What is nucleya? It’s not the membrane-covered centre of a cell. It’s merely a stage name adopted by music producer Udyan Sagar, who has had a festival-like turnout for his Raja Baja tour earlier this year.
Raja Baja is his second album, with the first being the widely appreciated Bass Rani with super edgy tones and raw beats. While some might say he makes music for the truly Indian at heart, others (who don’t know what Indian at heart really means) are lapping up the new-age beats he’s dropping all over the world, from LA to Vegas.
The artist also ventured into Bollywood with a song for Kapoor and Sons and word is that he’s working on a song for Anurag Kashyup’s Mukkabaz releasing this November.
But coming back to my question about what nucleya is, the man himself answers, “It was my email password for a long time, so when I needed a name after going solo, I thought it was pretty catchy and went with it.”
Telling his amazing and inspiring story, Red Bull Media House has made a documentary film titled Ride To The Roots which was recently screened in the city.
“Ride To The Roots is directed by Misha Ghose whom I have known for quite a few years. We’ve worked together previously on The Dewarists, so she really knows my story and understands my vibe. It was actually a really great experience working on it,”says Nucleya, who believes that the brand has been supportive of his career over the years.
“Earlier this year, they approached me about doing a documentary covering my story so far and really giving fans an insight into how long it’s actually taken me to reach here. It’s been a 20-year struggle and I think this documentary does a great job of conveying it in a very honest light,”he says.
The film talks about his days as part of a Bandish Projekt —an experimental music outfit which was a huge hit before the members parted ways, and goes further down memory lane with stories of how he took up music. “I always had music in my life, even growing up.
When I was a kid, my parents would play a bunch of older Bollywood stuff in the house — RD Burman, Kalyanji-Anandji — that kind of stuff. When I was in school and met Mayur, we hit it off and started producing a few tracks together on an old computer (that I think I still have somewhere).
Soon after, we started playing live together in Ahmedabad and it just kind of took off from there,” he says about his days as part of the Bandish Projekt.
The fondest memories he has of that period of his life are, “Probably going to the UK to play Glastonbury early on in our career. We were living in Dubai at the time and the project was really taking off. Exciting times.”
Though the exposure abroad brought him to the next level of his career, it is his hometown that keeps him striving for more. “I think Ahmedabad just really inspired my drive to be successful and kept me hungry to achieve. Because there wasn’t much happening there we had to make our own scene and that started with the music,”he says.
The artist claims that since there was always Bollywood music, and a lot of music from the Indian classical genre too, playing in his house while he was growing up, he got his musicality from a young age.
Life completes a full circle as his son, Guri, now fiddles with his equipment while listening to the kind of music his father makes. “Guri’s constantly playing with my controllers for Ableton live! It’s been great watching him just explore and experiment,”he says.
He also treats his fans with tales of how he met his lady love and wife, Smriti. “We met in Ahmedabad at a farm house party. Soon after, I was sneaking into her dorm room at NID,”he shares.
Nucleya confirms that he will be releasing a couple of singles this year.
“Some will be collaborations and some just my own tracks. Divine and I have a song in Mukebaaz, which is Anurag’s new movie that I’m excited about. There are some super exciting plans in the live space that I can’t talk about too much, but definitely stay tuned as this season is shaping up to be the biggest one yet,”he signs off.