ALLURI Discusses His Indian Background, The Music World in London, Working With Producer Tomasso Colliva and More!
He had little to no contemporary music around him in his formative years; it wasn’t until his older brother returned from college when he first heard western rock music.
His teenage years were littered with the bigger rock acts that managed to squeeze through the country’s obsession with cinema and the regional version of Bollywood known as ‘Tollywood.‘
Alluri’s latest single was produced by Tomasso Colliva (Muse, Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand).
Alluri is influenced by the British sounds of his youth: Blur, Oasis, The Who & Pink Floyd. He’s also influenced by Elbow, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and Father John Misty.
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Learn more Alluri in the following All Access interview:
Now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year? What are you most excited about for 2017? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
It was a tough year for me. I fell a bit out of love with song writing but I’m now beginning to enjoy the process again a lot and getting productive. But I was very happy to have played a series of great gigs in India including the NH7 Weekender Festival Hyderabad which in particular was a highlight as it was in my home city and of course the release of “Evari Kosam” has been great.
I am exited about the possibility of recording an album in Telugu, my local language. I have been looking forward to that for a long time. Also I have recently written a couple of songs with another musician, Pat Pearson, the keyboard player from Dry the River, the well known UK indie band. So I look forward to collaborating with other artists.
I am not a man for New Year resolutions.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall some of your first musical memories?
My first love was cricket. Western classical music was kind of forced upon me by my Dad, however I have always enjoyed listening.
My first memory was my dad putting on “Imagine” by John Lennon and saying “this guy was in a band called The Beatles, but never mind them. This is brilliant”…
I understand that you grew up without much contemporary music. Why is that exactly? Do you think it made you appreciate it all the more when your older brother finally introduced it to you? What music did he first show you? What was that experience like for you?
In India all new artistic ideas in the mainstream are consumed through films. Music is made for a film with the director’s vision in mind. There has never been a medium in India for musicians to express themselves in their own way without being encumbered by the “money man”. There wasn’t much of a contemporary non-Bollywood music industry when I was growing up that really survived on its own. That resulted in me turning away from much contemporary music as it never connected with me but the likes of Tears for Fears, John Lennon, Elton John and other such artists was played on CD at home and I connected with those much more.
It wasn’t until my older brother brought home Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” did I feel like really playing the guitar.
There wasn’t been much of a culture of listening to live rock music in India either, but that has started to change now with various festivals starting in the last few years and a healthy new scene of indie, non-Bollywood, bands and musicians arising in a lot of different music genres from metal to reggae, dance and Indie, in a variety of Indian cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Shillong and my home town of Hyderabad.
Can you describe what ‘Tollywood’ is and how it has influenced you and your music today?
The local film industry in Telangana, my state in India, is called “Tollywood” as the language we speak is called Telugu. It hasn’t really influenced my music at all though.
What was it like working with the well-known Muse producer Tomasso Colliva on your single “Evari Kosam”? How did that relationship come to be?
Thanks to my manager Stephen Budd I got in touch with Tommaso and he loved what I was doing and wanted to work with me on something different and that’s what we came out with. It was quick and easy. I had written “Evari Kosam” a while back, so I was familiar with how I wanted to sing it. He gave me guidance which helped me with how I could change the vocal delivery. It worked!
I’d love to know more about what it’s like being a musician in London today?
I don’t think I am a musician “in” London really, I think of myself as a Hyderabad boy who plays music in London. Having said that it was tough for me spending two years recording music and working out how to play those songs live.
Good gigs are pretty hard to come in London by but now its exciting that there is an open vibe to music from all over the world and I’m looking forward to play there again in February.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you all still love to work with in the future?
Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Lou Reed, The Beatles and The Smiths are among my favorites. I have also enjoy Fat White Family, Courtney Barnett and Last Shadow Puppets. Would love to have Alex Turner or Thom Yorke produce one of my records.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
No big message really but if anything its, pick up and instrument and liberate yourself from the never ending cycle of work and entertainment!
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
I love playing tennis and cricket. Summertime Cricket in England is paradise for me. Apart from that, cooking for friends is something I enjoy.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers regarding yourself or your music?
I hope my music and lyrics do my talking for me!