'I will always feel like an outsider'

'I will always feel like an outsider'

For this UK-born Gujju, the experience to perform in the land of his forefathers is no less than a surreal one. Such is the joy that Prash Mistry experiences whenever he is here.

Founder of UK collective Engine-Earz Experiment and UK Producer Asa, when the young artiste took to his keyboard during Live Viacom 18’s VDot Emerge at Blue Frog recently, the crowd loved every bit of it.

Later, speaking to Metrolife, Prashant aka Prash confessed, “I feel exhausted. The music scene is growing and developing here so quickly! Everytime we return it seems it has changed and there are more events happening. It seems the internet has given artistes a global outlook.”

This being his third performance in the country (earlier in November 2012 at NH7 Pune and then last December at Vh1 Supersonic), one is compelled to ask if he prefers India over other countries?

“I have chosen to come here more often because I want to be a part of giving back to the country what I have received from it,” he says firmly.

Born to parents who migrated to UK as refuges from Uganda, Prash says, “My parents had to really fight to make ends meet. This gave me and my brothers a spirit to work and a sense of commitment to fulfil whatever we put our minds to. For me, that was music. For a long time that was not what my parents wanted for me, but I think they are happy now! I remember when they came to watch me play at the Royal Albert Hall with Nitin Sawhney, they seemed really proud,” he confesses rather humbly.

“It’s a huge privilege to stay connected to India more than my parents could and something we never take for granted. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to visit regularly and learn about the music and the culture of my ancestors,” he says.

“Everything from production quality to even songwriting has taken a huge step up,” he says about the music scene here while acknowledging that there is always “the temptation to copy western music in India – after all Bollywood has been guilty of doing so for a long time,--but now this new generation of Indian artistes seem to have pride in their own heritage, as well as hearing the best that western music has to offer. The resurgence of Metal and Electronic music scene is becoming very exciting!” says Prash.

He agrees to the general impression of ‘Bollywood’ being “regarded as the main music of India. But that’s natural as it does make up the bulk of the music industry in India!”

However, he points out, “now people are slowly but surely beginning to get acquainted with respected Indian artistes from India itself. This is a lot to do with ambassadors who have spent years representing the music on huge platforms. Also,
artistes are becoming more inventive than just throwing a tabla in a song and hoping we are respected for it.”

As far as he himself and his next tour in India is concerned, Prash believes that “to some degree I will always feel like an outsider in both places, but the more I visit India, I feel a heightened energy to compose more music and succeed in reaching my goals. Home is where your synth is after all, right?”

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