#HauteSounds: Portugal’s Top Artists Meet Indian Indie’s Brightest In New Compilation
There hasn’t been a better time for cross-nation cultural exchanges, especially for India’s non-Bollywood alternative acts. Whether it’s producers, singer-songwriters, or guitarists, there’s plenty of them to go around the world.
David Valentim, a Portuguese producer, had sought out a lot of this talent on his numerous trips to the Indian subcontinent and Asia, for his latest set of collaborative compilations, T(h)ree.
He says, “I realised that there is a huge unfamiliarity about Portuguese music in the Asian market. And to be fair, there is also a lack of knowledge in Europe about the music made in Asia. So in that sense, Portugal and Asia share the same difficulties.”
After about a year of scouting, networking, composing, and recording, T(h)ree’s 4th, 5th, and 6th volumes released in April, and Volume 6 is putting the spotlight on Indian and Sri Lankan artists, featuring Portugal’s best and brightest.
David says the artists he picked from India and Sri Lanka were with the aim that listeners would want to dig deeper. He adds, “When I was in India and Sri Lanka, I tried to listen to as many different kinds of music as possible. From rock, to electronica, to folk, songwriters, I have heard a lot.
“After all that, I selected a few music projects that could represent some of the sounds being made locally. The goal was to show some hints of what is being made musically in India and Sri Lanka at this moment.”
So who features on this list? There’s Kerala Carnatic shredder Baiju Dharmajan, rockers Indus Creed, Bengali ethno-punk artist Tritha Electric, and producers like Kumail, Your Chin, and Disco Puppet.
Manipuri singer Mangka
The collaborations specifically extended to artists from the North East as well, including Arunachal singer-songwriter Taba Chake, and Manipuri folk singer Mangka. These Indian artists were paired up with Portuguese counterparts and took about 6 months to compose, review, and record.
There’s the folksy-psychedelic vibes on Mono Mor Meghero Shongi with Tritha and rockers Pista, and the feel-good jam between Baiju Dharmajan, cellist Joana Guerra, and Pedro Salvador.
Also an instant attention-grabber is Bobadela Bangalore, featuring psychedelic act JIBÓIA and Bengaluru’s Disco Puppet. The compilation, however, starts with the bright indie rock jam Wide, featuring Uday Benegal and Portugal rockers The Lazy Faithful.
The one that really takes centrestage, however, is Mangka’s Manipuri vocals over pop-rock band Clã’s melodic adventures on Nura Pakhang (Eu e Tu), the opener on the compilation.
David says about the idea to promote the single with a music video, “I thought about inviting a band that could bring a modern tonality to music with a singer that would add a level of intimacy ready to appeal to audiences outside the folk genre.
“Clã are one of the most well-known bands in Portugal, with a lead singer (Manuela Azevedo) who is an icon. I knew they could create the balance I was imagining for the song. And it worked perfectly.”
More than just lending your ears to the Indian collaborations, we recommend you check out all 3 of their recently-released volumes on their Bandcamp page to hear just what’s new and noteworthy in countries like Bahrain, UAE, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.