Artist SHRI’S music is an interesting new blend of the INDIAN and the INTERNATIONAL
recommends you tune into the music of Uk-based folktronica artist Shri, whose incredible sound incorporates the lilts of his signature fretless bass and bow, filtered through the energy of drums and bass, electronica rhythm, and Indian ragas with cyclonic jazz improvisations. Intensely lyrical yet with a traditional twinge, the sounds are bound to have you swaying.
A trained tabla player with strong roots in classical Indian music, Shri (born Shrikanth Sriram) has been a prolific member of the Asian dub scene and has recently scored the music for a Google short film on Tanjore Art. “Studying and being immersed in Indian classical music in India has given me really strong roots. Also, I am finding myself unconsciously regurgitating pieces of music my father played on the sitar or my mother and sister played on the Carnatic violin. These are finding their way into my expression, and it’s all very exciting without trying too hard.”
Calling his style of music Organic Electronica, Shri’s core strength is perhaps his fretless bass and bow, which he crafted himself. “I could not afford the bass I wanted to play, and I wanted something which was designed for my particular style of playing, with a bit of hands-on craftsmanship. I did not realise at the time what an amazing connection I would forge with it (the instrument) and also the uniqueness it would lend to my playing! Now we are one and the same—the only thing is that sometimes it is more famous than me.”
Shri’s collaborations have so far ranged from an album with another dub artist, DJ Badmarsh, to working on the musical travelogue show
The Dewarists with electronica artiste Monica Dogra of Shaa’ir+func. “It’s high time independent music started to become a scene and not just a spattering of musicians aping the West,” says Shri. India is a huge country with a hell of a lot of talent—it’s just that people need to believe in themselves a bit more, to be themselves and be strong in their own expression, instead of following the path of the least common denominator.” As he currently works towards his debut album Shrilektric and also a new Badmarsh&shri compilation, one can look forward to more of this artiste as he gets set to perform live gigs in the country.