How We Get the Job Done: Kapil Seshasayee

The Glasgow-based musician, after 17 years helping promote bands, deconstructs caste in his first LP — “A Sacred Bore.”

Sharanya Deepak

April 2, 2019

How We Get the Job Done: Kapil Seshasayee

Kapil Seshasayee was born in Glasgow, Scotland to parents from Tamil Nadu, India. He’s been making music for 17 years, and just released his first LP — “A Sacred Bore” — a concept album that dismantles the Indian caste system. The album is like “an essay, of which each track is a chapter,” explains Seshasayee. Its 10 tracks are an homage to his influences, ranging from Carnatic music to punk. His compositions place the caste system at the center and sonically and thematically deconstruct it.  

Congratulations on your album. How has it been received?

It’s been overwhelming and I’m very grateful. Initially, a lot of labels refused to put it out, because it isn’t easily marketable — a noise-rock experimental album about the Indian caste system. But I’ve been featured in a bunch of publications lately (Pitchfork, The Guardian, The Quietus) and am playing SXSW later this month. The British Library also recently called to curate the album into its archives, which is really grand.

When I was playing in Ottawa, Canada, I had two people of Indian origin tell me how they really engaged with the narrative of the album, so that was really cool. Loads of people from different parts of my identity have written to me about it. The BBC Scotland DJ was really into the album. At the end of the day, it’s not really about me, is it? As a person of upper caste privilege, I haven’t grown up with the hatred in the diaspora that a lot of people have.