The adage ‘age is just a number’ fits quite right when it comes to the journey of the 18-year-old singer-songwriter Rudravajhala Mukta, popularly known as Rudy Mukta. On her new EP broke my slumber, she confidently shakes off genre-defining boundaries, with the record, produced by Kalmi, comfortably sitting somewhere between chill-pop, R&B and electronic. With GarageBand as a spear and talent as a shield, Rudy initially marched into the independent scene with her first EP Entropy in 2020 and has quickly established her place within the ranks.
For the lack of professional equipment, Entropy, as a fully finished output, was a valiant effort. Whatever doesn’t add up technically, gets drowned out by her incredibly sultry voice. At first, it seems like her vocal delivery is heavily influenced by R&B, but eventually, traces of pop show up. This gets even clearer as she deliberates, “Some people who do inspire me to keep grinding and pushing myself are Tyler the creator, Daniel Cesar, Jacob Collier, Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean, etc.” As a general pattern, the “sweet” from R&B is carefully infused with the darker undertones of deep electronic bass and synths. Even though the technique is consistent throughout both the EPs, its effect is more pronounced—possibly because of the industry level production—in broke my slumber.
A lot of Rudy’s narratives are known for their crafty, existential complexion, and broke my slumber isn’t an exception. On ‘seats are reserved’, we are presented with a varied palette of sonic elements—dreamy synths, skittering bass and noisy background textures—tied together with an unexpected chord progression and of course, the words. Her soulful, utterly skilled singing, that stands as an unquestioned testament to twelve years of Carnatic training.
Even though the individual musical influences are quite basic by themselves, the magic lies in the effortlessly seamless mixing of the genres. In ‘how to win a fight’, for instance, we hear R&B/pop enveloped in brassy electronic hues and an almost D&B percussion. While the introduction sets off a lazy lyric doused in chill-pop, the chorus comes with groove overload. What feels a bit off-radar, though, is the monologue at the outro of the song, “Sometimes to maintain your peace, you’re gonna have to fight for it because not everybody wants you to have that peace. It’s quite ironic, but when you do have to fight for it, it’s best to be armed with the right words and confidence because that’s how you win a fight. Or you can beat them up [cackling].”
Festive and sunny, ‘bloody rings’ contradicts the steadily sombre undercurrent of the EP, with its repetitive, four-chord pop progression. Lyrically, however, this song arguably leaves the darkest mark, “Kids’ priorities make me wanna throw up, at least I am what I wanna be when I grow up, but what’s the use, the fight against me, I lose”. The track’s sinister yet snappy chorus arrangement drags you with it into sweet doom, blindfolded and drooling.
‘morbid bop’, the closing score of the EP, packs up with a final tribute to the doom-n-gloom-y sonic core of the record. Slow building synths break into a heated, hypnotic assemblage of bass and percussion in the chorus. It’s also the song that features a music video of a very bold nature, carrying a Billie Eilish-esque production and plotline. All in all, broke my slumber offers refreshing, raw authenticity. Every message is loud and clear, every sound well-treated, and every confession, honest. Moreover, considering the EP is only her second and the artist only eighteen, it’s needless to say that Rudy holds an exciting new place as one of the youngest emerging artists in the independent music scene—the source of this kind of creation is a gold mine waiting to be unearthed.
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