FEATURING NEW TRACKS FROM LABEL HEADS
KAHANI AND KUNAL MERCHANT
‘GARBA SZN’ EP OUT NOW VIA INDO WAREHOUSE
On the heels of throwing a massively successful sold-out kickoff party for the inaugural edition of South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), NYC-based label Indo Warehouse continues its upward trajectory with the release of its first EP, GARBA SZN. Featuring two tracks from label founder Kahani and one from partner Kunal Merchant, the project doubles as an ode to the annual Hindu festival of Navratri, which concluded on October 5th. The three-tracker boasts variances in underground dance music while taking a unique spin on connecting to the ethos of Navratri and the sounds of its traditional Garba parties, while maintaining the signature rhythmic Indo Warehouse flair. GARBA SZN EP is out now via Indo Warehouse.
Indo Warehouse has had a spectacular year so far. Getting its start as a concept that aimed to give a platform to South Asian diaspora artists, the brand has grown into a fully-functioning label and rapidly-growing event brand that has gained a reputation for throwing unforgettable parties that celebrate blended cultures. In 2022, the label launched various releases from founder Kahani and welcomed music from fresh, talented artists, such as local NYC DJ Kunal Merchant and New Jersey-based up-and-comer Ethyr. Following a string of milestones, including five records and four sold-out shows, Indo Warehouse continues to raise the bar with the release of its first EP, GARBA SZN.
On the inspiration behind the EP, Merchant, and Kahani say, “Garba SZN is here! The rhythm, pulse, soul, and emotion of Navratri all inspired the records in our first Indo Warehouse EP. We’re excited to share our reinterpretations of the music and sound that are so special to our culture.” Through a mix of drum patterns, eclectic basslines, baile funk rhythms, vocals, and melodies, the GARBA SZN EP rings true to the spirit of Navratri, which seeks to celebrate good over evil through song and dance.
The lead track, Kunal’s “Baaje (w/ Aditya Rao),” is the most heavily relatable to the average listener, calling upon a blend of Rao’s soulful vocals, deep house rhythms, and striking drum patterns. “Baaje is a mix of influences: the rhythm, vocals, and melodies you’d hear attending a Garba blended with the deep house sound you hear in my productions and sets,” Merchant states. Kahani dials up the energy in “Dholida,” where he reimagines the sounds that are typically echoed at a traditional Garba party. “I wanted to take the essence of the dance form and bring it into our world,” Kahani comments on the inspiration behind the track, “What if we could throw a Garba at a warehouse with high-end sound and lighting reminiscent of modern music festivals? That was the vision.”
GARBA SZN concludes with another Kahani original, “Natho.” The track sees Kahani experiment with traditional drum patterns to incite feelings of power and euphoria. “Energy. That’s what ‘Natho’ is about,” Kahani says, “Inspired by my love for heavy bass-style baile funk, I wanted to use drum patterns to evoke the same feelings yet connect them to our culture. That being said, it’s a global rhythm that can be felt by anyone.”
TRACKLIST & QUOTES:
1. Kunal Merchant – Baaje (w/ Aditya Rao)
“Baaje is a mix of influences: the rhythm, vocals, and melodies you’d hear attending a Garba blended with the deep house sound you hear in my productions and sets. The result is deeply soulful, an element that really took shape when we added Aditya’s incredible voice.
Having been a fan of Aditya’s for some time, I was excited to collaborate with him for the first time on Baaje. His voice added a beautifully soulful layer to a record that I produced with a flood of memories, having spent so much time attending garbas throughout my life.”
– Kunal Merchant
2. Kahani – Dholida
“I wanted to take the essence of the dance form and bring it into our world. What if we could throw a Garba at a warehouse with high-end sound and lighting reminiscent of modern music festivals? That was the vision. The groove continues throughout the track, ensuring you continue moving to the rhythm with ominous, dreamy undertones. Looking forward to playing this live for our crowd.”
3. Kahani – Natho
“Energy. That’s what Natho is all about. Inspired by my love for heavy bass-style baile funk, I wanted to use drum patterns to evoke the same feeling yet connect them to our culture. That being said, it’s a global rhythm that can be felt by anyone.”