FuzzCulture is the one-man show of Arsh Sharma, whose sound is defined by potent rock riffs set against dance music. Born in New Delhi, Arsh Sharma has earned prime billings at festivals in India and overseas – Maudit Tangue (France), The Underground HK Tour (Hong Kong), Bacardi Nh7 Weekender (India) – to name a few. When initially a duo, FuzzCulture was the recipient of VIMA Awards’ highest honour – Thank You For Existing – and even performed at their main ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. Having toured Southeast Asia thrice consecutively when signed to Universal Music, the act also played festivals in India like Vh1 Supersonic, New Wave Music Festival Asia and Red Bull Tour Bus. FuzzCulture’s second full-length album Escape to Where You’re Wanted in 2019 came out roaring on Apple Music charts for its distinctive sound, redefining industrial dance music in India.
Mumbai-based electronica act FuzzCulture is releasing a new EP titled Strange Cities, which will be out exclusively via Apple Music on 15th January 2021. The global release on streaming platforms will be on 29th January, 3 weeks after the Apple Music Exclusive. Strange Cities sees change, or more of an evolution from the last FuzzCulture album Escape To Where You’re Wanted, which was released in 2019.
Here is Arsh Sharma in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
I began my journey as a singer in my School band with my friends Bacchus Barua (From The belief Experiment) and Srijan Mahajan (Parikrama, Shubha Mudgal) at the age of 14 then graduated to playing bass in the band and then slowly graduated to playing guitar till the end of school. After that, I formed The Circus in College which was one of the leading rock bands in the country from 2009-2014 and also started my studio and FuzzCulture around that time. I’ve played between 300-500 gigs in the almost 14 years I’ve been active professionally in the music scene.
2) Which was your first song?
The first song we ever released was with the circus in 2010 which got us into Channel V Launchpad in 2009. The song was called “Mind Therapy”. As for the first song I’ve ever written I don’t even remember since I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember. Since the age of 11-12 if I’m not wrong.
3) Which has been your most memorable live performance?
There’ve been many but probably playing NH7 weekender multiple times with FuzzCulture and The Circus, Playing Music Matters Live in Singapore as well as travelling all over the world with my music has overall been pretty memorable.
4) Who has been your inspiration?
I think just listening to a lot of music, my inspirations have been changing over the years, when I was really young I was a hardcore old school metalhead, college was all about bands like Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Tool, these days it’s a lot about more eccentric and new age electronic/pop acts and bands like Grimes, Aphex twin, Shlohmo, and a lot of obscure acts I keep finding.
5) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Rich, popular, old and with no regrets.
6) Which is your most preferred genre?
Ideally, I’m pretty genre-agnostic and I like acts which are crossover acts that don’t fit into any particular genre, that’s why I really liked the end 90’s industrial and rock crossover movement, these days possibly electro-pop, indie dance, techno, some synth-wave, I don’t really know. As long as it sounds like something fresh and new I’m mostly in.
7) Tell us about your latest track.
We just Released a New FuzzCulture EP Titled “Strange Cities”. Here’s the main single Nicotine from the record.
8) Tell us more about the ‘Fuzz Culture Music’.
We started in 2011 as a duo and released 2 albums and 1 Ep till 2016 after I went solo I’ve released 2 records the First titled “Escape To Where You’re Wanted ” in 2019 and “Strange Cities” in 2021 which debuted at No.1 on the apple music electronica charts. FuzzCulture music is an ever-evolving brand of electronic-alternative/pop and is my attempt to blend in strange and misaligned things into a well-packaged pop outfit and I’m still getting better at it. We’ve won Kuala Lumpur’s VIMA Records highest recognition which is the “Thank You For Existing” Award and have played multiple countries since then like Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, reunion island, Dubai, UK, reunion island. Also in India, we’ve done the rounds of most major festivals like NH7 Weekender, Sunburn, VH1 Supersonic, Ctrl alt delete, Redbull Tourbus to just name a few.
9) What advice would you give to youngsters?
Honestly, I learn everything from people younger than me and they know how to navigate the world of social media and new music and sounds amazingly well, so I mostly try to learn from them rather than give them any advice. The only thing I would say is making a career in music is damn hard so try not to be too negative towards your peers or be too harsh on yourself. It’s a long tough journey unless you’re loaded in which case it’s all good.
10) How was life in quarantine?
I’ve been working out of my apartment/music studio in Versova, Mumbai for the last 1 year where I live alone. I’ve kind of enjoyed the solitude of being alone while being mildly terrified of the virus, so it’s been an interesting productive quarantine with some interesting new insights about myself that I’ve learned and am trying to follow.
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