Mumbai-based Shridevi Keshavan of the electronica outfit Gods Robots talks about hitting the right notes with the other half of the group, San Francisco-based DJ Janaka Atugoda
Though they live in different continents, they make music; and not just some music, but music that has found a colossal fan following around the globe.
When Mumbai-based singer Shridevi Keshavan (aka Taamara) and San Francisco-based DJ Janaka Atugoda (aka Janaka Selekta) first came together to form their electronic outfit, Gods Robots, in 2009, the two had never met in person.
Says Shridevi in a telephonic interaction, “We have worked online together for almost three years and though it was different and difficult, we’ve managed to pull it off. When Janaka started coming to India of late and spending a couple of months here, it has worked out even better for us.”
She adds: “Janaka would work on the music while I was ready to go to sleep and when it was time for him to hit the sack; I would start working on my part of the music and send it to him. Our daily routines took quite a bashing and we didn’t have a social life until recently. Now that Janaka has been in New Delhi, we are working on some new material together.”
The Gods Robots sound is defined by their unique blend of English lyrics juxtaposed with Shri’s ethereal voice and mesmerizing Carnatic alaaps. Her vocal style is marked by a unique soulful dub inflected swing. According to Janaka, “Our signature sound comprises many elements of the things we love, hear and get excited by. Our songs focus on lyrical ideas of real life experiences. The music we make together comes from the merging of both our individual backgrounds in the field. We don’t want to classify our music as a particular type. This is just music, the way it’s supposed to be.”
Their performances are a fresh blend of cross-cultural dance music with a high energy live music edge. Their music contains elements of drumstep, dubstep, hip hop, dub and even drum n bass shine as the vocalist segues effortlessly from soulful and bluesy English lyrics to classical Indian melodies. Adding to the cutting edge sound, Janaka dubs all parts of the performance using his state of the art electronics rig, creating sets that are both dynamic and infectious.
Having released an EP in 2011, their soon-to-be launched self titled debut album consists of 12 original tracks. Janaka informs: “The album chronicles the last three years of our lives as Gods Robots- the life cycle of not having gigs to having a huge record label approach us.”
This album will be released by Folktronic (Sony Music Independent) on digital platforms worldwide by the end of the month. Additionally, a limited number of physical copies will be available exclusively in India by June.
Looking ahead, Janaka says: “We hope to put together more live/stage performances this year with people we enjoy working with- sarod maestro Ustad Alam Khan and sarangi pro Suhel Khan. By the end of the year, we should have finished recording our second album and we’re looking forward to doing some international tours this year.”
Gods Robots will perform tonight at BFlat, Indiranagar from 8:30 pm. For details, call 25278361.