TFword in Conversation With Browncoat

The celebrated DJ and producer talked about his latest single on Purified Records, his style of production, and some sonic directions he intends to take in the future.

India’s dance music scene is no longer its well-kept secret anymore; it’s out there for the world to see while growing bigger with each passing year. Being instrumental in bringing dance music in India to this juncture, Nawed Khan aka Browncoat has played a pioneering role for over two decades.

DJ, producer, promoter, and podcaster – Browncoat has championed a multitude of roles, which are a testament to his unwavering passion and excellence that make him a formidable force and an inspiration in the electronic music industry.

Browncoat’s diverse production repertoire, which is an infusion of driving rhythms, irresistible energy and evocative melodies, has taken his music to imprints like Anjunadeep, Odd One Out, and Steyoyoke among many others.

For his latest single, Browncoat has landed his debut release on Nora En Pure’s Purified Records, which has become one of the most sought-after dance music labels over the past few years. ‘Home’ is an emotional culmination of hypnotic vocals and carefully layered textures that shine throughout its length to make it a soul-stirring aural experience.

Following Browncoat’s debut release on Purified Records, we sat down with the revered DJ and producer to know more about his latest single, his style of music, and his plans for the year.

TFword: A single to kickstart the year, and it’s a beautiful one! What are your thoughts on how ‘Home has shaped up?
Home started off with that beautiful bamboo flute sample. I’ve had it in my library for a while, and I wanted to create something special around it. I tried my best to not get too gimmicky with that sample, as there are hundreds of “ethnic Indian inspired” tracks being pushed out without breaking the boundaries of the formulaic walls. So, the entire track was built around the flute. When I felt it was complete and nothing more could be added to it, I found the vocal that managed to carve its space and added that final magic touch to it.

TF: Dancefloor leaning, powerful, and dynamic – the tune has everything that we associate with Browncoat’s style. Talk us through your journey of finding your formative sound.
I’ve always loved melodies in dance music, and the first thing I lay down on my projects are the lead melodies and the harmonic add-ons. Me being a DJ first and then a producer also reflects on my tracks, as they tend to favour the dancefloor. I try to find the right balance between euphoric and groovy in all my tracks.

TF: We love how ‘Home’ flows right from the first kick to its final one. What are your thoughts on how the tune has progressed creatively?
Browncoat: I was taught early on that less is more and every element you add should be given the space and time to establish itself. That’s why you can hear this lovely flow where each element compliments the other as they get layered with the track progression.

TF: How was it like working with Purified for the single?
I’ve been a huge fan of Nora and Purified, and it’s been an absolute honour that they’ve been supporting my music for a while. Of all my demo submissions, Home struck a chord with them, and we got our first release signed. The team at Purified are some of the nicest people I’ve worked with; the communication is timely, precise, and respectful. I just wish my interactions with other labels were this stress-free.

TF: Going forward, is there anything you have in mind that you intend to pursue stylistically?
I have been working with a lot of Indian artists in the last few months and have some amazing music in the works. India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages, and somehow only Hindi and its adjacent dialects get a chunk of mainstream push. I have two beautiful tracks ready with two amazing singers, and though I don’t speak the language, I love that the vocals are in Tamil and Sanskrit. Both these languages have been around for more than 2-3000 years.

TF: Having been at the pioneering forefront of the dance music scene in India, how do you look back at your journey and what are your thoughts on the scene’s modern exploits?
India has a very rich musical heritage, and it’s extremely rooted in our culture. To be honest, it was near impossible to introduce electronic music to the average Indian because there’s so much regional music to compete with. It’s been a really long journey, but with easy access to the internet and the strive of the newer generations to find their own musical identity, it has really furthered the movement over the past decade or so. We now boast the most amazing audience for electronic music, and the love the Indian audience exudes on the dancefloor towards the performers is second to none.

TF: How do you go about working on your DJ sets?
Browncoat: I’m extremely organized when it comes to my DJ sets. Every track I play needs to serve a purpose, and I am not a fan of fillers or playing tracks just because they’re current hits. I always look at tracks to serve the bigger picture (the set) as opposed to their individual prowess. I also have a distaste for repeating my sets; I try to keep it new and entertaining for myself too.

TF: Talk us through your favorite moment on the road in 2023.
My favourite moment for 2023 would have to be my opening set for Ben Böhmer in Mumbai. Though I have played in that particular stadium venue (Dome NSCI) before to a sold-out audience, this time it was different. The crowd was beautiful, and it gave me immense pride to start and close my set with my unreleased IDs. The closing track was Home, and it got the most surreal response from them.

TF: Who would you regard as your dream collaborator?
I would love to get my friend Yotto or my idol Joris to work on a collab with. Both of these gents are the most talented artists and the most amazing human beings in person. Without doubt, I’d love a collab opportunity with them.

TF: What can we expect from Browncoat in 2024?
Browncoat: I have four more vocal tracks that are scheduled for release this year. Two of them have a special Indian touch to them, and I am really excited about sharing them with the rest of the world.

‘Home’ by Browncoat is out on all platforms via Purified Records.

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