects, Mala (UK) – whose sound is really meditative form of Dubstep not only for the dancefloor, but the kind of vibe it has otherwise, Flowdan and all the Jamaican style emcees who rap on dubstep too. Bandish Projekt inspired me to dig more into Drum & Bass. Beyond this, my life also comes out through music – things I read or learn about around me, society, and many things inspire my music.
P: What are some of the basic things you think producers and musicians need to think about when making music?
KD: Anyone who wants to make music should try not to stick to a style, and even if they do, they should listen to all forms of music. Personally, I feel like if you take a look at hip hop producers and rappers in Bombay, they only listen to hip hop. Not too many listen to jazz, metal, or any other kind of music.
For a producer, sticking to one thing limits what you do. You may have a favorite genre, but you have to be open to new music, because when you listen to more forms, you understand new rhythms, new scales, and many more things. It’s like swimming in a lake, and then swimming in an ocean. Music is a big, never-ending ocean. Before making music, definitely open your mind to listening to new music. Don’t stick to one genre, try to create every form of music you can!
P: Do you have any new music coming up as BamBoy or Kaali Duniya?
KD: There is a lot of music coming from my side as BamBoy and Kaali Duniya. I recently got my laptop and I’m back to producing and writing new stuff. I will be dropping an instrumental tape as BamBoy and also an EP as Kaali Duniya. I will hopefully also be dropping a Dubstep and DnB EP, working on it.
I’ll be dropping some of my solo rap music soon too. Apart from that, I’m trying to learn more about background scoring so I can do work on short films and such, because I really love films and soundtracks. Looking forward to this year and the music it’ll bring. I have many projects coming out with underground emcees from Bombay and Pune.
We thank Bams for his time, and wish him all the best for the future!
Feature image photo courtesy Illustrator Studios on Instagram.
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