Akshay Raj Dua is a New Delhi-based independent artist, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He developed his passion for music at the age of 10 years old when he began learning guitar at the Parikrama School of Music, from the well-known Mr. Sonam Sherpa.
With musical influences such as Charlie Puth and Ed Sheeran, he tries to incorporate their writing styles into his own work. With music being a therapeutic outlet for Akshay Raj Dua, he finds that his emotional and never-ending attachment to it brings forth feelings of vulnerability and relatability with his audience.
Upon listening to his melodic and transcending debut single, “I Like That,” we get pulled towards the melismatic soundscape in all of its glory. Delving into the insightful framework that dips into the narrative of being in a toxic relationship, you begin to pick up on mind-altering cues along the way.
As you continue to listen to the way this song progresses, the lyrical motifs reflect that Akshay Raj Dua actually enjoys the negative aspects of this romantic relationship. We admire the unique twist that doesn’t lean against the cliché as we immerse ourselves in not only the storyline but the brilliant essence of Akshay Raj Dua’s striking timbres.
He eases listeners into this composition as his words wrap around you like a blanket of warmth, gently making their way into your mind. Accompanying the harmonious croons of Akshay Raj Dua, we have the producer and co-writer Aaryan Bhagat, who joins in on the salutary virtuoso with his backing vocals adding dimension to what we grasp.
“I Like That,” falls into the realm of dark Pop/contemporary R&B with the intensified drum patterns and elusive synths and pads creating the atmospheric realm we are welcomed into. Now known for the way he reiterates a story, we are closely watching Akshay Raj Dua and what he has in store for us next.
Hello Akshay, welcome to BuzzMusic, and congratulations on the release of your debut single, “I Like That.” You truly put your best foot forward in making your arrival to the music industry! Is the inspiration behind this song based on a true story?
Thank you so much. Well yes, the song was inspired by a true story. I wouldn’t take names that’ll put me in a spot, haha, but the series of incidents that lead to this story occurred a year and a half ago when I was in my college. I didn't think I'd write a song about this then, but when I thought about my debut single, this story from the past just seemed perfect to write it on. Plus it isn't a cliché relationship song, it's about how I love the toxic and the negative side of the relationship and how it pulls me back even after all that I have gone through.
What was it like working with Aaryan Bhagat in order to portray this vision the way you saw it destined? How did this collaboration come to be?
Working with Aaryan was a lot of things, motivational, inspirational, fun, and super easy. Coincidentally, Aaryan and I share the same type of liking in music and therefore like similar portrayals of that in our work and as soon as we met and discussed the story, it was only a matter of time that we put together the first draft of the song. Working with him is just like telepathy I guess, I think of something that I want in the song and he understands what it is instantly and that’s what makes it so much fun. For molding the song to my vision, as soon as I told him the story, he quickly understood what space I was looking for, for the song. After that, it was just a couple of hours of brainstorming and we had it. Working with him was the best experience of my life. As for the collaboration, Aaryan and I have been friends for the past 5-6 years now and we connected again over the music about a year ago. He was the one who taught me the basics of production, how to make my own music, and helped me grow from zero to where I am right now. Then later on when I wanted to make original music, I decided that if I want to work alongside anyone for my debut single, it would only be Aaryan.
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to embark on a solo career as a musician? Was there a specific turning point where everything aligned?
Well, it is quite a funny story actually if I talk about my solo career as a musician. It starts with how I lost my touch with music 2 years back and then the lockdown due to Covid-19 happened. I was back home with everything I needed, my guitar and my piano. That was when I started delving deep into music again just like before and rediscovered the love I had for music. As for a specific turning point where everything aligned was when I produced my first project for a cover song that I was trying to do, I was adamant about doing everything myself in that project and it took me three weeks to record, produce and mix, but I think that was when I realized that this is it, this is where I start growing and this is what I want to do.
What are you hoping that your audience takes away from the message and emotion in “I Like That?"
What we (Aaryan Bhagat and I) were hoping to achieve with "I like that" was that we wanted to give the audience a story they hadn't really heard before. Songs to me are all about the stories and everyone loves to relate with these stories but we wanted to give the listeners a dive into a toxic relationship and how it can be very difficult and sometimes feel impossible to get out of. Even though the lyrics nudge the audience to believe that I like the toxic relation. It's the denial and self-doubt that don't let one get out of these toxic relationships. Either one can accept this and break out of it or one can be in denial or actually accept the "denial" and be in it.
What can we expect to see next from you?
You can expect some more songs coming to the streaming platforms soon. Like every young adult these days, I listen to music 24/7. I have a lot of artists that I look up to and a lot of songs that I wish I had written. There is this amalgamation of many artists and genres in my mind right now. I am working on my debut EP alongside Aaryan Bhagat (producer) to deliver some more stories about my life and I hope the audience can relate to them. An EP is something I've dreamed of and now it's finally going to happen and I can't wait to share it with everyone.