This is a copy of the interview originally published on live365.com
Gaurav Malhotra and his partner Vikas Goyalare the 21-year-old creators of Asian Vibrations, a station where - as they write in their profile - "the overused statement *east meets west* statement is very applicable." With artists like Talvin Singh, State of Bengal, and Sonorous Star, Asian Vibrations combines classical South Asian music (sitars, polyrhythms, modal scales) with modern drum-n-bass, techno, rock, hip-hop and jungle elements.
We spoke to Malhotra in New York City about his music, and the burgeoning South Asian music scene.
Live365.com: Where do you get most of your music?
Malhotra: Amazon.com. (laughs) No I’m kidding. I find out about it through friends, mostly. I go to Other Music, which is a record store here in New York. It’s great because I can just walk in and check out the albums. They also have a Web site that has practically everything.
Live365.com: How did you first get turned on South Asian music?
Malhotra: Well, actually, it was in a Panasonic commercial I think it was for a CD burner that used this Talvin Singh song. It was the first time I had ever heard the genre. I found the song, which was on a compilation, and looked at the other names and other labels.
Live365.com: What was the song?
Malhotra: Jaan. First song on his Anokha record. We have it in the stream, too.
Live365.com: What are your different roles, you and Vik?
Malhotra: He’s a budding DJ, and I’m the Web site programmer. We both pick out the music. He just recently started getting into vinyl so he can start playing that.
Live365.com: Cool. So is he going to do some mixes on the station?
Malhotra: (laughs) Wait a couple of months. He’s not ready for THAT yet! He plays the tabla, too, and we’re trying to figure out what he can do with that.
Live365.com: How’d you guys meet?
Malhotra: I’ve known him for four years. He’s a good friend - we went to the same high school. He’s now attending Harvard. I’m at SUNY-Binghamton. We’re both trying to get into medical school.
Live365.com: (laughs) Cool. Is there a pretty big South Asian music scene in New York?
Malhotra: Yeah, it’s cool because we’re close to New York City, and there are a lot of events around here. There’s one crew called the Mutiny Crew that throws these parties that have a lot of South Asian artists. There’s another one in San Francisco called the Azad Crew. But South Asian music is big in England, too. Talvin Singh is running still running a club there, and he’s gotten huge.
Live365.com: Are most of the artists that you know of South Asian descent themselves?
Malhotra: Bill Laswell is dabbling in South Asian music. He put out an album called Lo-Def Pressure that’s got a lot of South Asian influences. He also collaborated with Talvin Singh. There’s a group called Dum Dum Project who put out a new album called Desi Vibes; they’re not South Asian at all. Another one, Recycler, they’re two French guys! It’s like - with most of these musicians - it’s what you‘ve been influenced with. A lot of non-south Asians are putting out this kind of music because it’s what they’ve grown up with.