We consider ourselves fortunate enough to get a chance to chat with one of the remarkable DJ duos in our country, comprising of Smita Singh and here better half Anushka Menon.
ANUSHKA + AGENT is not like any ordinary artists; with no experience whatsoever these two have managed to fuse together resulting into the melancholy of diverse mash-up from hip-hop, trap, dub and fresh beats to rhythm and breaks.
The duo will feature beside some of the biggest names in the electronic music space like Progressive Brothers, Zaeden for the Budweiser’s brand new What’s Brewing initiative.
Have a read:
1. So how is life off late? You completed one year together as Anushka + Agent, how will you sum your experience of performing together.
Anushka Menon – It’s been a very exciting journey for us both.
Smita Singh – There’s a constant balancing act with life, music, professions and between us.
Both – Our individual tastes and knowledge in music bring uniqueness to our sets. Performing together has brought us closer as friends and we balance each other out in all aspects!
2. The journey of a DJ or a music producer isn’t easy in India, so can you tell us how it all began? How did you come together to make music?
Anushka Menon – I’ve always been musically inclined but Dj’ing was never something I thought I would actually get into, but I thoroughly enjoy it and we both came about after realizing there was a dearth of good music in the city and no female DJs.
Smita Singh – I started DJing because of a dare, actually, never thought it would become so much a part of my life and an expression of who I am.
Both – Initially we started these nights once a month at Summerhouse called SupaFly which were focused on old school hip hop and trap and as these nights got bigger and better we started exploring other genres and getting booked at other venues and now here we are.
3. Both of you come across as two dynamic personalities with a rebellious streak inside you. In fact, this can also be seen in your independent career choices prior to making music. What are your views on this?
Anushka Menon – I think we both believe in working for ourselves, and yes our career paths are ones less taken by females in our country, but it is something that we both are very passionate about.
Smita Singh – I can’t imagine jumping through hoops and challenging myself every single day. If I feel I’ve ‘arrived,’ I’m not doing something right 🙂
Both – We are both so creative and like to be productive and therefore always have more than 1 project going on at a time. It’s the way we both function. Mayhem, madness and never a dull moment!
4. How would you describe this experience of working together as a team? Are there any creative differences? If yes, what’s your approach to resolve them?
Both – We’ve always managed a good balance between us…it happened quite organically. It’s like we are on opposite ends of the spectrum walking towards each other and then we meet bang in the center…that’s kind of how we approach our sets as well. Of course, there have been those few times that we’ve disagreed on something, but there is a lot of trust and love between us, so we harmonize things quickly.
5. Anushka, you had the pleasure of performing at the spectacular Burning Man festival last year. Can you tell how different was the entire experience? Is it all worth the hype?
Anushka Menon – Yes it’s worth it! Burning Man is undoubtedly an insane festival to perform at. The atmosphere, the people, and the vibe are like nothing I have experienced at any other festival I have been to. My performance there was not planned and to be honest, most lines ups are not announced or publicized as BM is not a music festival. You don’t go to BM for the music! I played a few sets while I was there in 2015 and had the pleasure of opening for Diplo on our Art Car.
6. Staying on the festival front, you are one of the co-founders for the Magnetic Fields Festival, which by far is one of the best musical festivals in the country. What was the primary thought process of putting behind such a spectacle? Let me tell you it’s one astonishing experience in both audio and visual senses.
Smita Singh – The idea of doing a festival was first proposed to me by Sarah and Munbir of Wildcity, this was back when I was running TLR in Hauz Khas Village, I’d never been to a music festival at that point but creating one sounded like a dream come true…having worked in fashion, music, food, and design, being able to bring all those elements together to create an immersive, magical experience was really exciting!
7. What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring young female music producers from the country?
Anushka Menon – I think it would be too soon for us to be giving advice 🙂 But from whatever little experience we have – music is universal and can really be used to express yourself, your thoughts and your feelings, it is educational and emotional so do what makes you happy, make the music you want to hear and enjoy the process.
Smita Singh – Creating music is the best gift you can give yourself so just start where you are and don’t get bogged down by the perceived barriers to entry.
8. What’s your take on the Budweiser’s ‘What’s Brewing’ series? We think that it is a wonderful initiative to provide a regular platform to the young, upcoming musical talents from the country. Don’t you think so?
Both – Yes 🙂 Great initiative and we are happy to be a part of it.
9. One last question before our signature rapid-fire ending, What’s Brewing next for Anushka+Agent?
Both – We are working on our original music, so hopefully you will hear something soon
1.Any friend from the electronic music industry you love to share your Budweiser with?
Oh there are so many, Sohrab (Nicholson), Sahej (Dualist), Ankur (When Pandas Attack), Amandeep (Profound), Nikhil (Frame/Frame) to name a few
2. What other genres of music apart from Hip-Hop we might see Anushka+Agent brewing in the future?
We play more bass music nowadays and are very influenced by tribal beats, but we also have this mellow melodic streak to us and love our early morning tech house/ ambient sounds
3. Your dream collaboration?
We are open to whatever comes our way when the time is right
4. Most memorable gig for Anushka +Agent was?
I think it’s the time we ended up playing a 10-hour set till the wee hours in Bangalore…that was magical!
5. If not Anushka+Agent, what another moniker would have you both opted for?
Anushka and Smita probably 😉
ANUSHKA + AGENT will perform at Hauz Khas Social, Delhi on Friday, 30th August for the Budweiser’s new campaign “What’s Brewing”