Metroplus

Connecting the dots

London-based musician Ikonika  

It’s fair to say the music circuit’s peak season has arrived, and the one that dominates is usually the one that’s also usually perennial – the electronic music scene. While DJs and producers are probably just racking up the frequent flier miles as they land to perform at music festivals and club tours, it’s not just about quantity.

That explains why Delhi-based artist and event management company The Wild City is putting together its regular edition of Various Artists, a series that aims to introduce Indian audiences to some of modern music’s best music makers. London-based Ikonika aka Saba Abdel-Hamid, a signee to Hyperdub record label, will be on a three-city tour of India this week, at the Humming Tree in Indiranagar on November 19.

With two albums – Contact, Love, Want, Have (2010) and Aerotropolis (2013) – and a slew of EPs released on Hyperdub and other labels, including her co-owned Hum + Buzz. Ikonika’s sonic palette includes everything from house and grim to hip-hop, UK funky to techno, synthpop and dubstep. In an interview with Metroplus, Ikonika talks about coming to India, her music and future plans.

What is it like coming to India for the first time? Are you taking any pointers from Kode9, who was here earlier?

I’m very excited to soak up the culture and meet like-minded people. I can’t wait to share some music with you guys. Kode9 had an amazing time and I feel very honoured to be a part of this story.

It's a quick three-city tour out here - how did it come about? Are you sticking around in India or do you have head back to the UK right after the shows?

I’ll be on tour for a total of 3 weeks. I’ll go to Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Seoul on this trip. We reached out to a few promoters and luckily we were able to create this amazing tour.

What, if anything, have you heard about India's electronic music scene?

Not much really, but I grew up in Hounslow, West London, which is a very multicultural place and has a great Indian population. I’ve always been around Indian culture. I’m excited to connect the dots and learn from your scene. Please show me everything.

Tell me a bit about the Hyperdub Records scene - because you've been part of it for nearly a decade now - what is it like working with a label like them especially in what was the start of your career as Ikonika?

It’s been great. I feel a part of the family. They’ve always let me be myself creatively and that’s so important in this kind of industry. I started off being a fan. I bought every vinyl they released. I sent tunes to Kode9 and I was so happy he wanted to release my music.

I saw your Instagram and it mentioned you were listening to Babymetal - what kind of other genres and artists do you love? Do they in any way influence you as a producer?

I was in a few hardcore and metal bands growing up. I played the drums. I like searching for new riddims and music that’s visceral. I love a lot of R&B, hip-hop and bashment. Also being from the UK, I have a deep love for garage, grime and UK funky.

What have you got coming up for the rest of the year and 2017? Is there another release coming up after Position EP?

I have a track on the new Night Slugs Allstars compilation, out this month. I’ve done a lot of remixes this year as well. I’m really excited to release my third album with Hyperdub next year.

Since we’re nearing the end of the year, I'd also like to know what you thought of your year – what has been your favourite gig so far?

This year I’ve really been focusing on making new music. I have a few favourites where me and Scratcha DVA played b2b under our ‘Avamix’ alias.

I think my favourite from those were the Mixpak party in New York and the Hyperdub boat party at Outlook festival in Croatia.

(Ikonika and _RHL perform as part of Various Artists at The Humming Tree, Indiranagar, on November 19. Tickets: Rs 500, fully redeemable, available on Insider.in)

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2020 7:20:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Connecting-the-dots/article16643750.ece

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