Unnayanaa aka Prashanth Pallemoni is not your average DJ/music producer. Decidedly experimental, offbeat and unconventional, his sound is a wonderfully refreshing blend of diverse genres, right from Indian classical to reggae, jazz, disco and everything in between. “I grew up on a staple diet of music by singer and actor KL Saigal (thanks to my grandfather’s obsession with the gentleman), Hindustani music (my mum was a singer), and Fleetwood Mac and The Beach Boys, that my dad would bring back from his travels around the world,” begins Bengaluru-based Pallemoni, who is set to release a new album next month.
Describing his music as ‘experimental house’ and quickly following it up with, ‘I don’t know if it’s a genre but it comes closest to the right description,’ Pallemoni recalls that it was after returning to India after a Sound Engineering course in the UK that he opened his mind to going beyond the conventional boundaries of genres and sounds. “Working with Sam Zaman (State of Bengal), was what made me snap out of the belief that I had to stick to the framework of what was considered house, or hip hop or EDM. I took his advice and here I am... an artiste whose work is not limited by categories and classifications,” he tells us.
Taking us back to how his tryst with making music began, he reveals that it was a software called Acid Pro that nudged him to take the first step. “It was one of those cheesy softwares that gave the common man the ability to make music and I was thrilled,” explains the artiste, who has had a tough life, with music being his only constant. “My brother was in a terrible accident and died when he was little. Then my parents split up. Some time later, my mother killed herself and my dad passed away a few years later. So it’s not been an easy life for me. And it was my music that kept me sane through it all. Thankfully I wasn’t addicted to drugs or alcohol, so I managed to make something of myself,” he shares.
Talking about his forthcoming album, Pallemoni says that it’s a nod to his mentor, Zaman, who urged him to find rhythm in everything. “He would say, pay close attention to everything that is happening around you and you will find a rhythm.”
Extending his reach beyond the norm of notes, his album is a compilation of tracks stitched together with sounds from the everyday grind, from the sound of a tap opening to the hissing of a hot pan. Slated for a mid-March release, we can’t wait for this one to hit the shelves....