New single “Tuggin’ Me Back” from Indian/American rage funk artist Kanwal set for release via AWAL. The single is an inverted pop song about the struggle between expressing intense emotions and conforming to social expectations. Throughout the funk-drenched track, Kanwal sprinkles in oddball elements, like reversed electric guitar slides and sound effects.
Born and raised in New York by an Indian/Sikh father and a Russian/Jewish mother, Kanwal’s sound explores the tension between these differing cultural influences. Distorted vocals meet dirty bass-lines and rugged, textured synths for an enthralling listen.
Noun 1. A sonic and visual dimension where raw, unconventional emotions and desires reign free.
A transcendental union of anger and joy
Brought to you by LA-based songwriter and producer Kanwal, Rage Funk is a representation of the meeting of rage, power and passion through music. Kanwal’s unique persona reflects his multi-cultural background, time spent wandering around the world, upbringing in New York, and his transition to LA, and his journey along the way—bonding with a more free sense of self.
“Rage funk is where all the unconventional, unsavory emotions and desires live. It where the raw, odd parts of our psyche get stuffed, beneath layers of constructed identity and social expectation. Kendrick Lamar’s TPAB is rage funk, but so is M.I.A’s arular, Beyonce’s Lemonade, and James Brown’s “Please Please Please”. Raw emotion manifests differently for everyone. For me, it’s about expressing the sides of myself that other people think are outlandish, or don’t fit together. Rage Funk is also about giving a voice to aggression that, for a long time, I didn’t feel comfortable acknowledging.”
Kanwal was born and raised in New York by an Indian/Sikh father and a Russian/Jewish mother. From an early age, he was exposed to a variety of genres including Sufi songs, Bhangra, classic rock, funk, and Hip Hop. His own sound explores the tension between these differing cultural influences, and brings in a rockstar-style edge. Distorted vocals meet dirty bass-lines and rugged, textured synths. His embodiment of rage funk blends funk, hip hop, pop, and rock.
“In social settings, I was always a quiet kid. Since my parents are from two different cultures, I didn’t really have a place to completely fit in. I didn’t look like the other kids, and it felt like everyone in my life had a vision for me that was different from my own. When I was alone, I could be loud. I made anything I could find into a drum, danced around my house, and yelled out rap lyrics that I wrote during my classes.
After recording a few songs with his friends in high school, he became addicted to music production. He has spent the years since perfecting his craft, gathering inspiration, and clarifying his vision. Kanwal has drawn a lot from time spent in different countries across the globe. One summer, he spent two months working with refugees in Athens Greece. While there, he started making music with a group of Syrians, Afghans, and Ethiopians who had been forced to leave their respective countries
“I’ve never believed in borders. My dad was lucky enough to come to the United States out of his own volition, but a lot of people are forced to leave their homes. They get penalized for trying to find a safer place to live. That’s disgusting. It causes a lot of trauma. I had the privilege of hearing and seeing how music can make people feel free, even when their circumstances are limited. My music is my own space to be free, and I hope it helps others feel that too.
Kanwal’s first studio single —”Tuggin’ Me Back”— is an inverted pop song about the struggle between expressing intense emotions and conforming to social expectations. It features funk drenched soundscapes, heightened melodies, and vibrant synths. Throughout the song, Kanwal sprinkles in oddball elements, like reversed electric guitar slides and realistic sound effects. The song is being distributed by AWAL.
“I wanted this one to feel like you’re listening to a radio pop song, but in ‘the upside down’. It’s a song on the edge, and to me it reflects the idea that we always live on the edge of our socially accepted selves.”
Following his debut studio single, Kanwal plans to release three more songs throughout the fall.
“Each track is going to come with a visual and bring you further into the world of rage funk. This is just the beginning. My vision is to bring as many artists and music consumers as possible into this new genre.”