Nikhil Pahwa, Popular Music graduate and music producer, has released his impressive debut EP titled The Agenda. Set over six tracks, with appearances from upcoming artists Enfield Collective and YS Tekdinner, the collaborative project is an intriguing and exciting mix of genres and sounds.
Nikhil, known as Nikhil Beats, has a music style that reflects his roots – originating in India and growing up in East London – and is influenced by a variety of genres, from grime, garage, drum 'n' bass, bashment and jungle to funk, soul, jazz, bhangra and the classic Hindi Bollywood music his grandparents would play to him. His former academic tutors say he's a producer to watch out for.
Antti Saario, Head of Music, described Nikhil's previous project, his third year portfolio on the Popular Music degree as: "arguably the best (and freshest) studio album ever to have come out of AMATA."
Will Parker, Popular Music Lecturer and Nikhil's final project supervisor, agreed: "Nikhil created an amazing producer's portfolio. His new EP is more controlled and he's definitely taken a step on and this sounds more pro. The piece he made for Falmouth was really eclectic and choppy, whereas this knows what it is a bit more."
At the beginning of the Popular Music course, students are put into bands. Nikhil was teamed with a guitarist and singer and they created their band, Lunar Plexus.
Will said: "When we put [the students] into bands, they only have to stay together for one semester, but [Lunar Plexus] stayed together for about two years and when Ed O'Brien [from Radiohead] came down he was really impressed by them."
"Before he left, [Nikhil] did quite a big gig at Hammersmith Apollo. He was one of those people who, as they were finishing the course, their foot was quite far out the door already. We want our students to do that – we want the third year to be their springboard out of here – and he was definitely doing that. It wasn't his gig, but it was a gig of lots of different MCs and it [had an audience of] about 3600 people. As he was leaving he was also looking to further his network in London and looking really seriously at how he could make in-roads.
"[It was] amazing working with Nikhil. When he got to his third year, the art of working with him was almost trying to slow him down enough just to talk to him, because he was so lit up and it was happening so quickly. He [was] one of those students where you have to be on your A-game to support them, which is absolutely what we want. We want them to be industry ready when they leave, so it was really exciting."
Nikhil Beats' debut EP launched on 26 October 2018, it is available on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.