Asian-American deep house duo Hotel Garuda delivered uplifting anthems in its successful but ephemeral existence, buoyed by the popularity of tracks "Smoke Signals," "Blurry Eyes," and "Fixed on You." Comprised of Chris Gavino (aka Manila Killa) and Aseem Mangaokar (aka Candleweather), Hotel Garuda existed as a twosome for four years before becoming a solo act under Mangaokar's direction in the summer of 2018.
The two friends first met in middle school in Singapore, part of transient families that frequently moved. They both ended up in the U.S., where they worked on solo projects and attended college (Gavino in Virginia at George Mason University and Mangaokar in Los Angeles at Occidental University). They rekindled their friendship after reuniting at Miami Music Week in 2014. From across the country, they exchanged ideas and music over the Internet, performing both solo and together as Hotel Garuda. Their euphoric debut single, "Smoke Signals," arrived in 2016 on Avicii's PRMD label. They followed with "Fixed on You" featuring Violet Days. In 2017, they issued "Till It Burns Out" with Violet Skies and "Dancing on the Moon" with Lemaitre.
By 2018, Hotel Garuda had graduated from clubs to festivals. They released the single "Blurry Eyes" featuring RUNN (Mom+Pop) in June. However, days later, they announced their final show as a duo would be at Michigan's Electric Forest Festival, with Gavino departing to focus on his own projects and Mangaokar continuing Garuda as a solo project. ~ Neil Z. Yeung