Live in concert: Dubai to groove to Nucleya’s pulsating beats

EDM rage to perform at Agenda, Media City, tomorrow — his first live show since the Covid-19 pandemic struck over two years ago


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Thu 28 Jul 2022, 7:39 PM

Udyan Sagar, better known by his stage name Nucleya, is a rage as an Indian deejay (DJ), who has carved a niche for himself in electronic dance music (EDM).

He was one of the guiding forces behind the Bandish Projekt with Mayur Narvekar and Mehirr Nath Choppra in 1998 and left it in 2007 to rebrand himself as ‘Nucleya’. He released his first extended play (EP) record Koocha Monster in 2013, followed by his debut album Bass Rani two years later at a Lord Ganesha’s immersion ceremony in Mumbai. In 2019, he released Tota Myna and after two years another EP — titled Baaraat — was launched in collaboration with his compatriot Ritviz, a singer-songwriter, electronic musician and record producer.

Nucleya, 42, who has been performing in Dubai for several years, will perform in the city for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic struck over two years ago at Agenda, Media City, on Saturday.

The EDM sensation who has won the Best Electronic Single at the Global Indian Music Awards for his tracks Little Loto and Jungle Raja featuring Divine, aka Vivian Wilson Fernandes, an Indian rapper from Mumbai.

He weighs in on the popularity of EDM. “Now, EDM is turning into pop music, at least the mainstream genres,” says Nucleya, who got nominated for the Best Music Album for Shakun Batra directed film Kapoor & Sons” (2016) at the Mirchi Music, Filmfare awards. He also got nominated for the Best Indian Act at the MTV Europe Music awards.

Nucleya is candid about how DJs like him find it difficult to collaborate with anybody and everybody as the industry is largely governed by music labels and giant companies amid a changing landscape where Spotify and Anghami, especially in this part of the world, appear to rule the roost.

“Most of the chart-topping performers globally have a year’s plan in place, which they chase along with their teams. So, it’s difficult to find a suitable time and collaborate. Time is of the essence and it’s always a task to fit in such collaboration amid the hectic schedule. Besides, it’s difficult to find like-minded people who want to push creative boundaries and try something new,” he says.

His workflow, he says, is at odds with the industry back home. “My way of collaborating is different from how music labels or streaming applications (apps) work. I’m all for experimentation about how an individual’s voice fits for a particular track and reputation be damned,” he says.

Is Bollywood ready for EDM? This has been a raging debate for long and Nucleya offers his own take. “Bollywood music is largely tailored to films, which are governed by corporate entities. Consequently, the scope to do different genres of music is rare, as the investments are often made in non-creative pursuits. A music composer’s primary task is experimentation, which is grossly missing in Bollywood. Fortunately, the south Indian film industry is an open forum for creativity. However, there are some incredible talents in Bollywood, who are composing amazing music, despite the obvious constraints and commercial pulls and pressures,” he explains.

Contrary to popular perception, EDM is not a bridge with several south Asian musical genres. “EDM is a genre that’s been around for a long time, it has a formula. But a lot of the artistes are trying different rhythms and still making music that is not EDM yet has a mass appeal,” says Nucleya, who has lived in Dubai in the earlier part of his career and can’t even remember when he came here first. Though he has performed in other cities in the Middle East, he “ranks Dubai as top of the heap”.

“I’d say, Dubai is open to all genres of music because it’s a melting pot of diverse nationalities and their cultural mores. Dubai is as global as it can get, which strikes a big chord for a performer,” he says.

Nucleya is all praise for Ashwin Sancheti, managing partner, Spotlight Entertainment, the promoter of Saturday’s live event. “I had a word with Ashwin a couple of years ago and the show was lined up before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Luckily, Ashwin and his team waited patiently for this long, which underscores their professionalism. I’m glad that I got to work with Spotlight Entertainment for this show,” he adds.

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