In case you needed to play black steel in addition to synthwave, which one is extra suited to later at night time? The reply varies, however it’s one thing you may rely on 22-year-old producer, pianist and drummer Nikhil Narayan to let you know about. A couple of weeks in the past, he launched his second full-length album Inception below the moniker Popcorn Child, channelling a love for all issues 80s and 90s into darkish synthwave and retrowave. As a drummer, he’s additionally a part of city-based black steel band Antakrit.
“I joined Antakrit in 2016 and Popcorn Kid popped in 2018. In spite of being a part of various bands, I had always had an ambition to have my own solo project,” the Chennai-bred, Bengaluru-based multi-instrumentalist says. Presently within the ultimate 12 months of his legislation course, Nikhil had initially recorded solo materials within the type of an EP in 2017, however determined to shelve it. “It was round that point that I had simply began exploring the prevailing retrowave artiste and developed an curiosity in the identical. Lastly in 2018, I used to be assured that I wished to showcase all of the loopy concepts I had generated and launched Newness,” he says, referring to his debut album which launched in 2018.
Set to realize recognition as a pianist in addition to a drummer, Nikhil was all the time into 80s and 90s music reminiscent of Daft Punk and Michael Jackson because of his mother and father’ music tastes. He received concerned within the Chennai steel scene and took a liking to style throughout his teenage years (as is the norm), however slowly found artistes reminiscent of Pertubator, Carpenter Brut, Timecop 1983, who all channel synthesiser-based digital music that’s now categorised as retrowave, as a consequence of its nostalgic attraction.
He says, “My interest has changed from a mellow Saturday night vibe to a heavy and dark/horror retro music i.e., darksynth. I love and appreciate the vivid elements of this music and would always try to incorporate something different and new in my upcoming albums.”
On Inception, you may hear Popcorn Child’s continued obsession with hypnotic synth patterns, heavy-footed synthetic drums but additionally guitar riffs and leads that sound like he’s borrowing from his steel facet. He says that as tasks Antakrit and Popcorn Child are “two different sides of a spectrum”, the place the previous is quick and chaotic whereas the latter is “calm and nostalgic”. Nikhil, nevertheless, provides, “Nothing could be as amazing as blending your favourite genres and getting a splendid outcome.”
Whereas retrowave and synthwave is broadly appreciated all around the world, it’s but to get a sizeable listening viewers in India. The artiste says, “Its growth in India is rather slow and steady but nonetheless it’s still being appreciated here.” He’s in talks to take Popcorn Child reside, however maintaining in thoughts that it “doesn’t collide” together with his school life. He provides, “Honestly I can’t wait to perform live alongside other talented fellow artistes.”