Kabeer Kathpalia, the 32-year-old musician better known as OAFF started his musical journey in high school in Ahmedabad when he picked up the guitar and formed a punk band with a friend (the friend too has gone on to achieve fame as artist Savera). As with most teenagers, it started out as a desire to impress and attract attention. But soon his interest in music grew. “I was always fascinated with the theory of music, but then I started exploring its inner workings, eager to create my own unique sound,” he says.
As a youngster, OAFF was captivated by numbers and studied mathematics and physics with the intention of becoming a mathematician. The analytical mindset developed during his academic journey greatly influenced his approach to music. “Although you can’t directly apply calculus to the music-making process, the mathematical background has influenced the way I approach music,” says OAFF. His analytical thinking allows him to deconstruct and analyse musical elements.
This distinct perspective has played a significant role in his exploration and experimentation with music. OAFF loves listening to diverse genres of music—from soulful melodies to the captivating beats of electronic artists. He has also recently started listening to R&B and hip-hop, particularly artists like Drake and Sampha. He also draws inspiration from nature and other forms of art, such as cinema and paintings, which often spark new ideas and perspectives.
So is there any one song that really resonates with him? Yes. Holocene by Bon Iver, which accompanied him on a memorable trip to the mountains creating a lasting connection, is very close to his heart. “When you are missing someone the lyrics hit you harder” he says. His recent collaboration with Armaan Malik, for the album Tabaahi, resulted in a unique take on a love song. His journey is a tapestry woven with experiences, influences, and a unique creative process. From humble beginnings in a punk rock band to collaborating with esteemed artists, OAFF has carved a musical path filled with passion and curiosity. By drawing inspiration from various art forms and embracing his analytical mindset, he continues to create music that resonates with the audience.
OAFF'S FAB 5