He is a one-man army under the on-stage alias ‘Nucleya’, and is regarded as a pioneer of the dub step genre in India.
Whether it’s a club or stadium in the country from Delhi to Chennai or overseas, Nucleya’s army of fans follow him wherever he goes. Nucleya, aka Udyan Sagar, is undoubtedly the country’s most popular and influential independent artist. Today, the 39-year-old who hails from Agra but was raised in Ahmedabad has dabbled in Bollywood and glitch-hop and has performed at several international music festivals exposing his music to a very different audience.
Over the past few years, Nucleya has made his mark as an Indian dance music producer, producing anthems and also releasing his short EP albums Beat 1 (2009), Pragat Pritam (2009), Horn OK Please (2010), Koocha Monster (2013), Bass Rani (2015), Raja Baja (2016) that bring about the soundtrack of a new Indian generation, frenetic, loud and unabashedly Indian. He is famous for songs like Street Boy, Bangla Bass, Mumbai Dance, Akkad Bakkad, Kudi (Nucleya Remix) from these EPs. Today, the Nucleya sound is in itself a genre and has spawned the rise of producers making desi bass. His latest work is for the Bollywood film Kapoor And Sons on the track Let’s Nacho, a collaboration with Badshah and Benny Dayal.
In an exclusive chat with VERUS FERREIRA, the cool and charming DJ reveals his love for the genre and facts many know little about.
How did you get interested in music?
There was always music playing at home; my father is very fond of music. I love Bollywood songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s. I grew up listening to Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal and Madan Mohan. So I guess it was homegrown.
You started off in the 1990’s with Bandish Projekt and you are now a soloist. How has the journey been?
It’s too big a transition to sum up in a few lines. What I can tell you for sure is that it’s been a great learning experience for me. Each moment taught me a lot. Every collaboration taught me a lot and whoever I am today is because of that. I began in the late ‘90s as co-founder of Bandish Projekt along with friend and longtime collaborator Mayur Narvekar. Mayur was also my schoolmate and initially we formed the band Private Sochalay that was renamed Bandish Projekt in 1997. But I decided to switch places with Bandish Projekt later on to work with different styles of music.
Why the decision to go solo?
I wanted to explore more as a solo artist and experiment further with different music styles and sounds.
You have worked on several collaborations over the years. Tell us a few interesting experiences you’ve had.
When I collaborated with Chinnaponnu (a folk and playback singer from Tamil Nadu), I was humming her melodies and she wrote lyrics to it which I had no idea about, but we ended up making some cool songs. (Laughs)