Neil Sethi is a rising, Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based, Indian-American electronic music producer and DJ, best known as AIR APPARENT. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic array of artists and genres including Bollywood, hip-hop, pop punk and the likes of James Blake, Japanese Breakfast, Vampire Weekend, CHVRCHES and Purity Ring among others, the rising Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based artist has developed and honed a critically applauded sound and approach that sees him effortlessly meshing a myriad of genres and styles. Beyond braking down musical barriers, Sethi hopes to inspire other marginalized young people to pursue their creative endeavors.
Sethi released his sophomore AIR APPARENT EP, Color Dreams in 2019. He followed that up with his biggest single to date, 2020’s “three strikes” feat. DAVVN, a track that has since amassed over 119,000 Spotify streams.
The rising Atlanta-born, San Francisco-based electronic music artist’s full-length debut, Chromatic is slated for a September 16, 2022 release. Sonically, the album’s material reportedly will be a splashy and vibrant fusion of 80s funk and electronic dance music paired with soaring, R&B and pop-leaning hooks — while thematically, the album chronicles the highs and lows of a romantic relationship. Along with that, the album will display Sethi’s range as a musician on full display: he wrote more melodies and lyrics than ever before. Reportedly, the end result is dynamic, dreamy fantasy that imagines summer lasting all year long while busting traditional genre boundaries.
“I wanted to play on the idea that electronic music doesn’t have to be one thing. It can be stretched and smeared in different directions,” Sethi says of Chromatic. “The title refers to me expressing my vision of electronic music in a range of different colors, just how you can take a human experience and find 25 different angles and narratives within it.”
Chromatic‘s latest single, “Leave Me” is a sultry, infectious bop that sonically is a slick synthesis of New Jack Swing, 80s synth funk, contemporary electro pop and R&B centered around glistening synth arpeggios. wobbling bass synths, skittering and thumping beats, a chopped up and distorted vocal sample paired with Megan Ashworth‘s sultry yet contemplative delivery and a soaring, infectious hook. But underneath the breezy and infectious hookiness of the song, is a narrator, who’s desperate to move forward with her life, and is begging her partner to leave her and find someone else that might be a better fit.
Interestingly, the track emerged from Sethi’s desire to pay homage to electronic influences like KAYTRANADA and Disclosure, and took shape after he discovered a vocal sample on Splice that he played around with, eventually chopping it up and distorting it. “As I listened to it more and more,” Sethi explains, “I realized the melody was really hooky so I went back and wrote an initial pass of lyrics based on the vocal sample and tune.”
Inspired by Flying Lotus and J. Dilla, pantology added an electric bass line that took the production further — but it still lacked a vocalist. “When it came to figuring out a topline vocal,”says Sethi, “I was lucky to discover Megan Ashworth online and work with her team on getting an impeccable vocal that sat nicely in the mix with a powerful, yet reflective energy.”