HAND IN HAND with PluggnB: Andre Bugatti chats his new record on JUICE
May 19th 2023
- Andre Bugatti :: on JUICE with Nazty Gurl
Andre Bugatti is a master in the art of deliberate effortlessness. The Auckland-raised, Sydney-based PluggnB artist goes all in on his projects – the rapping, the singing, the producing, mixing, shooting, and editing – and damn does he make it look easy. The polymath swung by the studio on Monday for JUICE with Nazty Gurl to chat about his latest record.
Clocking in at just over 20 minutes in runtime, Andre Bugatti’s ten track LP HAND IN HAND is a fleeting melodic sunset trip that captures the gentle confidence of a creative hitting their stride. It’s music for when you’re feeling yourself, for when you’re in your zone; big things are coming, but all in due time.
The album is described as belonging to the genre of PluggnB. A portmanteau of plugg and R&B, the genre is known for its contrasting heavy bass and hard-hitting percussion with rich bed of synths and melodic vocals. Signature to PluggnB is its characteristic bounce, which Andre explained is achieved via the “Rick Rubin effect” of deliberately removing elements from a conventional trap beat. The genre also borrows the more heartfelt, late-night in-your-feels lyrical content of RnB.
“Pluggnb allows you to sort of have these heartfelt lyrics about love and breakups, happiness, and even flexing, but over these lush, cute beats that make it sound so playful.”
For Andre playfulness is experimentation, and experimentation requires a certain sense of intentional looseness. Every line on HAND IN HAND is freestyled, created bar for bar or two bars by two bars. A conscious choice, the approach came after Andre found a disconnect between the energy behind his written word and the actual process of recording.
“Don’t get me wrong, whenever I’m writing, I’m like, oh, that was a cool [bar]. I jot it down and I’m like, yeah, that was fire. But then two days later, I’m on the mic trying to record it. And that energy that I felt when I wrote it down is in prison. I was not connecting with it when it came down to actually performing it on the mic. So I was like, OK, I’m going to stop writing and just say what I want in the moment. … It allowed me to just feel what I said more and just have more emphasis on the performance.”
The underlying ethos of the entire HAND IN HAND project, with its playful PluggnB production and deliberately freestyled verses, is described by Andre as sprezzatura. An Italian concept which first appeared in a book written in 1528, sprezzatura best translated as “studied carelessness.” For Andre, it’s an attention to inattention so fine it seems unintentional.
“Let’s look at the example of the interior of an Alfa Romeo. All the stitching and everything, it seems so simple, but a lot of thought has actually gone into it. It’s about how it’s executed, and the finesse behind it. I wanted to embody that with my art, in a way where it seems kind of like “yeah, it is what it is”, but also I have thought about how certain things are placed in certain places.”
Listen back to the full interview on Juice with Nazty Gurl up top to hear Andre Bugatti chat collaborators, advice for up and coming artists, growing up in New Zealand as a Christian Indian, and the best song to test car speaker bass. Stream his latest project HAND IN HAND on Spotify below.