The Chennai-based singer was recruited by the San Francisco-based composer, who also has guitarist Robin Applewood on the track from ‘The Wake Up Call’
American artists Robin Applewood, Starita and Chennai-based Pratika Gopinath (from left) collaborate on “Changing.” Photos: Tam Starita, Nikita Borges
After a few years of establishing herself as the soulful voice in Pune alternative act Easy Wanderlings, vocalist Pratika Gopinath takes a step into solo material with a transnational collaboration called “Changing,” for San Francisco-based electronic/ambient/new age producer Michael Starita. The calming song, part of Starita’s upcoming album The Wake Up Call, also features fellow San Francisco guitarist and artist Robin Applewood.
For Gopinath, “Changing” comes as a breakthrough in terms of finally putting out solo material. She admits that there’s often too much pressure in the music industry and a struggle to be expressive, but she didn’t want to let go of this opportunity.
Starita — who has previously worked with hip-hop artist Childish Gambino as well as Indo-American producer-drummer and singer Madame Gandhi — says he chanced upon Gopinath’s work via Rolling Stone India. “I was blown away by the purity, soulfulness, ease, and spirit of her voice. Nothing about the collaboration and making of this track was planned. This container allowed us to effortlessly unleash the uniqueness and qualities that are within each of us as distinctive artists… to create music that is pure, interesting, and honest,” Starita says.
Given complete freedom to add her vocals and lyrics to the track, there’s a deep introspection that takes place on “Changing,” which Starita terms as the most accessible song on his upcoming record. Gopinath adds, “The process was completely remote and only through email and messages. Till date, we have not spoken in person or on the phone, but even so, surprisingly we were able to create something beautiful together.”
With this release to her name, the singer is writing more songs that she’s much more satisfied with, plus collaborations. “If all goes well, hopefully next year there will be a few more releases […] As for Easy Wanderlings, there are a lot of songs in the works, we’re hoping to release a single soon,” she says.
US-BASED GENRE-BLENDING MUSIC ARTIST, STARITA REACHES ACROSS BORDERS ON A VIRTUAL COLLABORATION WITH INDIAN INDIE ARTIST PRATIKA GOPINATH OF EASY WANDERLINGS AND MUSIC RENAISSANCE MAN, ROBIN APPLEWOOD; RELEASING THE FIRST SINGLE ENTITLED “CHANGING” OF NEW AGE ALBUM ON NOVEMBER 18TH, 2020 …
Photography/Cover Art Direction Credit: Tam Starita
‘One of electronic music’s rising stars just so happens to be a Southern boy at heart. Mississippian Starita has wowed international crowds with his innate knack for blending acoustic instruments into an electronic song, which he argues is indicative of his roots.’– PopMatters
“Changing” is the first single release from Starita’s new avant-garde, ambient, new age album, “The Wake Up Call”; a body of work that expresses his journey of introspection across the various stages of the human experience (from openness and curiosity in childhood to pain, closure, resistance, and darkness in adulthood), leading to awareness, acceptance, and awakening on the search for peace and freedom. Due to the reflective nature of the message, “Changing” is the most open and approachable song on the album. While this neo-classical and ambient soundscape direction differs from his previous releases, Starita’s signature sound blending resonates clearly on this track and album, as he masterfully combines acoustic and electronic elements using analog synths and sound design. This is also a well-matched global virtual collaboration between US and India artists; featuring the soulful and jazzy vocals of Pratika Gopinath, lead vocalist of the group, Easy Wanderlings of Chennai, South India, guitarist and musical renaissance man, Robin Applewood, of the San Francisco Bay Area, US, and genre-blending artist, Starita, also residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, US.
“The basic premise agreed upon by all of the collaborators for this track and album was to allow the song and its elements to flow together naturally with no force from the mind; letting the heart lead. As a result the song, in a sense, wrote itself,” says Starita. “It started with Robin Applewood who channeled the guitar part masterfully; played on an old classical guitar that was left to him by a close deceased friend. Since it has the original strings that came with the guitar, there was an inherited energy, meaning, and vibe to the sound, even though most would say that the strings are dead or need to be changed.” Starita expanded. “I wanted the guitar piece to create a pillowy bed of clouds with layers of arpeggios that could be expanded upon,” Applewood added. “From this, I built electronic elements around the guitar piece, leading to the theme of the song. As this all evolved from a natural flow state, I invited Pratika Gopinath to collaborate as the vocalist after hearing her performance with Easy Wanderlings through Rolling Stone India. I was blown away by the purity, soulfulness, ease, and spirit of her voice. Nothing about the collaboration and making of this track was planned. This container allowed us to effortlessly unleash the uniqueness and qualities that are within each of us as distinctive artists… to create music that is pure, interesting, and honest.” Starita concluded.
“After listening to the opening track on this album, I want the listener to close their eyes and sink into the song. Instead of thinking about their opinions of it, I want them to feel the song, take note of where the song takes them, and be in the moment. Music is powerful in that it offers us the opportunity to feel instead of think, yet we often don’t allow ourselves to do so. As this track is called ‘Changing,’ and is about the journey of new beginnings, it’s the perfect opportunity to try something NEW.” says Gopinath.
Starita’s “Changing” is available across all digital service providers on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
Starita, is a Mississippi born, 2-time GRAMMY®/Latin Grammy recognized multi-talented producer, songwriter, and artist whose work spans a multitude of genres. His work and unexpected collaborations with Childish Gambino, A Tribe Called Quest, Madame Gandhi, Rebelution, Los Amigos Invisibles, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and many others, offer a unique genre blending style incorporating electronic elements blended with live instrumentation that stems from his deep roots in electronic, ambient, classical, and new age music. Fans are often pleasantly surprised by the unexpected outcome; an out-of-the box production resulting in a lush yet complex soundscape.
San Francisco-based Starita is a 2 time GRAMMY®/Latin Grammy recognized producer and engineer. Surviving the Golden Age is excited to kickstart 2020 by premiering his new single, Fashion.
“I chose this song as the first release for 2020 by design,” said Starita. He continued, “I wanted to offer a song that energized people to start the year feeling invigorated and strong; ready to seize everything that life has to offer, letting go of everything that doesn’t serve them, and just go for it! So, don’t think. Just dance.”
With effervescent production, the uplifting track features lush yet complex soundscape. With descending piano arpeggios, shuffling house beat, and silky R&B vocals, the track is sure to get your January moving.
Singer-songwriter, Julian Roy, known for his modern R&B/Neo-Soul sound, joins GRAMMY® /Latin Grammy recognized producer-artist Starita, marked for his unique genre-blending production style, to deliver a distinctive Lo-Fi Pop/Alternative/Electronic introspective collaboration. From vocals to production, Roy and Starita worked to create a free floating lush soundscape, intertwining melodies with counter melodies that played well off each other. “While the lyrics are left intentionally vague, there is a touch of sadness to this song. We wanted to mimic that emotional roller coaster through sound; capturing a personal journey of ups and downs, when there’s nowhere else to go, our only choice is inward,” says Starita.
“The song is about choosing where to place our love and more specifically relying on ourselves for that love. I’ve noticed in my own life I’ve been dependent on other people for love, instead of searching inward. I have done that introspective work. But until I stepped away from some really loving situations did I look in the mirror and realized I needed to dig deeper into myself, and ‘SAVE ME,’ says Julian Roy.
Unlike Starita’s prior collaborations showcasing harder, more explosive vocals, Starita put the spotlight on Julian Roy’s laid back vocals to draw the listener in. From production to delivery, this track carries the dynamic soundscape that fans have come to expect from Starita. Even though this is an electronic track, there’s a lot of focus on songwriting. This track, while huge in soundscape, is counterbalanced by Julian Roy’s mellow vocals and anchored with Hip Hop beats, Reggae bridge, and Dub elements.
Recognized for Starita’s diverse collaborations with lead vocal powerhouses, this is the sixth track released as an artist following “Rules” featuring Jarobi of A Tribe Called Quest and vocalist Trent Park, “Lights On” showcasing American singer/songwriter, Trevor Hall, ‘The One’ in collaboration with R&B singer/songwriter Trent Park, “HUMAN” with the explosive vocalist/MC RyanNicole, and “Too Strong,’ headlining bi-lingual singer-rapper-songwriter of LatinX group BANG DATA and Zion I Crew, which premiered via Billboard, Yahoo! Music, Magnetic Magazine, Pop Matters, and HipHopDX, respectively.
HIPHOPDX PREMIERE – Explosive bi-lingual MC Deuce Eclipse (Zion I, Bang Data) has joined forces with Grammy Award-winning producer Starita for a new single called “Too Strong.” The track effortlessly brings two cultures together and allows Deuce to flex his bi-lingual prowess.
“I’ve always been a bi-lingual rapper,” Deuce tells HipHopDX. “My music is about non-exclusivity. It’s for everybody. It’s music without borders. It’s a universal worldwide sound in the way that it combines the cultures that I’ve experienced — Nicaraguan, first generation American, Californian, Hip Hop rapper, bi-lingual artist — and the message that comes through me.
“What’s resonant with me right now is going back to my Spanish roots and connecting with other parts of my community beyond Hip Hop — Spanish speakers, immigrants or just others that may not speak English in general. I want my music to be the voice for everyone in terms of what I do musically.”
Deuce adds, “‘Too Strong’ is about strength and positivity, in a way. In another way, it’s putting out there how we live around the system and survive in this country by uniting and coming together; being strong in our beliefs.
“As I look at my environment and the separation of families and what’s going on in the world, I work to balance the negativity that’s placed us and remind myself not to give up on humanity…at the end of the day, we are all good at heart.”
Deuce and Starita’s collaborative relationship stretches back years. In fact, Starita engineered Bang Data’s La Sopa album in 2012. Their chemistry continues with “Too Strong.”
“When the opportunity came up for ‘Too Strong,’ it just felt right to make this a bi-lingual track,” Starita explains. “Deuce’s ability to blend Spanish and English in lyrics is masterful. And considering that I love pushing the boundaries of genre-bending, collaborating with Deuce and making music that resonate across cultures is a natural progression.”
Both artists want fans of the track to feel good after hearing the song. It’s all about creating a mood.
“When fans listen to ‘Too Strong,’ I’d like them to feel that this music is timeless,” Deuce concludes. “I always like to create something that feels good but puts you in the mood. Making music is about the whole, not its parts. It’s not necessarily about the lyrics. It’s everything as one thing. It’s not just the voice.
“The voice is just one instrument. People forget that. I want people to realize that music is a vibration. It gets in where it fits in. There’s so many different vibrations in the world and this is just one of them.”
“Too Strong” serves as Starita’s fifth track as a solo artist, following “Rules” featuring A Tribe Called Quest’s Jarobi and vocalist Trent Park, “Lights On” with singer-songwriter, Trevor Hall, “The One” with R&B singer/songwriter Trent Park and “HUMAN” featuring Oakland-based MC RyanNicole.
Starita Record will be releasing a REMIX EP early 2020 and is looking for remixes. Submit below for consideration!