Get to know the music of Moebius AKA Nikunj Patel.
As we approach Independence Day, we’re celebrating some of the country’s finest independent musicians. This time around, we’re chatting with Nikunj Patel AKA Moebius who’s music draws influences from an array of electronic artists. His talents aren’t limited to music and he’s got some stunning visuals that accompany his music thanks to that.
We had a brief chat with Nikunj about his music influences and more. Here’s what he had to say:
When did your musical journey start? Tell us about the history.
My journey started back in the 3rd grade when I started learning the Harmonium. I played indian Classical Music for the next 5 years till I touched a guitar for the first time in the 8th grade, in boarding school (Rishi Valley school). That’s when there was no stopping and taught myself the instrument through books and the internet. I also started learning the mridangam at around the same time, delving a little bit into Carnatic classical. I’ve dabbled with music for a very long time but most of it felt like aimless wandering. I had a band in school and we wrote some original music which pushed me a tad towards arrangement and composition. Once we graduated from boarding school, all of us went to different colleges in different cities and countries making it impossible to play together. That’s when I started playing around with music production, trying to be a one-man-band. I also started my study in animation at NID (the National Institute of Design) and applying my skills trying to collaborate with active musicians in the field at that time, bringing me closer to where most Indian electronic music was created and consumed.
How would you describe the music you make?
While I have a long way to go, at the moment I think of my music as collages. It does draw heavy influences and uses techinques from classical and instrumental hip-hop but using my sonic palette.
How do you think your music represents you on a personal level?
My music comes from a place of isolation and the process of making it uplifts me. It’s pretty close to how I’m feeling and what I’m exploring at the time that it’s made. I don’t through this through lyrics but moods and movements within the music. This is just the beginning of my musical journey and I slowly want my music to start reflecting the diversity of music that I listen to, as well as use it to tap into my abstract thought.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
I’m professionally an animator, illustrator and a VJ (live visuals for music) and work very closely with music and musicians, so one can say that I’m thinking about music and am surrounded by it even when I’m not making it. I work on music videos, album covers, logo designs, I tour with musicians as a VJ and also provide visuals for stages at some of the most popular music festivals in the country such as the NH7 weekender and Magnetic fields amongst a few others.
Who are your biggest influences?
I find artists like Jon Hopkins, Moderat, Taylor Mcferrin, Hiatus Kaiyote, Yussef Kamaal, Lapalux, Bonobo, floating points, four tet, Burial and more very inspiring and exciting. From a slightly different spectrum, I’m also a huge fan of Sufjan Stevens, The Album leaf, The Dandy Warhols and such. I listen to a lot of obscure jazz and explore foreign soundtrack Libraries music from the 70s and 80s when I’m looking for melodic inspiration.
Name your 5 favourite albums of all time.
Taylor Mcferrin – Early Riser,
Zero 7 – Yeah Ghost,
Bonobo – The North Borders,
Jon Hopkins – Immunity,
Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
Which Indian indie act are you listening to right now? What do you like about their music?
I’ve been really digging Parekh & Singh’s music. I love that their music is whimsical and so is the universe that they and their collaborators have built around them.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to keep making music of course, but also to find new ways of performing and delivering it to offline audiences. The plan is also to marry my visual practices with my music to create an audio-visual act. I’m also part of a newly launched collective called Jwala which is focused towards putting out consistent compilations of new fresh music and tapping into the plethora of Producers than exist all over India, and we have a whole bunch of exciting ventures planned.