Chat: Tapan Raj of Midival Punditz says the group enjoys live shows as they are dynamic
It was when they realised that Western dance music wasn’t connecting with them on the same emotional level as India’s own classical and folk music that they decided to do something about it. Back in 1997, two Delhi-based producers, Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj came together to form Midival Punditz. And thus began a journey that has witnessed major peaks in their career graph.
The Midival Punditz were in Bangalore last weekend as part of the Bacardi Weekender and prior to their gig, Tapan got chatting with us.
Expressing his joy at being among the forerunners of dance music in India, Tapan says: “We’ve come a long way and feel very fortunate to be a part of this revolution that has gained momentum in India. Our music is honest, straightforward and talks about our lives and experiences and that has garnered the interest of our fans.”
Over the span of their career, the duo has released three albums. Their first released in 2002 was with Six Degrees Records in the US, making them the first Indian electronica artistes to release on an international label. The next two albums were released in 2005 and 2009.
“We’re going to be playing a DJ set at your city. What we love about live shows is that they’re dynamic and there’s so much energy. Live shows and albums go hand in hand. We test our songs, get feedback, go back and tweak our record work accordingly. Live shows give us the platform to try out new stuff and it’s great to have so many music festivals like this,” Tapan says.
Their albums and gigs apart, the Midival Punditz are also popular producers and remixers in filmdom, with remix credits for some of the biggest Bollywood soundtracks such as the 2008 blockbusters Don and Chak De India and most recently they composed the background score for Karthik Calling Karthik with Karsh Kale. They have also licensed music to some of the slickest Hollywood films like Closer and hit TV shows such as Prison Break and Six Feet Under.
About their creative process, Tapan informs: “We typically start with a sound, beat or a vocal piece that stirs us and then we progress to develop it. When we make music that has been commissioned to us for a film, for example, while our influences remain, we have a mandate to adhere to and we do what the movie calls for.”
In terms of how they’ve evolved over almost two decades, the artiste explains: “Our music has definitely progressed. From our influences and collaborations to the sound and production, there has been tremendous growth.”
Some of their recent collaborations have been with folk maestros Kutle Khan and Malini Awasthi. “It’s equal amounts of fun and learning when you interact and collaborate with artistes like these,” he says.
Looking ahead, the Midival Punditz are working on their fourth studio album which is expected to be launched at the end of 2013. Tapan wraps up informing: “It is a single piece of music that will take listeners through various moods.”