b. Mukul Deora, c. 1973, Bombay, India. Mukul’s father is Murli Deora, a leading figure in the Indian Congress Party and long-standing Member of Parliament, his mother, Hema Deora, is an interior designer, painter, social worker, and an internationally noted bridge player. As a child, Mukul heard Western music through television, which at the time was only sparsely available. Although the family atmosphere in which he was raised was highly political, Mukul was drawn towards the performing arts in general and music in particular. From the early 90s, he appeared at many clubs in Bombay as a performer and DJ. Mukul has worked in duo with Qusai Kathawala and he runs audio-visual electronic events with his own company. Gradually developing his own style of composing and playing, he showed an interest in electronic music-making that is distant from the Indian tradition yet carries sufficient echoes to identify it to Western ears as music from the East. Even so, in content, his music is more Western hip-hop than Eastern exoticism and clearly Mukul has chosen to reach out to Western audiences. His lyrics are usually in English and are sung in a manner that is almost self-effacing, suggested rather than stated. Much of his repertoire consists of songs couched in a style that suggests world-ending pessimism. Among the songs featured on his 2006 debut Stray are ‘Random Woman’, which compares and contrasts Bombay with a woman, ‘Malice’, which explores the apparent intent of American intentions towards Iran, and ‘Ephemeral’, in which he examines the ease with which mankind can so easily allow life to pass them by.
As can be seen, although Mukul chose not to follow his father’s political path, the subject matter of some of his songs is political in content. His brother, Milind, reversed this path. Although musically inclined (he plays guitar on ‘Why’ on Mukul’s Stray), Milind chose to follow his father into politics and has become a member of the Indian Congress party and a Member of Parliament.