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James Blake, music producer and singer-songwriter from London, is among the duo's most admired artists. “His music has minimal beats, using simple instruments like the piano and synthesiser,” says Giri.
Musicians such as Blake have given Giri and Tanvi courage to pursue the music they believe in. They are also influenced by Radiohead, Massive Attack, Martina-topley Bird, Burial, Sigur-Ros, Arvo Part and Portishead.
Giri, originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, studied broadcast journalism at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. Tanvi performed in the Christ College choir while performing with various city acoustic groups and bands. In 2009, Tanvi pursued vocal performance at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai. It was serendipity — the two met at a common friend's place, discovered that they shared similar tastes in music and began to jam together. It would prove to be an abiding association, heralding the start of Sulk Station. “The fact that we were in the same city helped. We continued creating music together and performed at gigs in Unwind Centre. We felt encouraged when we received a special jury commendation by the 2010 Toto Funds the Arts: Music Awards,” says Giri.
In 2009, they played, for the first time, a collaborative opening set for Mouse on Mars. Since then, they have played at a number of venues and festivals across Bangalore and Chennai. But while they continue to compose music together, Tanvi teaches music to kids and Giri works as a freelance multimedia artist and is working with a project Yogensha.
Giri and Tanvi contend that their music is honest. “You don't have to sing a Western song with an accent,” says Tanvi . “Music should be part of your identity, and not acquired. I have grown up listening to Bollywood and Western music and ghazals. I am influenced by these various forms, which is expressed in our music. We don't consciously adhere to any style.” Giri admits that though he has been mixing bits and pieces of music from 2004, he is a producer.
Giri has always been fascinated by the arts. Writing interests him and he even trained as a broadcast journalist, but his passion for music continued. Thanks to the Internet, Giri argues, there is more exposure to different genres of music than there was a decade ago. “In India too there has been a change in the music scene, in which the focus has shifted to original song writing. Covers have almost become extinct. The bar is being raised in music with every new album and band.”
The poet in Tanvi comes alive in the songs of “Till You Appear”. “Most of the songs were originally poems. The feeling of yearning has tied all the songs together, hence the name, ‘Till You Appear',” she explains.
“The process of composing music is intensely personal, which eventually becomes public,” says Giri. Tanvi agrees: “We had a story to tell. We had this deep feeling within, which we wanted to express. When I write, I put out my most private emotions, and when someone connects with them, it's wonderful.”
“Till You Appear” is available on Soundcloud.com for streaming. The album will be launched at BFlat today, along with 3Sevens, a solo project by Kamal Singh (aka Lounge Piranha) at 8.30 p.m. For details, call 25278361.