Monday, 14 January 2008

*Vivek Shraya Interview

Ok, so it's no secret that Get Glucky loves us some Canadian music but we especially like the artists who not only make great original music but have a nice little talent for re-working songs by others. Therefore, we introduce you to Toronto's very own; Vivek Shraya.

Vivek Shraya introduces himself to YOU:

LG: How did you first get started making music? Were you learning an instrument/s from a young age?

VS: I started singing at an early age. I dont really remember how I started to be honest. I think like all things at that age: my mom made me do it. I was really into music class in elementary school where we learnt such hits as Good Kind Wenceslas, Bonhomme Bonhomme and On Top of Old Smokey. It was also in music class that I discovered my inability to play the recorder, and my unmatched skill at playing the bells. I didn't pick up guitar until 19.

LG: Who are the bands/artists you listened to growing up and the ones you listen to now?

VS: I didn't start listening to western pop music (aside from Kung Fu Fighting and Relax, Don't do it that my dad liked to play in the car) until I was 12 or so, and while most of my peers were listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, I was rockin out to TLC and Salt-N-Pepa. These days I have been listening to mostly the new Hot Chip, the new Radiohead and Santogold.

LG: Do you tend to write melody before lyric or the other way around?

VS: I tend to write lyrics first. I am really inspired by a single word or a phrase and will build around it. SOS for example was built around the phrase "stress on the stands."

LG: You have recorded with both Tegan and Sara Quin and performed with them too, how did you originally meet and how did you go about picking the songs they were going to contribute to?

VS: I met Tegan and Sara at one of their shows here in Toronto. With The Alphabet, the song was somewhat inspired by them stylistically, so it really made sense to have Tegan sing on it and with Your Name , I had demoed the track at Sara's place and she was going to add more instrumentation to it and send it back. She ended up singing on the demo she sent back and I was blown away and asked her to sing on the final version.

LG: What are your favourite songs off your records to play live and why?

VS: From If We're Not Talking, my favorite song to play is probably Your Name, mostly because it's super poppy and people seem to immediately respond to that track live. I have really been enjoying playing the Seven Nation Army cover live as well, because people instantly recognize it and I can just have fun with it. I dont have the same responsibilty to a cover as I do my own stuff.

LG: You played some Parisian shows recently, was that your first experience of touring in Europe? How do the crowds differ from the Canadian crowd?

VS: This show in Paris *was* my first European show and it was really incredible! I had no idea what to expect. Before I started, everyone seemed to be doing their cool French thing...smoking and looking hot. But people really got into it in a way that I have yet to experience in North America, presumably because electro/dance music is really happening out there right now. It was really gratifying.

LG: What made you choose to cover seven nation army? Any other songs coming up that you're going to re-work?

VS: Meghan Toohey, who produced the track and If We're Not Talking, suggested it actually. We knew we wanted to do a cover in the vein of the record and had been talking about it for awhile, going through our favorite songs and artists. It's just such a great song. It's kind of hard to fuck it up. I would love to do another cover soon. Any suggestions?

LG: The way the music industry seems to be going artists are not relying on record labels so much, do you still feel that urge to sign a deal and widely release records or do you have your own plan carved out?

VS: I think a label can provide support and resources that independent artists don't often have and in that respect, I think they are still vital.

LG: What song by another artist do you wish you had written?

VS: Right now I would have to say House of Cards by Radiohead. It's just such a beautiful song, Thom at his most clear and sincere.

LG: Are your records going to be fully released in Europe/UK? any future tour dates planned for here?

VS: Right now, If We're Not Talking is available worldwide via and iTunes, though I am hoping for and working on actual distribution and touring in Europe this year. Fingers crossed!

Get your eager little mitts on Vivek's cover of '7 nation army' here:

we love it.


Anonymous said...

OMG he is such a hunk!

Anonymous said...

vivek shraya is FANTASTIC!
the intro referring to harlem/fried chicken comes off as racist, even though i assume (hope) you didn't mean it that way... it distracts from the glory of the shraya. just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

Gosh. The thought of anything being said on the blog being mis-understood as racist would never be ok, we are as far from it as can be.
That sentence has been deleted and thank you for your comment..Vivek is indeed fantastic x