Artist of the month: Siva Baskaran a.k.a Native Indian

Why the name Native Indian?

The name “Native Indian” points towards sensibilities that are native to the people who have grown up in this Indian landscape. A kind of conditioning that is unique to the people who have lived in this environment. When this project started out, this vision was quite nascent and my efforts were just to have a subliminal touch on things that are characteristically Indian. Things that would be relatable to someone who has grown up in an Indian household but at the same time not be alien to someone who is not. In fact, my aim was for it to act as a gateway for someone outside to have a view at the smaller details of this Indian landscape, its ideologies, its evolution etc. As the elements of the music, the stories and narratives came together, the purpose of the name revealed itself more evidently.

What are some of the gear you use and why do you like them?

The two most important piece of gear without which I would not be able to perform are

  1. The Native Instruments Maschine MKIII controller – because it also acts as a soundcard and with my laptop only having two USB slots, It saves me to have the Maschine that runs my synths and loops and also acts as a soundcard.
  2. The TC helicon Voice Live Touch 2 – All the different voices in the album were recorded directly using the effects in the voice effects unit. I printed my vocals with the voice modulations directly because that’s how much I was sure that those were the exact effects and modulations I wanted. This also helps me recreate those same voice effects and modulations live as well.

You are a Native instruments artist. Which are your favorite products of theirs and why?

The Native Instruments Maschine is my favourite product, simply because I grew up using it over the last 6-7 years and right from the beginning, it has been my go-to tool for composing. I’ve adapted well to it and I have my own workflow with it. In fact, in the months to come, I will be making a separate series of video content to showcase my work flow with the Maschine using some tracks for the album as examples. I have also heard amazing things about the Traktor series but that product line is more for DJ-ing while the Maschine is more of a composition and production tool.

Tell us about your upcoming projects

The upcoming content is still in works. Anything I say now is likely to change in the future. But at the outset, I hope to create a cross-medium audio visual story. There are lot of underlying narratives of the recently released album that will add more context to the music itself but is yet to released/revealed. I have been speaking of these narratives in live performances but I have not digitally released these stories yet. So at the moment, I am keen on developing a digital comic series that portrays the stories in the album visually. #Lookingforcollaborators . I see “Native Indian” as a developing story line that will augment various mediums of expression and become a fictional universe of its own. In the first album “Vol 1: Nature of the Self” , we saw a God-like creature traveling back in time to understand it’s roots and where it’s genetic conditioning comes from. Incidentally, this takes the being (and the listener) on a journey through time to various ancestors who have lived in our Indian environment and the systems that governed those periods of time.