Preface: Satya Hinduja is an electronic musician that has been using sound waves to take audiences into a meditative state. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Satya has experimented with vocals, guitar and piano, DJing around the world and composing music for the Bollywood Film Industry. Satya speaks to us about defying the status quo, elevating consciousness, the creative process and her own personal style.
NH: Please describe your journey into music?
SH: I sometimes feel music has been a part of my world ever since I was born. My mother, an ardent follower and lover of music, ensured all of her three children studied music since their inception. I happened to be the middle child, already more silent than my bubbly older sister and my yet to be born brother; music seeped right through my veins naturally. Having grown up in a really large Indian joint family we were always surrounded by the melodies of family and people. However, I always found that silence was my nest and music my bird.
I began my journey as a vocalist when I was featured in an All India Radio (AIR) primetime show at the age of five. Ever since then I’ve been a student of sound and it’s definitely been a mystical and magical ride!
My journey has taken me from vocals to piano to guitar to Berklee College of Music for Film Scoring. This lead to various opportunities including, working in the Bollywood Film Industry, composing for collaborative art projects, flying to New York and enrolling myself into Dubspot. This has resulted in my involvement in the Underground Producers Alliance, DJing, an INK Talk and eventually coining Alchemic Electronica and creating the Alchemic Sonic Environment which are now my core projects.
I have always been a seeker and my search for the truth of sound lead me on a continuous journey that will be ever unfolding, because I believe the magic lies within the unknown. As an artist I’ve always been looking for a sonic space where freedom and consciousness would dictate my sound over any music industry norm that keeps you confined within it’s parametric box.
NH: Please talk to me about your creative process. How does a piece come into being?
SH: It depends on the kind of music I am working on. From writing for films to art, electronica and meditative music; the energy & moment of the hour directs and dictates my unfolding steps for a piece. Of course since my roots have been film scoring, I always tend to write better with a vision, concept, idea or feeling in mind. When I chose to enter the vortex of electronic music, suddenly the doors of possibilities sprung open! It was like re-discovering freedom once again and ever since then sonic inspiration is everywhere. I sometimes spend days just experimenting through different mediums of expression, like charcoal on paper, before I even get to writing music.
A daily meditation practice, six hours of yoga during the week, a healthy diet and most importantly good sleep are all essential to my day. I truly believe that my creative process of art and music is a spiritual practice and my way of life is guided by spirit; ever unfolding, ever magical.
NH: What influence do philosophies and disciplines outside of music have on your work? What is it about these concepts and disciplines that you connect with?
SH: I am an ardent student of sound and the different modalities of healing the subconscious mind. Vedanta Philosophies of living and education are intrinsically a part of my on going research and studies. I am also educated in Neuro- Linguistic Programming and Kinesiology. The Hindu Vedic belief of ‘Nada Brahma’ which literally translates to ‘Sound is God,’ is my core principle and any medium that represents and leads to the knowing of the ‘divine light’ within is a part of my continuous study and search.
I believe the best education is through experience and travel. Angel numbers, symbolism and being connected to the scientific research of the unfolding frequencies of life are also very important to my practice. Because my given name ‘Satya’ means Truth and until something doesn't emit the energy of truthfulness, my search continues.
"As an artist I’ve always been looking for a sonic space where freedom and consciousness would dictate my sound over any music industry norm that keeps you confined within it’s parametric box."
NH: How do you know when you have created a piece that is finished — when nothing need be added, taken away or modified?
SH: When I sleep peacefully at night! Also when I can let go of the piece like a mother would let her child, allowing it to take it’s first step into the world without wanting to guide it forward, letting it flourish and grow as nature intends.
NH: What do you think the future of electronic music is?
SH: As a true follower of sound and someone whose life has 100% evolved, expanded and healed through music, I believe highly curated electronic music has the potential to become medicine. Not just for the younger generations like it already has but for all people to heal their inner wounds and unblock their energetic waste. Our world needs a lot of healing right now and sound and music is the only medium that can really have the most powerful impact on humanity. Every human being cycles from 20 - 20,000 Hz (cycles of sound per second) in a day and as electronic musicians this frequency spectrum is our neighbourhood! It’s where the magic lies.
I have coined a new sub-genre of the electronica music movement ‘Alchemic Electronica’ to merge science and the arts. Focusing on elevating people’s consciousness by using scientifically researched frequencies as it’s foundational ingredient for a musical composition. I intend to work on building a lot of Alchemic Electronica and also hope to collaborate with many artists who would help in creating this grassroots movement into a reality. I believe that music is medicine and we have the technology to be able to make this a reality. It’s just a matter of time.
NH: What is your greatest challenge as a musician?
SH: My greatest challenge with every piece is to build a bridge between the eastern and western styles and beliefs of musical traditions and to marry the science of frequency within each piece of music. That’s where Alchemic Electronica comes alive. As a student of sound and a practicing meditator, my goal is to become a channel that uses the tool of sound and music to help people connect with their core being and elevate their levels of consciousness.
NH: What does art mean to you personally?
SH: Art is a way of life. It’s an expression of one’s soul and I continuously work on healing myself in turn sending healing energies towards the art that I’ve been gifted with.
NH: When you are DJing, what do you feel most comfortable to wear? Do tell me about your style...
SH: We currently live in the age of casualism and comfort is my word and style. I tend to dress in black mostly and have a hint of symbolism through my neck pieces or hand pieces. Most times you will see me with a necklace of triangular, sacred geometric shapes and my spirit animal — A seahorse! It reminds me of of the only truth, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and not the other way around.
NH: What is the most cherished item in your wardrobe?
SH: There are such few things that I truly cherish beyond sound and music related tools and equipment. However, I feel it is between a beautiful seahorse necklace my father gifted me from a quaint little jewellery store in Syracuse, Italy and a Stephen Webster Capricorn Astro necklace that I gifted myself (which I don’t do very often).
There is a reason why both of these pieces are so dear to me apart from them carrying a lot of symbolism; capricorn being my star sign and the seahorse being my spirit animal. Both these pieces carry a significant story that helped shaped my artistic life.
Let me start by telling you about the Seahorse necklace. About three years ago I was traveling in Sicily, Italy with my family. As I landed at the airport I saw a sign board that announced Andrea Bocelli in concert five days from that day in Syracuse. We weren’t planning to go to Syracuse but I convinced my entire family to drive across the island so we could attend one of the most beautiful Andrea Bocelli concerts I had witnessed. I even got to meet him in his greenroom! It was a magical moment for a student of sound and music! One that I think my entire family will also remember forever.
And the Stephen Webster piece is a Capricorn mascot, with a goat perched up on a honey topaz ball. This honey topaz ball has been my viewfinder for so many ideas, projects, conversations and one of my most cherished friendships was formed because of this piece. I met my dearest friend, photographer and collaborator Rohan Shrestha. We recently worked together on his first art show in Mumbai ‘Hanami’ and I composed an alchemic sonic environment for the entire experience.
NH: Is there anyone who inspires your style?
SH: Rick Owens fashion merges so well with my personality, his pieces are subtle yet edgy and that’s pretty much how I like to feel when I hit the road. There is also this amazing little multi-brand store in West Village, New York called ‘Shop Untitled’ that my dear friend and fashion connoisseur Ali Yarkhan took me to; they curate the most amazing designers from across the globe.
"The honey topaz ball Capricorn mascot by Stephen Webster is one of my most cherished piece, it has been my viewfinder for so many ideas, projects, conversations and one of my most cherished friendships was formed because of this piece."
NH: What’s next for you?
SH: I recently launched my project the Alchemic Sonic Environment in Mumbai at the Berklee India Exchange Celebration. It was a 96 person sonic meditation for the energy of the heart centre with 10 surround speakers and a symbolic yin and yang seating arrangement. My goal is to collaborate with people from all over the world to bring Alchemic Sonic Environment experiences to as many people as possible.
My next projects will be at the Sages & Scientists Conference in LA in early September and at the Shillim Institute in India in October.
"The Alchemic Sonic Environment is an immersive nomadic spatial sound booth that caters to all of the body’s senses. The experience combines the scientific with the spiritual, utilising the binaural foundation of Alchemic Electronica alongside known relaxation techniques to guide the listener into a deep induced meditative state. From simple de-stressing to elevating the deep subconscious, each session is carefully tailored to fit the audience’s needs by tuning a range of variables; from structure to smell, light temperature, sound and space."
Early adopters have described sessions as a ‘seismic shift’ within themselves, feeling relieved of subconscious blockages and spiritually realigned in order to receive messages directly from their core being.
NH: Where can we find you online?