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How Anushka Manchanda transformed into Kiss Nuka

A chat with the artiste who was recently down for a set at Reality on Camac Street

Urvashi Bhattacharya | Published 04.07.22, 12:57 AM
Anushka Manchanda aka Kiss Nuka

Anushka Manchanda aka Kiss Nuka

Sourced by the correspondent

A lot of us must know her from her different songs in Bollywood, but about two years ago Anushka Manchanda transformed into Kiss Nuka, her electronic project. When she says “electronic” she does not just confine herself to a genre. Her music ranges from drum and bass to cinematic music, and spiritual albums to other sounds. With her current break from Bollywood, she now feels she has complete control and is now using her art as a tool to talk about things that are important to her. A chat with the artiste who was recently down for a set at Reality on Camac Street.

Welcome to Kolkata, Anushka, what do you have ready for your Kolkata fans today?

Thank you! I’m playing a live electronic dance floor set of my released and unreleased tracks under my artiste name Kiss Nuka. My set spans four aspects — on the floor, bass, drum and bass and some footwork. I have a bunch of my controllers and synths which I use to play and I can’t wait to share my new sounds with Kolkata!

What has been your impression of the rising electronic music scene in Kolkata?

It’s incredible! There seems to be a strong community around the electronic music scene in Cal, with people who are warm and welcoming. That’s always great for an artiste and an audience to grow. Venues like Reality pushing diverse acts to the local community from all over the country brings us all together under one roof.

You quit Bollywood recently, could you tell us why?

That’s just a sensational headline picked out of a long chat I had with the journalist. I built my own studio two years ago, I am producing, composing, recording my own music and directing and editing my own music videos. So I am completely focused on Kiss Nuka. It’s a full-time commitment!

Are there chances of you keeping Bollywood as a side hustle?

I have learned never to say never because life always surprises you, but I am quite far away from what’s happening in Bollywood at the moment.

Did transitioning to Kiss Nuka give you the freedom to express yourself better?

A playback singer is a work-for-hire job. You go in to sing a song someone has written and composed, and though you can add your own flavour to it and make suggestions, you don’t have a say in how it is presented or it's content. With Kiss Nuka, I have complete control. I am able to use my art as a tool to talk about the things that are important to me... nature, the feminine, standing for what is right.

Drum and bass is something people are really enjoying in the electronic scenes. Do you think it’s the next best thing to happen in the music industry?

I’m a big fan of drum and bass! This style has been around for decades and there are some amazing artistes in India who are playing some good drums and bass. One of the best dnb producers in India is Ox7gen. The more dnb there is, the happier I will be as a listener and a dancer. There is also footwork (check out the Indian artiste Oceantied). The best thing that can happen to the industry is that there is space for a lot of different genres to come up, which is great not just for the artistes but for the audience too. You never really know what you could be into unless you hear it.

Apart from drum and bass, what other genres appeal to you?

I don’t just play drum and bass. As Kiss Nuka, I absolutely refuse to restrict myself. This is my space to be completely free. If you check out my YouTube you will find cinematic songs and music videos. You will even find a spiritual album (the Mahamrityunjay and its story). When you come to my gig you will hear a whole bunch of genres which I have spun together to make a flow. There’s even quite a trance-inspired track at the end of my set. So the expression is not limited to a genre.

For a musician who has dabbled with different sounds in their career, is it challenging to mix two genres that come from different backgrounds?

It’s about building a story. When I say that my current set starts at 120 BPM and ends at 180 BPM, it can make you wonder how that could work. But since it is all my music I have built transitions and bridges between all the tracks so that they flow from one to another and there is a build-up. The challenge for me actually is to not mix so many genres, but then that is no fun!

What is coming up next in terms of projects and releases?

I am currently working on an EP/album which I intend to put out closer to the end of the year. There are some singles that I might release in the next few months. I have a virtual concert ready to go up on a premium media playing network possibly next month, and a couple of announcements to make about my music videos being featured in festivals around the world.

Last updated on 04.07.22, 11:59 AM
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