Delhi-based trio of Arsh Sharma, Srijan Mahajan along with Nikhil Malik (together known as Studio Fuzz, a music production company) are the men behind the soundtrack that packs in a range of ‘highs and lows’, ranging from rock, jazz electronic music to an element of folk-fusion. When not at the studio, the three young men are busy performing their rockstar duties with some of the best known bands of North-India such as Parikrama, Fuzz Culture, Half Step Down, Cyanide and The Circus.
Srijan and Arsh as a part of Fuzz Culture put out their 3rd release titled Twins, after the critically acclaimed EP Indulge.Divulge in 2013 and full length album NO in 2015. Twins is a short two song collaborative EP with 2 artists, Twins has Raoul Kerr a rapper from New Delhi featuring in the first song “Be A Monster” and British/Indian singer Heather Andrews featuring on the second single “Gemini”. Both the songs have the singers collaborating with Arsh Sharma on the vocals. The album is a concept EP dwelling into the subject of bipolarity, duality and of opposite natures.
What is the concept behind Studio Fuzz?
Srijan: Studio Fuzz for us is a one stop shop for anything to do with music. From scoring films, documentaries, ad jingles to producing songwriters and bands, we do pretty much everything related to music on and off screen. We love what we do and want to make music for the better of the industry and change how Indian music is perceived by audiences around the world.
Arsh: Studio Fuzz is just three of us trying to be the best possible composers we can be and we aim to make the best music possible for all of people’s visual artistic needs an e love to work with film makers , productions houses and all. We also wanted to create a space which is very fulfilling for an artist to be in.
Nikhil: We built this studio out of passion and we love fuzz. Fuzz being a musical effect that was used by a lot of cool guitar players back in the 70’s namely Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. It’s symbolic for attitude and aggression.
Each of you are a part of some of the leading bands in the country if you aren’t in the studio. How do you manage to multi task?
Srijan: – Between the three of us, we have an understanding with regards to the studio and we do what it takes to make sure we meet deadlines even if it means working from 3 different parts of the world, which we incidentally have done! No matter where we are or who we’re playing with, we’re always available online and thankfully havent missed any deadlines yet!
Arsh: Well we’ve never missed a deadline in our lives! But how we’ve done it as a completely different question, we generally keep things task based rather than how many hours a day one one works, as long as the tasks are completed everyone is free to do what they want.
Nikhil: The amount of bands and projects that I’ve taken up make me a serious case of ADD. There is always so much going on. I think over the years we’ve learnt to cover up for each other. This is possible only because we have spent so much time together that now we understand each other’s workflow. We also help out each other in any projects that we take up other than the studio. It’s much more than just professional association. It’s family.
Your trippy soundtrack for M Cream was super! How was the experience working on it?
Srijan: Thank you! Composing the soundtrack for this film was one of the most fun experiences for us. We immersed ourselves into it completely for about 6 months where we had the film on our screens and were just noodling with our instruments while watching it. Agneya was one of the best directors we have ever worked with and struck the perfect balance between knowing what he wanted and letting us do our thing. He’d give us references which were totally on point and we’d sit and do something and every week have a meeting which would end up being 6 hours long where we would sit and discuss the weeks progress and Agneya would give us detailed notes.
Arsh: Thanks! Agneya was one of the best directors we have ever worked with and struck the perfect balance between knowing what he wanted and letting us do our thing. He’d give us references which were totally on the same page and we’d sit and do something and every week have a meeting which would end up being 6 hours long where we would sit and discuss the weeks progress and Agneya would give us detailed notes.
Nikhil: I would like to go on record and say that we weren’t tripping at all while doing the score. Probably the most sober score we’ve done so far. The reason why it works for me is because I feel the movie was made entirely out of passion and we just replicated it. It was our first film and we were driven beyond belief. You won’t believe it but there were times when I would be going back home after working on the score and wonder.. “How did we write that piece of music today?” . It felt like the music wrote itself.
What according to you lacks in the current music scene?
Srijan: I think our Indian music “scene” is pretty great with gigs happening in mot major cities at least twice a week with all sorts of different music playing. There’s some awesome music coming out from our country and if only we could promote that instead of forcing the same few cliques of artists down peoples throats, it would be amazing!
Arsh: I just think our music scene is very clique based and if all of us stopped giving work to just our friends but instead let the market be a little more open and accept the different flavours that different artists get in we would be a lot better off as there is enough space for everyone in our scene.
Nikhil: I feel that currently there’s too much confusion because of the departure of the “rock” sound and the arrival of mainstream electronic music. The right people are cashing on this confusion and making millions. Make popular music and suddenly you’ll feel nothing is lacking. But on the other hand, people who make heartfelt music or stick to their art will always feel that something is lacking, either audience or money. Art can either be the poorest or the richest profession. Only you can decide how you want to pursue it.
Do you think there is a need for more music production companies like yours in India?
Srijan: I would like to think so!
Arsh: I mean for sure, why not?
Nikhil: I think there should be an instrument in every household. Playing an instrument should be compulsory in every school. We need more musicians, quality musicians. Music producers who perfect their art before going commercial. I come across a handful of producers on a regular who only talk commerce and no music. Doesn’t make sense to me but I wish the best for them too.
Tell us something special about each one of you from the music perspective that makes you guys the perfect trio.
Srijan: I think we all have our roles in the studio which although over lap quite a bit, help streamline the process we work with and make what we do so effortless.
Arsh: We all do different things and the fact that we have three so powers in one studio who haven’t yet killed each other makes us quite a perfect trio. Mostly the fact that I think we are good friends, I think that’s the most important.
Nikhil: I think Srijan is the OCD king. He needs cleanliness and maintains discipline in the studio with respect to deadlines. That’s why he’s nicknamed “DADA” (Elder Brother)
Arsh is the exact opposite. You can bathe him with diet coke and he’ll be the happiest. Always working, always sleeping… no one knows.
I like to be the balance between the two and act on situation. I play video games. 🙂
What are your next projects that we can look forward to?
Srijan: With the studio, we’re currently working on a few corporate projects including some from LA and hope to branch out to other parts of the world. With Fuzz Culture, we’re ready with the EP “Twins” and are in the process of finishing the videos that will support the release of the 2 songs.
Arsh: I’m also working with Point Of View from Dubai and am also thinking about making some new circus music. With FuzzCulture we’ve already started composing our next record beyond “Twins” and are figuring what to do with it, we are also looking at taking this act to as many parts of the world as we possibly can! Let’s see how that goes 🙂
Nikhil: We did a short film called “Mast Qalandar” and it’s travelling to more than 20 film festivals this year including one in Lahore.
Your message to readers of the magazine.
Srijan: Say no to drugs and yes to art.
Arsh: Have a good time in life, listen to some music, make some friends and try to relax. No one asked us before we were born and we are going to die and have no idea how it’s going to end so the best thing to do is to have a good time without any fear of consequence and to do what you think your inner voice tells you!
Nikhil: You are reading a great magazine! Please score from reliable sources! 😉