Kronos’ Fifty for the Future Composers

Rafiq Bhatia - USA


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About Rafiq Bhatia

Rafiq Bhatia is a composer, producer, and guitarist whose music ruptures the hermetic vernacular of ambient sculpturalism with the emotional intensity of avant-garde jazz, using the techniques of the former to achieve the feeling of the latter. Bhatia is the first-generation American son of Muslim immigrant parents who trace their ancestry to India by way of East Africa. Early influences such as Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, and Madlib—as well as mentors and collaborators including Vijay Iyer and Billy Hart—prompted him to see music as a way to actively shape and represent his own identity. At times, he uses the studio to destabilize, twisting the stereotypes of Indian music he heard as a child into noise beyond recognition. His second album, Breaking English, was released on ANTI- Records in 2018. Bhatia is also a member of the band Son Lux.

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