‘I want to expose people to something new every time’

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Vachan Chinnappa 40, Musician
Vachan Chinnappa, 40, Musician

You started out in a metal band. How has your musical sensibility evolved?

I still look for the rock element in every medium. It has a sublime energy you can’t explain. I look for basslines and riffs in all the music I play. It’s still at the heart of my music. I have grown up listening to rock, funk, reggae, and drum and bass is the only thing that has the soul of all three in it. I first heard it back in the ’90s, and have been hooked ever since.

How do you go about making music and putting a set together?

Every season I have targets, where I tell myself, “I am going to make my audience understand these things,” and then slowly I evolve and introduce more complex things. For me, a whole set is like one song, and the question is, in that song, where do I do what? What is the set supposed to sound like? How do I create the ending? So I pick sounds that go in that order.

It seems like you are quite conscious of taking on the responsibility to broaden the audience’s horizons. Why is that so important to you?

As musicians, we should be responsible enough to put out new music for the people. If we don’t, who else will? I hear a lot of DJs saying, “Oh, I can’t play this. The crowd will not get it.” That is the thing. You have to make them get it. It’s a challenge you have to take on, and as audiences grow, you are going to grow.

What do you want the audiences to get from your music? Any particular goal or message?

Many people say, “Oh, this one kind of music, I can’t stand it,” but every kind of music is amazing, from thrash metal to pop. Everything has its own sound and deserves a proper listen. But if it’s not presented properly, people will never like it. I want to present my music in a way that is accessible and easy to grasp, and I also want to expose people to something new every time.

What directions do you see your music taking in the future?

In the next couple of years, I want to form a band. I want to get away from making music on my own. Solitary creativity is different from having four or five people who can say, “You know what, that’s not so great. We can do this instead.” There are more ideas and influences. I love live music. There’s a human touch to it.

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