You don’t have to be waist-deep in India’s independent music scene to know who Randolph Correia is. Over the years, his brand of musical excellence has ensured him a fair bit of recognition, and a career trajectory that has seen so much success hasn’t hurt either. Over the years, he’s been everything from the eccentric guitar hero of iconic Indian rock band, Pentagram, the FUNC-half of electro-rock outfit Shaa’ir + FUNC, and now he’s finally here to make his mark as a solo artist, officially signing with Mumbai-based agency KRUNK as his management as he gets ready to launch his first EP on the 22nd of July. “My parents listened to a lot of funky music, so my childhood was proper funked up with a nice mix of everything. Then one fine day I hear ‘Kill Em All’ by Metallica and here I am now, giving you this lil’ piece of tears,” he tells us.
A major part of two of our country’s most iconic musical acts while also working on personal projects, Randolph takes multitasking to a whole other level, each project being unique in their styles and forms, but how does one manage it all? Still, the ease of his responses is contagious. “I meditate,” says Randolph. “It’s all one music, we are one, dancing helps, dancing like mad, even more, like swinging-banyaan-in-the-air type dancing sometimes,” he adds. It’s hard at times to distinguish the seriousness from his humour. For those readers unfamiliar with his work, here’s Correia’s description of his background: “I am the first Indian to play guitar underwater since the age of 3, people finally get to see it. Well, I am playing guitar in space these days, I wonder when they will get to see my space moves. I have new management now, I’m gonna kick their ass to make this happen. Stay tuned.”
The underwater moves, however, is exactly why we’re here. In the visual depiction of his latest release titled ‘Beast,’ it wasn’t just a simple dip in the pool that encompassed the experience, Correia actually goes all out, thrashing about as he would on land with his instruments under water. He elaborates, “In short, we shot an amazing video the first 2 days of the shoot which this guy Bhushan Bagadia [Director of photography], who filmed it, says, ‘dude it looks a bit casual with just your shorts on, can we do this again with what you wear on stage?’ I said ‘fuck yeah! Yes hurrayeah!’ So, he comes back from Bangalore a month later and the weather fucks us all over by being a dick, and the lights are all fucked. So then brilliant Bhushan suggests ‘let’s shoot at night, i’ll get an underwater light from somewhere and we shoot!’ so that is how we shot a year ago.”
They got help with the lighting from Priyank Prem Kumar, a “lucky dude, who kept his head above water,” and a month ago while Randolph was finishing his EP, he himself edited the final video to give us what we see today. “I slowed the footage down to match the tune of Beast (also because we had like 8 minutes of footage but tons of photos) and edited the stupid guitar-player in the water, gave him some moves, and val-fucking-halla! My first video! It was a great feeling.” he said–the ‘stupid guitar-player’ being himself. Despite being a first-timer to video editing, for Randolph it was very similar to editing audio. “It’s almost easier to edit yourself if you’re a musician. Being the first time, however, I was in between a snail and a tortoise watching the world go by, eating my friends for dinner.”
Filming underwater could not have been easy, especially with all the instruments, be it pre-planned or by trial and error. “Three days of underwater was quite intense,” said Randolph. “But I spend weeks there, even months. The night is when you can swim with mermaids–I’m addicted,” and there’s something about him that makes you want to take him at his word. “That guitar underwater only happened because of Heena Kriplani from Gibson, and the rest were shitty toys you can buy at traffic signals,” he added.
Each scene in this music video has a dream-like quality to it, as you watch Randolph float around and upside-down fully dressed, guitar in hand and beating a tiny drum. The Beast EP releases on July 22, but fear not FUNC fans, it doesn’t stop here. With multiple projects in the works Randolph’s got a motherlode of great tunes coming your way. “There’s one called ‘Maratha’ and the other ‘Illiterate,’ my new hip hop shizzletons. There’s a full-length album out in October from FUNC and an album with Amrish KUmar, EPs, singles and remixes till the end of the year. Also, a new band that I’m very excited about to get on the road with FUNC. One music, one love, one nose in between your eyes can see but your brain ignores. That’s a fucked sentence, ok bye,” signs off Randolph as I move on to hit play yet another time.
‘Beast’ by FUNC, courtesy of Randolph Correia//FUNC
Words: Sara Hussain
Feature image courtesy of Randolph Correia & Bhushan Bagadia.