Musician and Filmaker MUKS Opens Up About His Newest Song ‘Falling’ and Balancing Music With the Film World!
Growing up in pre-millennial India meant music was MUKS’ only escape from the matrix of monoculture. Moving to London as a student proved education is never just academic. The amateur poet immersed himself in UK club culture, and became a drum and bass DJ. MUKS began exploring how to use his primary instrument, his voice, to express himself, a ceaseless journey that continues to shape his present day work. MUKS is also a filmmaker and recently produced the Oscar nominated global hit film, The White Tiger.
“Falling” is the newest single from MUKS. Drawing from the lexicon of trip-hop, trap and electronica that he has always had a visceral reaction to, MUKS’ new work immerses the listener in a hazy, dream-like world where half-forgotten memories of nostalgia and longing ebb and flow as he creates snapshots of the deeply subjective realities that lie on either side of failed relationships. Co-produced by Marcus Andersson (Swae Lee, Wiz Khalifa), “Falling” distills MUKS’ wide-ranging influences into sultry and pensive late night R&B jams. His process of creation serves as a reflection of his psyche, holding up a mirror to his vulnerabilities.
Connect With MUKS Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about MUKS in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! So what has this past year been like for you and your music? How are/did you get through the pandemic? Are things opening up now where you are? How do you feel about that? Did you get vaccinated yet?
Hey. The past year has been a trip. And it continues to be one. Early last year, I was convinced the apocalypse was at hand and stocked up for the end of the world as we know it. As isolation/bubbles became the new norm, I decided to de-link myself from the news cycle and focus on writing songs. That, along with a lot of family time, kept me sane through the lockdowns. Plus, a film that I produced and had been working on for ages finally was released on Netflix and went to number one worldwide and even got an Oscar nomination, so that was cool, even though we couldn’t attend the ceremony.
Where did your name come from? Does it mean anything? Why do you think it fits who you are a musician today?
People call me Muks (pronounced like books with an M), which means blossoming flower, believe it or not. And I wanted something short and simple. Unlike me.
Let’s talk about your newest track, “Falling.” What was the inspiration for it? How would you say that it compares to anything else you have put out before? What was it like working with your co-producer Marcus Andersson on the song?
There are so many ways to fall in love. Falling is about getting what you think you wanted, which is a relationship with someone who has a boyfriend, and then waking up to the fact that you actually want to be with this person full time. No more games. But it probably won’t happen. Relationships are what shape us into ourselves. Marcus is great. We spent a lot of time discussing the emotional palette of the songs using some of my favorite films like Vertigo as references.
Will you be making a music video for “Falling”? Do you already have an idea in mind for it?
I love music videos, but cracking the code is always a challenge. I’m happy to say we are wrapping up the edit on what I think is a perfect visual counterpart to the song. It’s a trippy excursion through the carnival of our minds.
Do you have plans to release more new music soon and a full album of new songs?
Hell yeah. Have a bunch of songs ready to go, and will definitely coalesce into an album. I love the album as a format, even though it’s hard to hear a full one these days.
I would love to more about your filmmaking and how it goes hand in hand with your music? How do you find that you balance the two? Do you enjoy one over the other these days?
I write and produce movies/ TV series, and my last film was The White Tiger. I’ve always been quite visual, and loved taking photos even before the phone had a decent camera, but formalising your passion brings clarity. Ultimately my mind processes things in ways that I don’t quite understand. It’s quite intuitive sometimes, and it’s interesting to see how working in one medium influences the other. Then there’s the storytelling aspect of it, where the connection is clearer, for me.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician? What do you think motivates you day in and day out to continue this path?
I think you first love something, then you dream of emulating it, and then you build up enough courage to say I can do this! And all these moments add up to that final leap. I remember hearing The Doors as a kid, and thinking wow! I want to write spectacular songs that I can sing, and jump around on stage. But it took a while from there…
If you weren’t an artist today, could you see yourself doing anything else? What is something else interesting/funny you are good at?
I just love having an outlet for my feelings and thoughts, whether it’s a song or a screenplay, and over the years I’ve realised that it’s my favourite thing to do. That and collaborating with likeminded artists. I can imagine being a stand up comedian. It would have to be something where I write stuff down and then use it somehow.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
What’s surprising is that the bundle of contradictions that I am is exactly what is needed to make what I want to. And that it keeps changing. To quote Dylan: He not busy being born is busy dying. The welcome change is technology. I guess that’s true for every era of music, as tech helps democratise the music making process by reducing the cost of equipment and connecting people. Today I can work with producers across the world without meeting them in person. That’s amazing.
What do you think of the power of social media? How active are you on it all? Do you enjoy or have trouble keeping up with it all?
Social media is just another aspect of us being subsumed into the matrix, and I don’t mean this in a bad way. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and fans. I’m pretty active on IG and I enjoy switching it up to create and then share something interesting.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I’d love for people to feel something when they hear it. Something that stays with them, slowly flashing in the back of their mind’s eye.