SPRYK – Apexing The Apex

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Tejas a.k.a Spryk is an electronic artist & a culture entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India. Tejas’ work is a classic case of electronic exploration that makes use of available technology while referencing that which came before it and does so in a sincerely human way. From running two media houses and a record label to building immersive art installations, and taking the stage for presenting Audio Visual Live performances to designing ambisonic sound for VR & video games & original music releases, Tejas' fluidic profile was only challenged by his imagination. He owns and runs Press Play Studio, a successful Audio production house in his home city of Mumbai, works on building Eyemyth New Media Arts Festival in Mumbai & a grassroots music festival in Chennai called 'Madras Medai', both focusing on shaping new culture movements & building communities among other things.

What music are you producing or DJ'ing and what got you into this genre?

I’ve been producing all kinds of music over the years. My work as Spryk focuses predominantly on experiments in Electronic Music and Audio Visual performances. With the studio however, I work with various types of music across the board. Ad jingles, Short Films, Animation & even feature films.

You are a current generation artist armed with technology while drawing significant influences from the era before, how do you harmonise your music?

Well Harmony exists even without technology so I’m not exactly sure what that means. As for technology, yes! It is an endless and exciting world that lets us redefine so many existing practices. I feel privileged to have access to that technology and at the same time be able to use it to present my work and ideas. Music is still extremely emotional though. Technology alone can’t tell a story. The person or people behind the music are still the ones that give the music soul.

But that’s not just it right, you are also an Artist. How did Art fit in the bill?

Music is an incredible art form and presents the opportunity to interact with so many other art forms so I guess that’s where the Art comes in. I practice my craft day in and day out and it’s almost an obsession that doesn't let me rest until I find something to build, create. It sounds lame, but practicing any art form is really a way of life. It’s a huge part of who I am as a person.

Tell us, what does a typical day in the studio mean to you?

A typical day actually isn't always inspiring for me haha. It consists of many rudimentary tasks that I do like organising samples, testing out new audio tools, often learning new skills, etc. I just like to create an environment for inspiration to grow. The truth is some days are just not inspiring and full of doubt, frustration or random thoughts. When any kind of inspiration hits me, i like to take it and run with it instantly. My studio has two parts to it. One is the control room where I have all my gear and the other is like my office where I sit when I’m doing calls, emails, etc. I like that separation a lot. When an idea comes to mind, I move to the music room and everything is ready for me to dive into and create.


Apex is your forthcoming album, now obviously because of the current situation of the world as we know, your tour stands grounded. But you sure can share with us the origin and influence of this album?

APEX is a project that I started working on around july last year. I had been drafting out early concepts for a show that explores the relationship between humans and technology. I wanted to explore this as a story through an immersive concert. I was reading and learning a lot about how humans have historically interacted with technology at various levels and how our speculations of the future have been guided by transformations in the tech world. Whie building on my early thoughts, I got a call from Munbir from Magnetic Fields Festival with a very exciting proposal. They wanted to commission me to present a brand new body of work at their festival. I have worked with the team behind the festival on multiple occasions now and this felt like a great opportunity to explore this concept.


Apex is releasing on Skip-A-Beat, a record label owned by you. How Did Skip-A-Beat form? What’s the driving force?

Skip-A-Beat started off as an online radio show on Boxout.fm back in 2017. It was part of the first batch of shows to launch the station. The idea behind the show was an hour long episode that lets me bring to light a lot of under-found music that’s being made across India and it’s neighboring countries. We have now done 36 episodes of the show and as you imagine it has introduced me to a huge range of music from different parts of the scene. I started digging Soundcloud, Bandcamp, facebook groups and even discord to find all these tracks and artists. It’s still an ongoing process and I really enjoy it. We have now built a small but very engaging audience that tunes in for the show and loves to discover new sounds. It has also helped me better understand what upcoming artists are driven by and what they are trying to create, the stories they are trying to tell. That to me is the driving force. The move to launch a label felt natural to me when I was looking to release the soundtrack to Strange Movements, an AV project that I share with @thebigfatminimalist.


How does AV add value to a show? What kind of an experience you think transcends to listeners or attendees of that show?

I think that there is a certain magic in an artist being able to immerse audiences into a world of your own. One with sound, lights, visuals, decor and more. It’s an opportunity to present your vision and your stories. Fortunately technology lets us build out these worlds in some truly incredible ways. I don't just mean large scale experiences. A simple set up with a few tools can build some amazing experiences. I think audiences are always hungry for new experiences. They may not subscribe to all of them in the long term but they definitely want to try new things out.


How has the struggle been so far to your current stand?

There are many types of struggles and to be honest mine are far more privileged than those of so many others. In a way, I like to think that the biggest struggle for any creator is with yourself. Forming opinions that you really believe in. Committing to ideas and seeing your plans through. These have been my biggest struggles. The struggles to get a fair deal or get booked or even get paid on time are universal for most people in the business. It is not an easy world to exist or thrive in but nothing good ever came without the struggle so I like to embrace it and try to find ways to overcome those struggles.


Why did you choose this career? 

It was literally the only career that really got me excited. It made me want to learn more, make new things everyday and find answers to questions that wouldn't let me sleep at night. It just felt like the only thing I wanted to really do.

Not necessarily monetary, how have the rewards been so far in this career? 

It’s been incredible! The monetary rewards are quite often dwarfed by the sheer realization that I even get to do this for a living. 

Apart from the roles you manage, you also run a studio called Press Play Studio? What is it about?

Yes. Press play Studio is an Audio Production studio that I run in Mumbai. We have been doing it for about 5 years now. We provide custom music and Audio solutions like Sound Design, Spatial Audio, Mixing, Post Production, Sync & licensing for clients in the world of Media and entertainment.

Now we’ve seen all the hats you wear, tell us what binds all of them together? How difficult is it to wear all of these hats?

I don’t find it difficult really. It’s challenging for sure but I find it exciting. It gives me tons of things to do every single day and lets me use my abilities across so many industries and formats. I also get to work with some amazing people though all these roles so it’s actually very rewarding.

How easy/difficult it is to release music in your genre? 

With the infrastructure that is available to artists over the internet, just releasing is pretty easy. Getting the release to reach as many people as possible and creating opportunities to exploit the release monetarily is the real challenge. 

Who according to you are top 5 labels in your genre? 

Not sure if I fall under any particular genre but here are 5 of my favourite labels currently. (in no particular order)

  • Renraku
  • Saturate Recordings
  • Brainfeeder
  • 1985 Records
  • 20/20LDN

What’s coming up for You down the road?

For now, I have the APEX soundtrack to finish and a few other projects in the pipeline. Till the COVID19 situation gets any better, it’s hard to really say anything though.


Well, thank you once again for spending time with us, giving us valuable insight in to your career. We wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavours. See you soon at a club.

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