Kunaal Gurbaxani is a familiar name on the Indian bass scene. You probably know him better as Gurbax.
The 24-year-old Bengaluru boy has seen a steady rise to fame, thanks to touring the country and opening for massive artistes like Steve Aoki, David Satori (Beats Antique), NGHTMRE, Hang Massive and Gaudi.
He was also in the news for being the brain child of Boom Shankar, a crowd-funded that saw the city in raptures in its last edition.
But mostly, he is known for his music — a broken beat electronica or trap that’s influenced by a smorgasbord of genres, a unique blend that he’s all set to showcase at the Church Street Social on August 12.
Growing up in the lap of Bengaluru’s metal scene had Kunaal be a part of punk rock and trash metal bands in school. “Thanks to my social circle, the guitar was a big part of my life, although I took piano lessons as a kid,” he tells us. But it was on taking off to the US to do a degree in industrial engineering that he was introduced to the world of what you could call ‘real’ electronic music.
“Even after I got back to India, I worked for a couple of months while taking on monthly gigs. I had to convince my parents that it was not something that I wanted to try, but something that I was here to do,” says the musician who is a self-taught DJ and an Ableton- certified producer from Dubspot School of Music Production in New York City. It was when his work begun to get in the way of his music that he decided to quit and pursue it full time.
Since then, he has been touring the subcontinent, showing people that electronic music is far from the sounds of typical EDM, “That’s just the tip of the iceberg and there’s a whole world beneath it. It’s up to you what you want to make of electronic music.”
To show what he means, he effortlessly adds a smattering of everything from rock and funk to Indian sounds and flawlessly brings it under the electronic umbrella. Kunaal also sees himself as a workaholic.
“Every second I’m not in my studio, I feel like I’m wasting time. I’m torn sometimes between hanging out with my friends and work,” he says.
And that shows in his tracks – His fourth original, a viral ‘desi trap’ tune called Boom Shankar hit almost 150 thousand plays without support from any labels or blogs! Why you ask? Think Punjabi with hip-hop and a burst of sarangi with electronica.
“I’m currently working on a new remix that should be out in the next couple of weeks, alongside my original tracks. There’s probably an international show in the offing too. And of course, a second edition of the festival,” he says, even as he hits reset playing squash, reveling in concerts or crying with laughter as he unwinds with Impractical Jokers. For him, it’s all about whatever gives him good vibes....