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Week on Week: The VICE India Mixtape

Songs for the week, throwing in a mix of new releases and some #throwbacks too—everything from homegrown hip-hop to Bollywood (uh-no?) and K-pop—we gotchyu.

by Naman Saraiya
31 May 2019, 12:07pm

Illustration: Fawaz Dalvi

Attempting to keep up with new releases is exhausting. And the never-ending quest to discover an act before they hit >1000 plays on Bandcamp is all but rewarding. Having given up full-time music writing a little while ago, more often than not, I find myself feeling a mix of FOMO and IDGAF about new local music while compiling my Spotify playlists. With this feature, we (that, is I) aim to put together a weekly mixtape—without being judgemental assholes.

This week, I put together a last-minute scramble whilst away on shoot, with some office peeps really coming through and saving my forgetful ass. Thankfully, I knew what my song was going to be, which made the process a bit easier.

“Electric Pow Wow Drum” by A Tribe Called Red

Thoda old hai but found them after going down some rabbit hole and then kept listening to their playlist on Spotify on shuffle repeatedly. Great motivation song, I think. Really gets me in the mood to get going and fight off colonisers.”
Adhiraj Singh, some dude who claims he’s a writer or something

“Maya” by Prabh Deep

“This song has been on heavy rotation since I heard it a couple of days ago. Even though I can't understand a word of what he's saying, I've been humming it all day. It's such a breath of fresh air from all the Indian hip-hop doing the rounds right now. The keys remind me of Nujabes and I've got to say, I'm just loving this summery vibe. If Prabh is putting out more music like "Maya" and "Kala", I've got only one thing to say: MOAR!”
Nidhi Salian, jaded and faded but always undefeated

“Habit” by Still Woozy

“Lo-fi is my favourite early morning genre and I play a few of them before definitively getting out of bed. Still Woozy takes me from a state of semi drowsiness to snuggles to watering dying plants, before I think of what I want for breakfast, make my to-do list, drag myself to the window and stare out at the three trees I can see from the bedroom window. There's something ethereal about waiting for light to enter as you listen to "Habit".”
Sneha Nair, she wants me to let you know she’s a morning person

“Take On Me (Live From MTV Unplugged)” by a-ha

“I was just scrambling around on Instagram avoiding work, when I replied to a friend who put up a screengrab of this song telling him how much I love it and he sent me a link to this lovely acoustic version. As a kid, I thought the video to this song was just genius but as I got older, the melody of this song and its lyrics surpassed the video joy. I guess in this case, audio killed the video star! I can totally dance away to the original with some amaze 90s moves and passionately sing the acoustic version on the pot with all the feels! What more can you ask of a song.”
Pooja Pillai, Executive Producer type or person who smiles too much

“No Vampires Remain In Romania” by King Luan

“King Luan knows what’s up in Romania. He denies being a Dracula Spectacular and asserts that is not our weekend in Vegas in this disco track. I found this song in the credits of an episode of What We Do in the Shadows, and my my, what a discovery. It’s got an equally campy video, with a shout-out to Nikola Tesla that I force on guests who overstay their welcome at 2 a.m. I went down the rabbit hole of the weirdly specific genre of King Luan trying to disprove the existence of mythical creatures in certain nations. Another recommendation would be the powerful ballad "There Are No Gnomes In Sweden" that questions whether anyone there has ever seen one.”
—Esha Paul, Producer of this and this; the best kinda Didi, unlike Mamata

“Juice” by Lizzo

“This is my new morning JAM! It has enough energy for me to want to drag my ass outta bed and try that signature Lizzo twerk. And then... with my morning workout out of the way, off I go to start a brand new day.”
—Shonali Mani, sorter of things and keeper of calm

“EARFQUAKE” by Tyler, The Creator

“If you’re alive, on the internet and remotely in touch with what is cool, why have you not heard this song already? Goddamn, I love Tyler and I gotta say that with IGOR, he’s upped the game. My brother believes it would be nice to have the angrier Tyler boy back, but I think it’ll be even nicer to see where he goes from here.”
—Naman Saraiya, Producer @ VICE Asia, truly feeling that heat

Check out previous editions here, and all of it on Spotify here.