Independent Music

Indie Week – Spotlight: The Birth And Constant Growth Of SHFT

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I was out one night with friends at Kitty Su Delhi checking out Coyu. I reached early and watched the guy behind the console slam bangers one after the other. On a specific song, my friend told me, this is his original production “Skyfall”. I was mesmerized. The next day was spent in just checking out the entire Soundcloud page. It was without doubt SHFT had found a fan in me.

Whilst is celebrating Indie Week, I decided to grab an opportunity to learn and narrate his story. Vipul Angrish, the Delhi based DJ/Producer known as SHFT. In the simplest words Vipul is a passionate musician with immense amounts of dedication and vision for what he wants to achieve. He says he got involved in music very late but has enjoyed every bit of this decade making music.

How Vipul Angrish became SHFT

Back in school, Vipul’s first passion was cricket. His dreams were to be a cricket player but having little to no support from his family, he had to give up. This is what he had to say:

I had to join an academy to take my cricketing career forward but that was not an option. I had to let go of my biggest passion.

Apart from being a huge lover of the game, Vipul spent a lot of time watching Channel V and MTV, which were the only sources of music on TV at the time. He truly loved music. He mentions “The Chemical Brothers” as one of his early inspirations but he loved lots of different genres from Rock to Electronic music. To him, it was bizarre as to why these amazing songs he was listening were not playing at clubs and bars. It also made him believe that he could find more music and went on a manhunt for music that he loved. While remembering his younger days, Vipul narrated the first steps of how he knew he wanted to play music.

I would copy my favorite tracks onto a CD and go to bars. However, I would do this during the day when there would be lesser people. Lesser people meant they would let me play my own music. This made me feel great. Slowly that translated into bigger things.

Initial Days at Tabula Rasa

Vipul took residency of Tabula Rasa in Delhi right out of engineering college. As a part of Tabula, he got to play a lot of house music, which he really enjoyed but would also have to play commercial, pop and hip-hop. He considers this as a very important part of the becoming of who he is today. This helped him understand the crowd and make sure they were enjoying. It also made him experiment with many different genres of music which resulted in him becoming a versatile DJ/Producer.

It’s very important for a DJ producer to understand the dance floor. Being a resident at Tabula Rasa definitely helped me become more versatile and know how to take charge of the dance floor.

Vipul says his most fond memory from the initial two years of struggle in his career was getting an opportunity to open for Jitter aka Jayant. He states that we was a huge fan of Jayant from his days of working alongside Midival Punditz:

I would go around asking for a chance to open for him. I used to bother him quite a bit actually. One fine day I got my chance to open for him. I don’t remember the venue but that was the day I knew I could do this and make a name for myself.

Vipul was very excited for this set and played his heart out. At the end of the gig, Jayant approached and asked him for his playlist. Vipul was invited home by Jayant and they shared music. He had managed to impress one of his local idols. Things kept getting better from here – He slowly started to grow as one of the prime electronic music artists in the country.

A&R and giving back to the Industry

Vipul worked at Windhorse Records for a while, helping the label out with A&R. However, his taste evolved and he found a home for his sound in Qilla Records (stared by DJ/Producer Madhav Shorey aka Kohra). soon after. He has been a part of the label for 5 years now, which is half his music career.

He says, “I have very limited resources on how to improve and better myself. I had Madhav who would constantly help me and Jayant but all this came later”. Vipul says that he enjoys speaking with young upcoming artists who are as thirsty to grow as he was while starting out.

It reminds me of my days of struggle. I was clueless but I wanted to learn.

He always loves helping artists that have a vision, drive and need believes in critical advice. He doesn’t like to tell an artist that the music they make or the path they chose is good for the sake of it. “It’s more harmful to them than good,” he says.

Vipul likes to work on all the releases that Qilla comes out with in both directing the sound and finding the right music. He says that Qilla Records has a specific vibe and sound that Madhav envisioned while starting the label and he enjoys keeping the standards at par.

Helping upcoming artists with a drive is my way of giving back to the scene and helping my close friend Madhav (Kohra) who helped me so much while I was still new to making music.

Next Steps for SHFT

Vipul is currently in love with piano. The instrument is something he picked up just 2 years ago. He says that he got into music with no formal music education but just the passion for playing and creating. He is excited to see how this versatile instrument influences his new and upcoming question.

When I asked him when we should expect the next set of releases he said,

I would like to have people surprised every time I am set to release music. I don’t want them to expect anything. It will always be a surprise!

Keep your eyes open,  SHFT is working on some interesting collaborations. Surprises are on way!


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