Sheen like Charlie: Shayan Roy and MALFNKTION on their new single

Aditya Alamuru aka MALFNKTION

Aditya Alamuru aka MALFNKTION   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sometime in early 2018, Mumbai-based comedy artist Shayan Roy met Bengaluru-based producer Aditya Alamuru aka MALFNKTION at a house party and the former was intent on impressing him.

Roy laughs, “I just started freestyling to a beat, mostly to just show off to him, and luckily it worked.” Cut to a year later and they already have two songs out together, with Roy finally showcasing his rap skills and Alamuru going back to his roots as a hip-hop loving beatmaker on songs like ‘Vincent Chase Slippin’ and their latest, via JioSaavn’s Artist Originals series, ‘Charlie’, which released this week.

Shayan Roy

Shayan Roy   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Okay with vice

MALFNKTION, who has been releasing music since 2014, broke ground in 2015 with the release of his debut EP, Hindustani Rascal, which spliced together samples of yesteryear Bollywood music and electronic hip-hop. The producer, who has collaborated with singers such as Kalyaani and Zoya, shifted his focus hip-hop side over the last two years. But he notes that the idea for ‘Charlie’ originated from Roy.

The producer recalls that when they were still working on ‘Vincent Chase Slippin’ last year, Roy sent over a demo he made of ‘Charlie’. “It happened in a matter of days. We have this artistic bond. I can understand the music or beat that can fit what he sings,” he says. Roy, for his part, has been in blues and alt rock bands, but only got back into hip-hop in the last couple of years owing to “people around me”. He namechecks everyone from hip-hop group Brockhampton to noisier acts like Death Grips and JPEGMAFIA as his current favourites, but brings more of an effortless quickfire flow on ‘Charlie’, which is about seeking the high, even if it’s overindulgent. He says, “The song was coming to terms with the fact that some parts of your life won’t be perfect. You can have these vices and be hedonistic, and that’s fine. You don’t have to be a perfect individual.” Over a tunneling, somewhat eerie background, ‘Charlie’ features a deep beat and horn-like synth leads that occasionally get layered over icy percussion. Roy, meanwhile, brings his smart alec bars that throw in references to Jay-Z’s ’99 Problems’, fantasy show Game of Thrones and, of course, substances.

Looking ahead

The song has been performed a few times whenever the duo has had a chance to be in the same city, and there is likely to be at least one more track out as well. “We also have a music video that’s coming out. This is tying into a project, called FNKNATION, where I collaborate with MCs. The idea is to release it through 2019, if I finish it all,” MALFNKTION says. Roy, too, is collaborating with more rappers and producers in India’s ever-growing hip-hop community, with plans to release solo material soon. “My beats admittedly are a bit basic, so I saw Adi (MALFNKTION) work and I’m learning a lot from him. I’m collaborating with a bunch of people from (hip-hop label) Azadi Records and we’re sending the tracks back and forth, that’s how I’m learning,” he concludes.

‘Charlie’, an Artist’s Original, is available on JioSaavn

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:34:39 PM |

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