Culture

Meet Chrms, the 17-year-old proving to be Indian electronica’s most promising new talent

AKA Veer Kowli

Veer Kowli has been surrounded by the arts ever since he was young. He spent much of his childhood in his parents’ office — they’re advertising professionals who now run their own agency — soaking up everything from software (Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro) to music production programmes like FL Studio. He soon began dabbling in design and animation, creating his own artworks and 3D models. Then, he became obsessed with film-making, and even made a few short films. But music was a constant throughout. "I was always listening to something or the other while creating," he says.

Kowli first thought about making music four years ago, when he heard the works of artists Flume, Odesza, Kaytranada and Mr. Carmack. "Their sound drove me crazy," says the 17-year-old. Then, last year, under the moniker Chrms, Kowli got his first break as the opening act for electronic music producer Kumail’s EP launch in Mumbai. "I was nervous. But by the end of my set, everyone was dancing and cheering. I couldn’t believe it." Things have been on the up for him since. He’s now represented by artist management agency KRUNK, which handles some of India’s hottest indie musicians, including Madboy/Mink, Kumail and Oceantied. Kowli’s lush, emotive sound (varying from dense and dreamy to dance-floor-ready beats) has found appeal globally too — in January, American EDM sensation The Chainsmokers reposted his track ‘Heart rates’, which features the haunting vocals of Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Zoya, on Soundcloud, leading to a spike in his reach. Having just finished 10th grade, and with a while to go before college begins, Kowli is now neck-deep in his first EP of 5 tracks, which he hopes to release later this year: "I’m just getting started,'' he says.

ADD TO LIST

Three other artists Chrms wants you to check out:

JADU HEART "I discovered this duo last year. They are my favourite artists in the indie/electronic game right now.''

MURA MASA ''This guy is a genius. His minimal yet groovy tunes never fail to amaze me.''

JOJI ''Listening to Joji soothes my soul. His signature vocals and incredibly smooth production is pure magic.''