Akhil Sood

Akhil Sood

Freelance culture writer


An oral history of Mundian To Bach Ke by Panjabi MC, an iconic song that put Bhangra on the global map.

Fifty Two / February 2021

Prateek Kuhad: Heartbreak Party

A profile of the ridiculously popular singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad - the music isn't quite for me, but it was a joy to talk to him about his approach to art, performance, life.

Open Magazine / March 2020

We Are Born In Crackdowns, We Die In Curfews

A profile of Kashmiri rapper Ahmer, around the time he released his spectacular debut album. We met for a sombre chat on the very day that the special status of Kashmir under Article 370 was scrapped.

Caravan / August 2019

The TikTok Revolution

Understanding the bizarre, thrilling, electric world of TikTok - the explosive, now-banned medium, through the eyes of one of its stars, Nagma Mirajkar.

Verve Magazine / September 2019

A Tiny Wooden Box Of Music

An essay on being moved by music in ways we don't understand yet, in a period of uncertainty and gloom caused by coronavirus and the lockdown. How we're re-learning how to process that feeling through the disquiet of the pandemic.

Open Magazine / May 2020

A Tug Of War For The Soul Of Khan Chacha

How the founders of Delhi's famous roomali roll institution, Khan Chacha, lost the iconic brand they'd built, only to set off on a brand new journey.

Scroll.in / April 2019

The K-Pop Invasion

Trying to understand this incredible global movement of pop music through its die-hard obsessive fans - K-Pop stans, if you will - in India.

Open Magazine / November 2019

The Life Of Baba Sehgal

Baba Sehgal was on top of the world in the '90s - a breakout star from the Indipop movement. Today, he's trying to recapture some of that magic.

Verve Magazine / February 2019

2M2H - Too Much To Handle

Video games are the future. A wandering visit to one of the biggest gaming conventions in India - a peek into one of the most fascinating and exciting subcultures around.

Open Magazine / February 2020

Sez On The Beat, Boi!

A profile of Sez, the young hip-hop producer indelibly linked to the explosion of underground street rap in India, and responsible for some of its biggest hits.

Scroll.in / February 2019

Listening Room And The Vast Underground

A look at the underground experimental scene in India, and how the Listening Room by Reproduce has created a self-contained, DIY culture for a deeply fringe movement.

Bandcamp / August 2018

Satire In The Internet Age

Does satire today - in the age of deliberate disinformation - have any purpose beyond creative indulgence? Does it do more harm than good?

The Hindu / December 2019

The King Of Indian Metal

The Demonstealer, aka Sahil Makhija, has dedicated his life to the niche world of extreme metal that exists in India only on the fringes. A profile of his life and works, which - incidentally - include being a badass chef as well.

Noisey / March 2018

The Live Experience

How, important as the live setting is, the most joyous experiences I've had in life have been while listening to recorded music alone.

Open Magazine / October 2018

Redemption Songs

As awareness grows, music festivals in India understand the value of "going green" and being conscious of the environment. We've come a long way, but there's a long way still to go.

Verve Magazine / June 2019

Punk's Not Dead

A profile of Rishu Singh, the deeply flawed figurehead of punk rock in India, as we trace the many mistakes he's made through the years, all the while retaining an undying love for the form. (Rishu sadly passed away in 2019.)

Verve Magazine / October 2018

Finding Babloo

A profile of the elusive Babloo Babylon, an anonymous artist - purportedly from Jhumri Telaiya - who samples ancient Bollywood songs in his works.

Scroll / November 2018

Burning It All Down

On Azadi Records, a young rap label with an admirable vision and an exciting roster of artists.

Verve Magazine / September 2018

Death Of The Rockstar

A belated goodbye - and good riddance - to the troubling sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll stereotypes of a bygone era.

Open Magazine / August 2018

Theresa's Sound World

A profile Therea Stroetges, the hyper-prolific German musician/sound artist visiting India for a residency.

Border Movement / December 2018

Nanette's Vital Narrative

A straight male's perspective on the piece de resistance that is Hannah Gadsby's Nanette isn't strictly required. But here it is nevertheless - a reminder that men need to pull their socks up.

The Hindu - Sunday Magazine / July 2018

The Dystopian Air Of New Delhi

Each year, the pollution crisis in Delhi intensifies around the winter months. We wring our hands, act out of a misplaced sense of defiance or apathy, and on we move - until the next year.

The Hindu - Sunday Magazine / November 2018

Siavash Amini's Sonic Architecture

2018 was a year in which I discovered the expansive Iranian experimental underground. A profile of one of my favourite artists from the scene, Siavash Amini.

Border Movement / October 2018

Fistful Of Steel

A profile of Mr. India: musician, satirist, parodist.

Open Magazine / September 2017

Plastic Parvati's Songs About Lovers

A profile of Plastic Parvati, aka Suyasha Sengupta of the Ganesh Talkies, and tales of depression and female sexuality.

Open Magazine / March 2018

The Sound Of Silence

A profile of Saba Alizadeh, a kamancheh player and electronic producer from Iran.

Border Movement / August 2018

Inside The World Of Ezzyland

A profile of Ezzyland, a pissed off young producer in Chennai who's channelling all his rage and resentment at the state of the industry in India into his music.

Border Movement / April 2018

A Home For Misfits

St. Jude Bakery, an experimental artsy-fartsy space in Bandra.

Sunday Magazine - The Hindu / May 2016

The Story Of Turquoise Cottage

The fractured, postmodern tale of Delhi's Turquoise Cottage, or TC, once at the heart of the city's live rock music scene.

Red Bull / August 2017

There's A Soup In My Fly

People being rude to waiters at restaurants has been a particularly irksome pet peeve of mine, so here's an essay about the entitlement that informs said behaviour.

Brown Paper Bag / April 2018

Slice Of Life: Why Mango Season Is Stressful

Mangoes are great. What's not so great are the mango wars that invariably start off each time the season kicks in, with insufferable debates about which variety is better.

Brown Paper Bag / April 2018

Say Cheese, Please

On the ever-growing nuisance of phone cameras sprouting up at all sorts of gigs. A few months after this, I saw Incubus live in Pune. As they played 'Wish You Were Here', around 40 people raised their phones to take photos and videos, with no regard for t

Brown Paper Bag / December 2017

2017 In Music

A look back at the major happenings in the world of music in India and beyond in 2017.

Brown Paper Bag / December 2017

Miss Manners: Even TV Journalists Should Be Allowed To Eat In Peace

Earlier this year, a journalist eating a quiet meal at a restaurant got yelled at by an angry young man. I understand political differences, but can we please let each other eat our food in peace? (Though there's a valid counter-argument to this if the pe

Brown Paper Bag / May 2018

Ek Number, Banta

Remembering a relic of the not-so-distant past: the banta, and its unbelievably cool Codd-neck bottle.

Brown Paper Bag / July 2018

What Does The BJP Eat?

A visit to Bittoo Tikki Wala, which supplies food to the greatest party on earth.

Brown Paper Bag / March 2018

The F-Word Problem

How standup comedy in Delhi is doing its best to alienate 50% of its prospective audience.

Brown Paper Bag / August 2017

The 'Album'

Looking at notable Indian albums released this year and the concept of the 'album' (a personal obsession).

Open Magazine / April 2017

The Death Of Schadenfreude

How hypernationalism is killing one of sports' greatest joys.

Sunday Magazine - The Hindu / June 2017

Not In My Name

From the ground at the Delhi protests.

Brown Paper Bag / June 2017


Collection of attempted humour writing for Arre.

Arre / April 2016

A 'Minor Inconvenience'

A village in despair, ravaged by demonetisation.

Sunday Magazine - The Hindu / November 2017

Palika Bazaar's Makeover

The once-upon-a-time decrepit Palika Bazaar, now no more than a pedestrian basement mall.

Sunday Magazine - The Hindu / July 2016

The Internet Ironists

Taher Shah and the tedium of being 'clever' and mean-spirited to gain internet points.

DailyO / April 2016

This Is Year Zero

A glimpse into Delhi's underground live rock music scene from a decade ago.

The Sunday Guardian / May 2015

The War Cry

The high-stakes world of kite-flying and its many intricacies.

The Sunday Guardian / January 2015

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