The music of composer, guitarist, and producer Rafiq Bhatia seeks to reconcile meticulously sculpted sound art with risk-imbued improvisation, communicating earnest emotional intensity through labyrinthine sonic complexity. His early explorations, documented on two critically-acclaimed recordings – Strata and Yes It Will – have been described by the New York Times as “transcending real sound in real time with the unexpected,” and by the Washington Post as “approximat[ing] life in the information age…profuse, immersive and immense.”

In 2014, Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang joined founder Ryan Lott as members of Son Lux, expanding the former solo project into a trio. They have since been heralded as "the world's most lethal band" by NPR, and described as "thrilling... an ideal synthesis of contemporary forms" by the Wall Street Journal. In the past two years, Son Lux have written, recorded, and released an LP, Bones, and have given over 250 performances in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Bhatia has collaborated with singular, creative musicians across disciplines, including Olga Bell, Sam Dew, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Heems, Helado Negro, Vijay Iyer, Glenn Kotche, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Moses Sumney, David Virelles, and members of the chamber ensembles Alarm Will Sound, ICE, and JACK, among others. You can hear him on recordings featuring pop revisionists Lorde and Sufjan Stevens, and on the soundtracks to the films The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Air, and Afflicted.


“Transcending real sound in real time with the unexpected...There aren't many usual moments in his music.” The New York Times

“Improvised music from the producer's perspective, pushing forward the foundation that Herbie Hancock laid.” Wax Poetics

“[A] rising guitar star” Time Out New York

“A rousing new guitar voice” Modern Drummer

“Excellent...[his music is] a wonder as it coils so tightly into itself and unwinds so gracefully” The FADER

“30 Under 30: The Young Brooklynites We Envy Most” The L Magazine

“Intrepid...arresting and stylish.” The New York Times

“Absolutely blew me away...If you are a fan of Flying Lotus, Thundercat and other expansive artists flirting with jazz, then you are going to fall in love [with] Rafiq Bhatia.” Potholes In My Blog

“A rising jazz guitar wunderkind...Bhatias at the forefront: he doesnt let his influences overwhelm him, but hes not too shy as to ignore who he is, the tools at his disposal, and the over-saturated culture he has no choice but to steep in.” IMPOSE

“Bhatias music signals freedom, but it isnt lightweight. Listening to him play the guitar can feel like sipping water from a pressure washer. Which is to say, it approximates life in the information age, an era that douses us with data. Which is also to say, the sounds Bhatia makes with his Telecaster can feel profuse, immersive and immense.” The Washington Post

“...a virtuosic guitar solo...recreates the sound of hives ripping themselves out from underneath your skin” Pitchfork

“Whatever this ultimately is - it certainly ain't safe.” Oh My Rockness