“Not working. I want colour and funky prints.” We’re in Karanvir Singh’s studio and I’m making him go through multiple wardrobe changes for this shoot. The Delhi-based, 23 year old music producer and DJ, who goes by the stage-name North & South, throws me one of his slow, slightly smouldering smiles and drawls “But my style statement is black, black, black.” I give him a pink t-shirt with a pineapple on it. His smile gets bigger “(laughs) Ok, how about we settle on this?” he asks, as he takes the second option from me.
I love how unfazed he remains through all the primping.
Fastrack: North & South… let’s hear all about it?
Karanvir: North & South is my alias and it kind of defines and inculcates the entire spectrum of music that I like to produce and listen to.
‘North’ is all the high energy, progressive house music that I absolutely love. ‘South’ is the more emotional, acoustic, Coldplay-esque style of music that got me interested in production.
So North & South is the meeting point of Energy and Emotion (phew) and it’s got a nice ring to it.
Fastrack: What’s your process when you compose a track?
KARANVIR: It’s different every time. I usually start on a piano, work out a melody and the chords around it because I like to attack the critical parts of my tracks first.
There are times when you’re in a flow and you can finish a track within 5 hours and then there are times when everything sounds like shit and you sit on a track for 2 or 3 weeks. Like I said, different each time.
“Hold on, this isn’t working” Karanvir suddenly gets up and goes over to multiple screens and consoles “Let me throw down a tune for you so that you can really feel it”.
His laidback vibe gives way to a look of deep concentration as his fingers work a keyboard and an electric piano, simultaneously. We’re suddenly engulfed in a sexy, deep house version of The Chainsmokers Ft.Siren – Kanye, it’s the North & South remix of the track.
I laugh, “Do you wanna be like Kanye?” I quip. Karan responds with his best deadpan expression “It’s been my dream for a long time now.”
FASTRACK: Let’s be honest… are you in this for the sex, drug and rock-star life?
KARANVIR: Apart from the drugs, hell to the yes! Any musician who disagrees, is quite frankly, on way too many drugs to know what he or she is talking about. The rock star life, women, private jets and of course, cold coffee… I’m a sucker for cold coffee. I love it all.
FASTRACK: Why did you choose to do what you’re doing?
KARANVIR: I wish I were one of those people who had like, 50 things that they’re good at, but I’m not. Music has always been my absolute passion and I knew very early on in life, that one way or another, I would make a career out of it. It’s a grind and a struggle but I’d choose it over anything else in life.
FASTRACK: When it comes to the ladies… are you more of a ‘north’ or ‘south’ kind of guy?
KARANVIR: (Laughs) That escalated quickly. Wow. PG-13, my little sisters are going to be reading this!
FASTRACK: And finally, for Karanvir Singh, producer and DJ, life and the way you live it is all about?
KARANVIR: Living to do exactly what you want to do, in exactly the way you want to do it, even if the entire world disagrees. Stay true. Don’t pander to anyone for anything.
Give North & South a listen on Sound Cloud
We have him on repeat