Udyan Sagar aka Nucleya’s sound is better heard than described. In fact, this musical mash-up is so eclectic that it’s rather difficult for one to wrap their head around. He’s given a fresh sound to Indian electronica — taking dialogue from a Hindi film, elements from Indian folk music or sounds from the streets, layering them over edgy beats and rhythms.
“Since the very beginning, I have tried to play with sounds that don’t necessarily go together. I find it very difficult to make simple music — I try to make complicated music sound simple,” says the self-taught music producer.
Sagar, who delved into music in the late ’90s when he co-founded Indian electronica music group Bandish Projekt, has been a solo act under the alias of Nucleya for almost four years. And in this short span of time, has evolved into a musical pioneer, taking Indian electronica to another level altogether. “Formal training in music leads to limitations. As I haven’t had any, I don’t limit myself to musical structures. I do whatever comes to mind and excites me. It’s the concept and idea which interest me the most.”
His music has shades of various genres — dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass (DNB), baile funk (a type of dance music from Rio de Janeiro, derived from Miami bass) and moombahton (a fusion genre of house music and reggaeton) — mashed up with various sounds from the motherland. “My earlier musical influences include early jungle music from London and old Hindi film music that my father would always play at home,” shares the 33-year-old who opened for superstar DJ David Guetta in May in Delhi.
Born in Agra, Sagar grew up in Ahmedabad and is now based in Delhi — he has also lived in Dubai and Goa and shifted to the Capital a year ago. He has numerous achievements to his name including about 15 singles, two albums and an eight-city tour last year with Radio Mirchi and Rolling Stone magazine to promote his Indian electro/dubstep/DNB album, Horn OK Please.
The producer’s tracks have also been featured on BBC Radio 1, UK, and other radio stations across the globe. His track, In My Heart, made it to Beatport’s top 50 dubstep charts.
His music fest participation includes the likes of Glastonbury (UK), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK), Lille 3000 (France) and the Electron Festival (Switzerland).
Sagar’s favourite recent collaboration is that with a Chennai-based Telegu folk singer, Chinnaponnu (he recorded five tracks with her). “Most Indian fusion music uses Indian classical music, not many touch upon folk as I have,” he shares.
The multi-tasker is currently making music and background scores for an upcoming Bollywood film, Bombay’s Most Wanted, by director Aditya Bhattacharya, which will release by the end of the year. His fourth EP, set to come out in a month, will also bring out his first music video for the track, Jam Rock, to be shot by an Australian film director. Sagar has also started shooting for music TV series, The Dewarists (season 2), on Star World and has been offered another Bollywood film project.
And, an innovator at heart, the producer will turn inventor to create an instrument for music producers. “It will be a smaller version of a synthesiser with just seven notes instead of 12 which will help one play music on a particular scale, ensuring one always hits the right note,” he explains.
Despite being a determined musician, Sagar is a family man. He is a dedicated husband and father to a one-year-old son. “If my kid wants me, he wants me. I drop everything to be there for him, no matter what. Juggling a career as a musician with a family is a very difficult task but I want to enjoy these moments as well. It’s very special for me.”
Nucleya showed the local crowd what he was made of during his DJ set in city at The Blue Blazer, Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Saturday night for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender pre-party along with Tapan Raj of the Midival Punditz. Despite his very unique and new sound, he had tricity clubbers lapping it up on the dance floor. Especially the tricity’s dub heads who were heartily head-banging in front of the DJ console.