To have your first release debut on Rüfüs Du Sol’s label imprint Rose Avenue is an achievement worth giving yourself a high-five for – but even more so when your journey to get there started in Zambia and traverses San Francisco and Sydney.

Until 2012 Vasu Patel (Banksia) was living in Zambia, with no computer, very little internet access and no experience of electronic music. His exposure to music came from music classes at school and the radio which played a selection of South African house, hip hop, dancehall and pop. Fast forward to 2019, he’s in Sydney completing the Produce Music Intensive course at Liveschool in January and then working and releasing with his heroes in San Francisco by October.

Arriving in California for Uni in 2012, electronic music was an inescapable part of the college experience for Vasu and he was immediately hooked. He dissected and studied everything he could and eventually loaded a copy of Ableton onto his computer and started learning how to produce music.

Through years of hard work, Vasu locked down DJ residences at some of San Francisco’s biggest venues, supporting for acts like Major Lazer, What So Not,Anna Lunoe, Chris Lake, Fisher, Golden Features, Hayden James, Mija, Mura Masa, RL Grime and Zhu. In fact it was on one of these support slots that What So Not (Chris Emerson) recommended he go to Sydney to study at Liveschool, where he joined us for the 6-week Intensive.

This dedication to honing his craft has continued to pay off. His debut release opportunity came from a similarly successful gig in San Francisco supporting Rüfüs Du Sol,:

…”After Rüfüs finished their set, we all headed back up to the greenroom and it blew my mind at how humble the band members, and their entire team was. We had an instant connection over the Rüfüs x Liveschool link, and I started to talk to Danny part of the Rose Avenue Records team. He was so down to earth, and really interested in hearing about my music and where I was with that.

Liveschool Holiday Program

I came home and immediately started listening to their back catalogue and found Lastlings. I whipped up a rough draft of a remix idea and sent it over to Danny, he responded and offered the stems for me to have a real crack at it. I ended up writing the remix and sending a final version back – and now here we are with a signed remix alongside Adult Art Club and Tim Engelhardt.” 

On the surface you could be forgiven for thinking this is a who-you-know story. But dig a little deeper and it’s the single-minded work ethic that’s put him in all the right places, and all the right hands.

And we’re sure this is to be the first of many instalments in the Banksia story.