SUDHA has enjoyed global success as the percussionist for Faithless and has worked with a huge variety of artists including Talvin Singh, Kylie and The Spice Girls as well as performing at legendary clubs including Cream and The Hacienda.
We are mega happy to welcome back our good friend and talented all-round musician to the decks of Dick And Fanny on Saturday 18 January at Dance Tunnel. Also on the bill are the no less amazing SEVERINO (Horse Meat Disco) and HONEY DIJON (NYC).
Sudha also concocted an exclusive mix for us that will make you jump on your feet, have a listen and a dance right here right now!
Hi Sudha, what is your musical path? How and when did you start playing percussion?
Apparently the first word I ever said was ‘drum’ but I think that’s just my mum adding a nice bit of spice to my story. I do remember always really wanting to play but started on piano and guitar before I was able to get my wicked way. I had drum lessons at school when I was 11 and carried on for about 6 years, learning the rudiments of playing and subsequently bashing the hell out of the drum kit.
Did you start playing for bands straight away?
Yes, pretty much. I played in various bands at school and college and then after Uni I took a music course where I met loads of session musicians. Realising that was the job for me, I moved up to Manchester in the early ‘90s where I played in various jazz bands. Eventually I hooked up with the sound engineer for 90’s House band, K Klass. The rest is history. Rhythm is a mystery.
You travelled the world with Faithless and many others fabulous bands, can you tell us one of the most memorable moments you remember of that time?
OMG. One? There are hundreds! But I’ve learnt, ‘What goes on on the road stays on the road’ so it’s probably a good thing if I don’t spill all the beans. Ok, the one that’s coming up right now is sticking chocolate on a piece of toilet paper and attaching it to Sister Bliss’s trousers without her noticing, before she went on stage. Shit happens, eh?
Haha, omg, that’s hilarious and so not surprising coming from you!
Were you DJing all along or did you get into it whilst gigging?
I’ve been playing club percussion since the early ‘90s, being resident at Cream and the Hacienda back in the day. Playing week in week out, it was great experience in really working a crowd, seeing what makes a good DJ and what makes a not so good one. So, I decided to apply the knowledge and got into DJing a few years later. Certainly when the likes of Ableton Live came out, that was me, hooked.
Your DJ sets are real live compositions, can you share some of your set building secrets?
Being a live musician first and foremost, I love the creative aspect of DJing and making bootleg tracks on the fly. So, I’ll compile a few samples of old tracks and drop them in accordingly, mashing up songs and re-working them. As long as I know the key beforehand then the magic can work.
Amazing, we love it, it makes your sets really stand out!
What are your influences?
They are really diverse – from 80’s Detroit and Chicago Techno, early electro like Mantronix and Newcleus, all things percussive particularly Afro-Cuban vibes, and anything that is raw and touches my heart.
Where can people listen to your own productions?
We’ve heard about a special project you are currently working on, can you share anything about it at this stage?
Just because it’s you, yes I can! After many years of gigging and being in the music industry, I felt like I needed to do something more socially conscious. So, I’ve spent the last year working on developing a way of creating sustainable energy through playing music. I’ll be taking the project out to areas in the world with no electricity. I’m off to Kenya next month to run the Rift Valley Marathon as part of raising awareness and to do some filming for a Kickstarter campaign, due for launch at the end of May. Check my twitter for updates! @sudhaha
We are so in awe of you, Sudha! We can’t wait to hear more about your project and we’ll definitely support your Kickstarter campaign. Oh and happy running!
Finally, what are you looking for the most in 2014?
After having survived 2013, I’m not looking for anything. I know that everything you need is right here!
Sudha is playing Dick And Fanny on Saturday 18 January at Dance Tunnel.
Sign up for our Dick And Fanny mailing list.