Udbhav's "Aflatune": Invoking Plato In A Pompous Celebration of Life
Invoking philosophers, especially those considered wacko by the world for rendering the physical world as unreal (we are talking about Plato for the noobs in the crowd) is an art the virtuoso Udbhav mastered flawlessly in his new single. We’ll let you hang on to this for a while.
Refuses to be boxed as just a rapper, the one-third of Teesri Duniya, Udbhav is a Delhi-based artist whose proficiency in production shines through time and again, saving him and his mellow sound an apex spot in the pop sphere in India. His latest, ‘Aflatune’ is an atmospheric pop number that comes in the form of another promising addition to his ever-growing discography.
Before you jump to the conclusion that the word ‘Aflatoon,’ usually associated with eccentric personalities, is borrowed from the 1997 Bollywood movie, let us clear that up for you. ‘Aflatoon’ aside from the obvious is also the Arabic name of the 14th-century Greek philosopher Plato, the one the world considered wacko, yes, that’s the one.
Recording the hook of the track, Udbhav called it ‘Aflatune’ in a flow and finalizing it was a leap of faith he took on his humor as he changed the track’s name from Aflatoon since, and we quote, “it’s a song, haha pun.”
Coming to the sound, the track starts with some chords from a Rhodes-like instrument, along with the introduction of a light bass kick, followed by Udbhav’s trance-like vocals for building the groove of the track. The verse then introduces claps, sure to get your head bopping which further builds up for the chorus.
The introduction of guitar and its sliding notes makes the groovy melody stand out. Then comes the rap verse which blends in flawlessly with the beat along with the drum patterns that continue to follow the same route. Immediately after the rap verse struts in the most unique and unexpected element of the track-the trumpet loop, which again, sits in with the drums, chords, and the scale of the track perfectly.
The trumpet loop further also complements the pompous vibe of the track. Transitioning out of it, the bridge introduces new vocal layers before the return of the hook that strings all the elements beautifully together, eventually leading to a subtle outro of the track.
The breezy track, coupled with its groovy soundscape, hence, intends to be a symbol for the celebratory part of life, the part that comes after your intense character development as you surf through the high and low waves of life. Through the song, Udbhav recalls the slump he himself was stuck in and how he came out wiser from it. Udbhav also talks to us about this phase of utter confusion that eventually made him existential, the intense experience post which his innate mold morphed into something else altogether. So, his music, he says, is meant to be a hand to hold onto for everyone who is stuck in this rut, helping them cross over to the other side.
The lyrics, melt in with his vision for the track, like butter on toast. The video also for that matter, faultlessly captures the celebratory vibe with Udbhav and his friends featured in the video, often nonchalantly and other times, just having fun. Udbhav mentions that he just started humming and penned down the lyrics as they came to him in a stream of consciousness. Hence, the lyrics dwindle between quirky musings like “Sang Pita Bread, Tujhe chatt kar lu” to very intense, hard-hitting hooks like “Angaaron mein se nikla jab main jal kar yuh, Bana Aflatoon.” Moreover, Udbhav cleared out that the lyrics are not directed towards a specific person for that’s not his writing style and in fact, are directed towards his life or the life of the listener. He mentions, it’s about “talking to life, talking to the bigger picture.”
What started as a revisiting of a year-old, 40-second beat turned into a jaunty track having a tete-a-tete head-on with life that is not just in sync with Udbhav's original, niche musical oeuvre but at the same, brings forth a new sound. The single released on streaming platforms on October 7, 2021. Hear it here!