By Prasanta Phukon
#SahejBakshi and his electronica are not unknown to the city. The musician, who performs under the stage name #DualistInquiry, was in #Shillong recently. In fact, it was a homecoming for this Goa-based artiste.
Bakshi had been performing in Shillong for years now, the first time being in 2011. After that he has been coming at least once every year.
“This city is unlike any other place in India. The audience here is genuinely there for music as the city has a long history of different forms of music. Now, people are opening up to electronica and enjoy it as they would enjoy rock music,” the 29-year-old musician told Sunday Shillong in an email interview.
Apart from music, the place’s natural beauty, clean air and #Jadoh stalls have always attracted Bakshi.
Originally from #Chandigarh, Bakshi recently moved to Goa after living in Delhi for nine years. Nature has deep impact on him and the musician wakes up early every morning to enjoy the serene beauty sitting in his studio. His two feline friends are always with him. “They sit in the studio when I work on my music. They are the best roommates,” he said.
Bakshi started playing guitar at the age of nine and gradually learned to play other instruments. He got into electronic music when he was in college in Los Angeles. At the age of 20, he decided to be a musician and started his career in music in 2010. His first album was #Doppleganger that was released in 2013. He wrote it in about 3-5 months and was blown away by the overwhelming response from listeners.
On his biggest achievement so far, the artiste’s candid answer was, “surviving a decade in the music industry”.
“I am grateful that things worked out the way they should have been. There were challenges and struggles which made my journey a wild ride and in retrospect, I feel that I do not want to change anything,” he said.
The musician also accords much of his success to his fans “without whose support, nothing could have been possible”.
His journey also includes some incidents which make him laugh every time he looks back. Narrating one such incident, Bakshi said once a journalist interviewed him thinking he was musician Udyan Sagar, who is popular by the stage name Nucleya. He cooperated and answered all the questions diligently. These are things which, the artiste believes, bring relief amid the struggles.
According to Bakshi, he is greatly inspired by artistes like Jon Hopkins, Four Tet and Caribou but does not consider any of them as his idol because “I believe that for each artiste, it is important to walk his or her own path and create own sound”. Currently, he is listening to alternative genres like French electro, Italo disco and other regional dance music genres.
On his favourite creation so far, Bakshi, who is working on his next EP and album, said, “It is hard for me to pick one but I think I captured a beautiful honesty when I wrote Orbital and Qualia in my first EP. Even the song You & Me featuring #SanchalMalhar was a happy accident, and I love it when songs are created that way. I am also excited about the new music I am working on and sharing it with my fans.”
But the artiste feels that as a musician, there is still room for him to improve through regular practice, learning new things on digital platform and staying curious.
Bakshi also wants to support local musicians. He never misses a chance to listen to or interact with unknown musicians despite his busy schedule. He urged all Shillongites to extend support to local artistes by buying tickets for their events. “All of this will one day build a strong music scene in every part of the country,” he asserted.
He also has a few words of advice for upcoming musicians. #Plagiarism is a no and Bakshi believes in original music and advises young artistes to do so. “Also, one should not jump into doing something just because it is popular right now, that boat has sailed. Be as honest as you can while writing music, the rest will fall in place. It is important that one forms a strong community and support system around oneself, whether it’s family, friends or fellow musicians. They will help you when the going gets tough,” he said.
Bakshi has always thought that music is the “perfect job” for him. But what if he had never gotten into music? “Then probably I would have been a filmmaker or chef,” he said.