Watch Sukruth Make His Pop Debut with Sultry ‘Don’t Fall In Love’ Video

The Bengaluru producer and singer talks about the six-year journey to releasing his own songs

Anurag Tagat
May 02, 2022

Bengaluru-based pop artist Sukruth Mallesh. Photo: Suraj Thakur

Not too long ago, Bengaluru-based artist Sukruth Mallesh was writing riffs for his modern metal act Quarantine, while also recording material for the city’s mainstay heavy acts like Inner Sanctum and Bevar Sea at his Adarsh Recording Studios. Then, he spent time studying at K.M. College of Music and Technology in Chennai between 2015 and 2018.

The guitarist and classically trained singer and producer looks back at his transition, and recalls that he arrived at an all-too-common realization. “There was little or no growth or progression especially in the metal music scene. I have in fact seen a lot of my metal musician friends with side hustles because there was no scope for growth or money in it; I felt like my energy was not being utilized to the best of its potential or energy,” Sukruth says. College was an “eye-opener” for the artist, who had also begun singing for hip-hop artist Brodha V on his new material as well as at his shows. “I was still learning that I did not want to be put in a box,” he adds.

That’s the kind of thinking that’s driven his debut pop song “Don’t Fall In Love,” which released on March 24th. Given all his experience in metal, classical and hip-hop, Sukruth pushes forward with slick, funk-informed pop, misconceptions be damned. Co-produced by Siddhart Kamath, it’s a sinful electronic pop track about lust and attraction despite all logic. The music video, featuring model-cum-actor Bhavana Bhagwat and Sukruth getting up close and personal, sums up just the kind of pop artist he wants to be. He recalls that over time, he’s heard plenty of people from across styles disparaging pop artists for not being hard workers or writing their own music. “Some would even go as far as to say that pop musicians are not really musicians. To me, however, pop music is a lot more than just music. It’s visual poetry, it’s about setting a mood and creating music that is not just easy to listen to but also easy to sing along to as well,” the artist says.

Sukruth points out that there’s a great deal of work that goes into creating a pop song. “It is a lot more eclectic even in terms of fusion with other genres,” he says. The artist has been working towards releasing “Don’t Fall In Love” and other solo pop songs for nearly six years now. One of the key catalysts was working and touring with Brodha V, a resilient hip-hop artist who has shaken off doubters by sticking to English rap for the most part. Knowing the rapper’s success, Sukruth was steadfast about writing in English. The song’s lyrics grew out of conversations that Sukruth had with his friends, specifically during the pandemic. “I noticed my friends; both men and women missed going out, missed meeting people, missed the high of falling in love, flirting with a crush,” he says. Describing the song as a “quintessential love pop bop,” the artist adds, “It is essentially throwing a spotlight on meeting someone and instantly clicking with them, and eventually falling in love. I think to a great extent [the song is] cathartic too. I miss dating and being in love as well and I think ‘Don’t Fall In Love’ is my ode to falling in love and the rollercoaster ride it is.”

Inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and others, the single took precedence over some of the previously written tracks Sukruth had in his vault. “I was aching to write a dance number with a groove to it; some funk if you may. ‘Don’t Fall In Love’ gave me that kick, that excitement – something sparked in me the minute I knew what I wanted the song to look like or sound like,” he adds.

While he acknowledges an influence of The Weeknd, given the dancefloor-ready, synth-fueled rhythmic flourishes, Sukruth says he’ll do much more, gleaning from all his influences. “I want all my future music to be a part of who I was coming together as, who I have become, and who I will evolve into. I want every song I write and create to touch people’s lives, even if not in a conventional sense but to the extent that listening to my music becomes cathartic for them as well. I want my listeners to go on a journey with me and visualize themselves in a way they have never done before.” Part of the goal with upcoming releases is to diversify pop music in India. He adds, “There is a lot more to expect and hold tight, because this will be the year of great music; pop music.”

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