Indian Ocean Curated

Indian rock band

CURATED BY :  

This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Indian Ocean have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Indian Ocean's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming singers. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • What advice Indian Ocean would give to fellow bands when picking up a studio?

    Firstly you need to decide whether you are carrying your own engineer or not, whether you like somebody's work or not and then let that engineer decide the flow of action. If you have drums in the band you need to check if the studio is capable of recording it. Does it have good mics?? The recording process is extremely important since that is the base of song. If it's been recorded well then you can always enhance it and achieve a great final result.

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  • Any current plans for future releases?

    Oh yes!! We planning on releasing new songs by the end of this year. Stay Tuned!!!

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  • If you had all the money and time in the world, what song either yours or someone else’s would you love to re-create?

    You don’t need money to recreate or create music.. as of now, I would not recreate any song, because we just did one for our latest album. It is an old classic by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

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  • Who are some of your favorite artists right now? Who would you love to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for Indian Ocean?

    Favorite artist keeps on changing since we indulge in a lot of music, but for me (Amit) I can say if I like an artist he stays my favorite for a long time since I don't consume music like today's generation, "use and throw". We would love to collaborate with folk artists from different countries all over the world as we feel folk music comes from deep within and is really beautiful.

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  • Any other Indian bands that you appreciate?

    Ohh we appreciate a lot Indian bands such as Kabir Cafe, Swarathma , Agam etc are making great music.

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  • Where do you think you are all happiest: In the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?

    Performing live on stage makes us the happiest.

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  • Since you are on the scene for quite a long time we are sure you went through many challenges. Do you think in India perusing music professionally specially in band circuit is still not a preferable option for all?

    In India the competition at the moment is very fierce with all the young talent coming up. Live shows is the best way for band to be relevant and make some money.

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  • What was the concept behind your album “Tandanu” which has already been a massive hit and for which Indian Ocean has been nominated for ‘GIMA Award’ in the best fusion album category?

    We had been wanting to collaborate with many artists for a long time and the essence of tandanu lies in collaboration. All the artists we looked up to and admired were reached out to and they were kind and humble to join hands with us. Tandanu was our 7th Album. So our idea for Tandanu was, 7th album, 7songs and 7 collaborations.

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  • How strictly do you separate improvising and composing

    We don't see too much of a difference in the two terms. Improvisation is a big part of how we compose songs. But if you mean in terms of the stage then the skeleton of every song is composed and then we improvise on some songs and improvise some more on other songs. We always have a skeleton of the song in our head which we put together with a lot practice before we take the song to the stage.

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  • From 'Swaraj' to 'Masaan', Indian Ocean have been working in Bollywood movies successfully for more than 16 years. How’s the experience and what’s the personal favorite track of Indian Ocean so far?

    It's been an enriching experience working in the industry where we had make music when somebody else told us to make a song about a situation and direct us through it. All of us have different favorite songs but we all love Bandey from Black Friday and Mann Kasturi from Masaan.

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  • How have you managed to keep the band intact these past 29 years without splitting up? Do you have tough days?

    Music is what keeps us going, we definitely have tough days but music brings us together and keeps us going. Also we must respect the difference in opinion that we may have with others and agree that disagreement may happen sometimes. If the larger goal is to make music then all this can be handled .

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  • The Indian Ocean has started its journey in 1990. Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? How did you all first meet each other? Has anything surprised you about it all far?

    In the early 1980s, Asheem Chakravarty played tabla for a Bengali band 'Niharika'. In 1984, Susmit Sen, a fan of Niharika, met him during a concert. Chakravarty was impressed by Sen's guitar-playing and his vision to evolve a new sound, while Sen, learned the nuances of rhythm from Chakravarty. For the next 3 years, with Sen as the guitarist and Chakravarty on tabla and drums, they experimented with their music without writing original lyrics. The name Indian Ocean was suggested by Sen's father in 1990. In 1991, Rahul Ram who was Sen's schoolmate at St. Xaviers, Delhi, joined the band replacing Anirban Roy on bass and started working on their first album and the eponymous debut album came out in 1993. In 1994, drummer Shaleen Sharma left the band and I (Amit Kilam) had joined the band. In December 2009 we had lost Asheem Chakravarty. Then Himanshu Joshi joined the band to fill in for Chakravarty's vocals and Tuheen Chakravarty joined for the table. Nikhil Rao replaced Susmit Sen as lead guitarist in 2013.

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  • First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview. Congratulations on completing 29 years of musical journey. How does it feel to have been active for so long?

    It's been an amazing roller coaster ride for us, we would happily do it all over again.

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  • Which social causes do you most support? And why?

    We support any cause that is not political or religious. There you have it, guys. Watch out for more flash interviews on LBB, soon!

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  • What is your favorite store to buy instruments in the city?

    Lajpat Nagar has a ton of stores we enjoy visiting; from Furtados to Bharat Music

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  • Which venue in the city do you most enjoy performing at?

    The amphitheatre at the Garden of Five Senses, Kamani auditorium and FICCI Auditorium. We also most definitely love performing at Nehru Park!

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  • Which recording studio in the capital do you most prefer?

    We have a small studio in Ghitorni where we practice and record. Apart from that, we have done a lot of work with Aakash Gupta at his Kshitij Studios {in South Extension} and Anindo Bose at his studio in CR Park.

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  • What is your favourite place to eat at when in Delhi?

    There are so many! From Chandni Chowk to Nizamuddin and Defence Colony Market to Jama Masjid, we can’t pick just one.

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  • What do you think will finally shift the focus of people from music from movies to live performances?

    Amit: That will happen slowly. I think our entry into Bollywood will change that, how ironic huh? Susmit: In Bollywood, the advertising strength is so huge – it’s a proper industry. If there’s somebody doing equal promotion for live performances then definitely. Why do you think Black Friday became so popular? It’s the same people! Rahul: Because of the advertising focus, the media goes gaga over it – they don’t have a mind of their own and only go after TRP. Bollywood has a huge reach, there’s no denying that.

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  • Would you ever attempt something like this again?

    Jaideep: I would never do it again. It’s not worth it; it’s just too much. It was worth it only for Asheem – we caught something really special on tape. I’m very proud of this film but it’s not worth trying these kind of projects in India. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. Susmit: I must say hats off to him. With all odds going against him, he made it happen. In my opinion, there will be a time when it will see a second release. Amit: 100 percent. Maybe he’ll wait until one of us says tata bye bye! (laughs) Jaideep: Don’t say that! Don’t even talk like that.

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  • Did Leaving Home’s release see any trouble in terms of screening it?

    Amit: Rephrase that to ‘Were there any easy moments?’ (laughs) Jaideep: There were only problems. It was very difficult because nothing like this had happened in India. It only happened because of this person in Big Cinemas who loved their music. Asheem’s death had left everyone in a reflective mood and that also contributed to it. I had been holding out for quite some time, the producers were not getting any money back. The turning point was when Asheem collapsed, that was when I decided I’m not going to be waiting anymore. I was beginning to think it might not release on the big screen. I would’ve released it on DVD or online. At the end of the day, how much can you wait?

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  • Tell us about Leaving Home – how did it feel watching your own story unfold on screen?

    Rahul: You want to meet the director? He’s here! (fetches Jaideep Varma)

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  • Rabbi Shergill says that “beyond the Indian Ocean, I don’t see anyone… I see brown-wannabe whites”. What do you have to say about musicians still aping westerners instead of looking within and coming out with truly original music?

    Rahul: It will change, sometimes it will continue. For example, if an American wants to do Kathakali, why do we feel happy? Why don’t we tell them “Chee chee chee! You’re not being original, go do something American!” There’s always an exchange between cultures. Lots of Indians love rock music, I love it too. Amit: And there are more role models out there. It’s not a crime. Rahul: It’s not a crime! You can play what you want to play – whatever touches your soul. Big deal! Back then the guys who played in bands tended to be from the rich sections of society who looked to the West. It’s only now that society has increased confidence in itself, gradually the music will also change. Susmit: Bands start off with only guitars, bass, keyboard, and drums. The number of role models in the West who have been playing this is far more. They grow up listening to them and it’s very difficult to getaway.

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  • But you still don’t have the final say.

    Rahul: Sure, but then this happens otherwise also. For example, during Kandisa Pramodji from Times said I’m happy with all the songs but I have an issue with one song, and ‘Kya Maloom’ evolved out of that. Within two days we came out with a part of it and took it into a completely different direction. It does help when somebody gives critical comments. Somebody says this song is too long and we’re like ‘Okaaay,’ sometimes you get too close to your creations also.

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  • Aamir Khan’s production venture ‘Peepli Live’ – you’ve composed two songs for that. Doesn’t making music for movies limit your creative freedom in many ways?

    Rahul: In this movie, absolutely not! We were not even shown the movie. One song already existed in our album Jhini, and a bit of the lyrics was changed – Swanand Kirkire wrote a part of the lyrics. Another was a poem given to us. We were not told anything else but the form was given to us saying “Now you compose.”

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  • It’s the first Indian album to be given away completely free as mp3 downloads from our website. What prompted this decision?

    Amit: I think it’s time to do something second! (sniggers) Susmit: We would like to hold the rights to our songs; it’s terrible when somebody else has the rights and is not doing anything with it… Rahul: …doing bad things with it! You know why? Take for example Kandisa - Times Music retains the copyright to it. They put songs from it into anything and everything! Sufi Lounge mein ‘Ma Rewa!’ Ma Rewa kahaan se Sufi hai mereko ye batao. Kuch bhi kahin bhi thop dete hain! Susmit: They don’t consult us before doing these things because they have all the rights! Now we can choose where to give our songs and where not to. It’s the easiest way to get across to the market. We’re not relying on the distribution systems of music companies.

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  • WTS: It’s the first Indian album to be given away completely free as mp3 downloads from our website. What prompted this decision?

    Rahul: What people are not cognizant of is that royalty payments are close to nothing. Money from CD sales profits the company, not us. Most Indian artistes make their money playing live concerts. By giving away our songs as mp3 downloads, fans get to listen to our music for free, and if the songs become popular we will get more concerts in turn and get paid more – we stand to make whatever we’d make through a music company without the hassle of contracts and copyrights. They live in an era of the past which is why I’m glad they are going to flounder and fall because they still think that we will do all the intellectual work and just because they are signing us, they’ll take away our copyrights. I hope we’re starting a trend. Many bands are watching keenly. We were the first to come out with a live album, live DVD, giving it away for free, first band on which a full-fledged film has been made.

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  • Tell us about your new album 16/330 Khajoor Road. We hear it has been named after the space you have been rehearsing at since May 1997?

    Rahul: It’s a 100 year old Bungalow in Karolbagh! Susmit: We have experimented a little bit in this album. There’s one song where we’ve played the saxophone and the clarinet, and in two more songs – one with a Rajasthani vocalist and the other with a Bangladeshi vocalist. Amit: And one in which Susmit has played the electric guitar!

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  • Black Friday was your first full-length album for a Bollywood film, which also helped you reach a larger audience. How was it different from recording a regular album?

    Susmit: There are differences and then there aren’t. When we make music, we don’t think about situations, moods, etc. We go haywire and it beautifully takes its own shape. But here we are given situations and moods. How it is not different is that filmmakers come to us to get music done by us, which will sound like us – ultimately we do our own thing. Many a time we already had certain compos. Once we were doing music for dancer Sonal Mansingh, and she said we’ll sit down, she’ll explain the situation and then we’ll compose music and that we’ll meet again when she’d tell us what changes are to be made. The first time she said the mood is such and such – we looked at each other and started off. The same thing followed the second time and with the third and fourth compo. Then she looked at us and said, “Is this a joke? My musicians take days and weeks and months and you’ve already done four compositions one after the other!” In the same way, there are many compositions we came up with at that point in time. But there are times when we compose something completely – ‘Bande’ was composed completely. Rahul: But there are many things people don’t know about Black Friday. Black Friday has three songs but has seven pieces of music which were background scores and that’s a different phase in time where we got to see a lot of new things – Amit’s ability to program music and for the first time, there was programmed music which sounded like something else but still sounded like it came from us. That’s an interesting facet of the Indian Ocean that people have no clue about. People only know ‘Bande,’they don’t know the other stuff. In fact, it’s so weird, a really close friend of mine called me up 2 weeks ago and said “I was just listening to Black Friday, and the rest of the music is fantastic!” and I said, “Yeah! We always knew it!” (laughs)

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  • New Year’s Day 1997. During your concert, the band noticed a DAT recorder, bought a tape and recorded the concert. No music company wanted to release a live album of an Indian band, so a label called Independent Music was formed to release this. Desert Rain almost a decade later, still continues to sell (no. 2 on the iTunes UK world music charts!) what does the band have to say about this?

    Rahul: What we feel now is that it proves our decision about 16/330 Khajoor Road right, even more… than ever! Music companies know f***-all about what sells and what doesn’t. Susmit: Absolutely. That’s the reason we’ve gone completely independent. The thing is, what sells and what has future in music or any other art form, nobody can tell. There are a bunch of management guys out there who think they know everything. In fact, they’d written us off. They said that the first album was a fluke, the second would be a flop! Rahul: We weren’t hanging around in order to do well. We were enjoying the music we were making and playing. That was what was important. We didn’t sit around feeling sad about it. We actually felt, “Oho! These company guys are a little…you know…” (smiles impishly)

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  • What do you think was the reason behind the selling of 40000 copies?

    Rahul: We don’t know! It’s new music, people take time to adjust to that; at that time they didn’t even know how to get in touch with us. This was the pre-internet, pre-cable, pre everything era – there was only Doordarshan. Amit: The basic means of communication back then were chitthi and normal phones.

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  • Your first album sold over 40,000 copies within a year of its release – at that time, the highest selling record by any Indian band ever. Did success come too early? How did it feel to know that your songs were a rage soon after their release?

    Amit: The truth is success didn’t come at all! (loud laughter) Susmit: We were very happy but we really thought we’d get a bunch of shows but nothing really happened. It was released in December 1993, we got our first show in March 1994 and there were no shows till November 1994! Our drummer back then left because he had to make a living and there was nothing happening. It was not success by any chance! (laughs)

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  • When you first starting touring the US, did you have a sense of who your audience will be?

    Rahul: No, we didn't know. Asheem: The first time we came here was to play for the Smithsonian festival in Washington DC and 99% of the audience was all locals (non-Indians). We did five shows back-to-back. Initially, there were 30 or so Indians, but the numbers increased as a result of word of mouth.

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  • You have been performing in the US since 2002. The audience at your concerts seems to be mostly Indian Americans in their late 20s or early 30s. I sense they have been in this country for five to ten years. They must have seen you perform in India. Can we say that through your music they appear to be making a connection with the India they left behind?

    Asheem: That seems correct about quite a few of our audience in this country. Rahul: Yes, I think so. I saw that in Seattle at a club called Neumo's. We played for Asha for Education and for CRY. And it was like playing in a college in India. The room was full of people standing and they seemed to be going back to their college days, singing every song with us.

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  • Your songs have distinct spiritual and philosophical messages, and your sound is ever-evolving. How would you describe your latest album, and what genre would you classify it as?

    The music is largely fusion; there is rock and folk music, combined with styles taken from different parts of India and the globe but like always, it is a reflection of our thoughts and all what we want to convey to our audience.

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  • So we can expect some cool Carnatic rap, right?

    Yes, you could say that the song has Carnatic rapping.

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  • Are you considering including rap in any of your songs?

    (laughs good-naturedly) This particular album does not have that. However, there is one song which doesn’t feature ‘rap’ in the conventional sense: one of India’s music legends, Vikku Vinayakram, who specializes in playing Carnatic music with the ghatam, has done something quite close. The 76-year old artist has recorded Tamil chants performed in a hip-hop fashion.

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  • What can we expect from your new album? Also, can you give our readers a tentative date for its release?

    The songs have been recorded and are currently in the post-production stage. A few revisions here and there will be followed by mixing engineering and mastering. These processes will take quite a while, so I can’t put out a tentative date. I’d like to mention that we won’t release the entire album in one go. Consuming music in the form of whole albums is out of vogue these days; people like listening to singles and self-curated playlists. Bearing this in mind, we plan to release each song one by one. Furthermore, we are collaborating with some superstars—not the Arijit Singh kind of sensational stars—but musicians who are nevertheless incredible in their own right. We have created these songs with some hard-hitting lyrics and nifty instrumental arrangements, so expect an enjoyable experience listening to our new songs!

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  • In an era when rap, pop, and Punjabi songs dominate the charts, how do you manage to stay popular and give out such fresh vibes?

    think that we are living in a time when a multitude of genres have come up and found their niche among the audience. That is to say, we don’t have any panga with pop, Bollywood music or any up and coming genre for that matter. Our band is the oldest surviving band in India, having delivered our music to the masses for nearly three decades now. Perhaps the desire to come up with refreshing new music has been key to our success. As a matter of fact, I joined the band just 6 years back and am the newest member on board. Rahul, in contrast, has been there right since the inception of this band. He has seen the band take birth, go through various phases and grow into what it currently is. The band has weathered different eras of music and he has stuck with the band throughout the journey. His principle, and the whole band’s principle is to make music for ourselves, and not for any targeted audience—something that we all proudly uphold and swear by. Our success can be attributed to this mantra. This year, we are probably going to release a new album. We are totally hyped for it, and we’ve already begun playing new songs at live concerts—even at today’s concert at Moksha. We’re excited to put them out for people to listen to and can’t wait to see the response we receive.

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  • What genre of music do you listen to?

    Well to begin with, each of us from the band belongs to a different generation, so our tastes in music are likely to differ. Speaking for myself, I am open to all genres of music. Rock and blues were among the first types of music I listened to. This period was followed by my stint in a metal band. Then I took a liking for classical music and got deeply immersed into it. In addition, I listened to a lot of jazz and fusion music. These days, I almost entirely listen to hip-hop—and Jay-Z is my favourite! My favourite band is Snarky Puppy. It is a 25-strong American band that produces music reflecting elements of jazz, fusion and classical music. Each of their pieces is truly amazing. I wouldn’t say that what we listen to directly influences our music; it’s just that I’m curious to examine the different genres out there.

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  • We at Roots & Leisure, passionately promote local artists, entrepreneurs and creators. What is your message to inspire your fans in our community?

    The one quality that musicians need to always develop before thinking of making it in the music industry is the will to dedicate and persevere to continue on their path. Also, have a little bit of self-realization. You should know how good you are and whether your work really stands any chance. If you think you have realized that about yourself, then you should pull up your socks and give it your all! Never be at that place ten years down the line where you’re regretting about not giving music a shot.

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  • Today, musicians have the opportunity to test their music out at venues in almost every big city where music enthusiasts flock to listen to live bands. That’s a big change! There are also a lot of people who have decided to take up music as a career. That’s also very encouraging. Today’s youth don’t only restrict themselves to become doctors and engineers. They’re finally beginning to look at music as a viable source of income.

    One doesn’t have to play at one boring venue in a five star hotel for seven days a week to make money as a musician. Young bands are given a chance to prove themselves and we’re really happy to see many young musicians actually giving it a shot.

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  • From launching as a band from the 90’s which was essentially the Doordarshan era to platforms like NH7 that strive to promote budding indie artists, how, according to you, has the gig scene changed for musicians?

    Indian Ocean definitely began at a time when there was absolutely no push for indie music. Compared to that, India now has a very vibrant gig scene. Earlier, we were only dependent on some college festivals to showcase our music.

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  • An example of one such song would be ‘Roday’ from the album Tandanu. This is when we decided that we wanted to write a song addressing the issue of the displacement of indigenous people from their homeland. That’s why ‘Roday’ had lyrics in Kashmiri that narrates displacement of Indians from Kashmir and Sindhi lyrics that narrates the displacement of Sindhis from their homeland.

    We also recently created a song for the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation that does some phenomenal work in rehabilitating children who are victims of abuse. Kailash Satyarthi approached us to create a song for the lyrics that he had written himself and we had a great time working on it. So, these are some tangents we take from our general creative process.

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  • For two decades you have created songs with elements of philosophy, folklore, prayers and social commentary. If you were to create a song about present-day India, what would it be about?

    Nikhil: One thing about Indian Ocean’s creative process is that we very rarely sit around and say that let’s make a sound about this particular topic. In fact, none of us in the band write any of the lyrics.We are grateful to our friends like Piyush Mishra and Varun Grover who write some fantastic lyrics. One is never short of topics to speak out about in India. But, it’s always been our endeavor to not force the flow and so we don’t give ourselves a brief. We do diverge from the protocol sometimes.

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  • What are some of your most favorite songs to perform on stage?

    NR: In fact, we all like certain parts of certain songs. Some parts feel really nice when you play it live on stage, and certain songs sound great while on tape. But, I do have a personal favourite song called Bhor. And right now I’m loving performing ‘Mann Kasturi’ on stage. I also really like performing the newer songs that we make. For example, I like this one song for which we’ve collaborated with Pandit Vikku Vinayakram. We haven’t released it yet but we’ve started playing a version of it on stage. AK: Actually, since the time the band had started to now, I’ve always been a big fan of playing newer songs for a certain amount of time before we commit to tape. Now it’s not possible to play only the new songs during live performances because the duration of every show has unfortunately come down from 2.5 hours to 1.5 hour gigs. So, one has to choose between performing some of the older crowd favourites and some new stuff. We all really enjoy playing new material because it’s one of the best ways for us to refine any song and make it better.

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  • Are there any bands from the North East region that you like?

    Nikhil Rao (NR): I really like the band Soulmate. In fact all of us really enjoy their music. I guess Rahul Ram had also performed with Purple Fusion at NagaFest last year. I’ve also heard Purple Fusion’s album and it was really great. We also love Bipul Chhetri’s work in the Himalayan folk genre.

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  • What are you looking forward to the most about performing at NH7 Weekender this year?

    Amit Kilam (AK): This is the first time we’re playing at Shillong. It’s taken us 28 years to get here. We’ve been very sad that we haven’t really had the opportunity to perform more often in the Northeastern part of our country. We’ve barely managed to be at Guwahati a few times. I hope this changes things and we get to play in more cities over there. We love the people and the culture of the Northeast of our country. Apart from playing for the beautiful audience, we look forward to the food which we’re sure will be great!

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  • What are the various fields inside the music domain?

    Nitin: There are several fields inside the music world. It's not just performers and singers or players but many things lie inside the music industry. A huge requirement is for session musicians in Bollywood, they earn a lot of money. Sound Engineering is another one. There are many institutions where people can learn sound engineering in the country. People who are like computers or know programming can be very successful in this field. Studio work helps you a lot, because then you know what is behind the creation of a song. Amit: You can take Music as a profession; become a singer, composer, sound engineer. There are opportunities in music and events, managers for bands and artists. Most young musicians are taking up teaching as a stop-gap. Rahul: Tuheen taught in a school and he had to teach nursery to 12. So as the musicians job starts in the evening, like a security guard. He used to play at night, come back at 2:30 and get up at 7:30 and go and teach the whole day. And you can do this at a young age. We have a lot of avenues though not formalised well in our country but there are opportunities. Also Bollywood, I would like to highlight is the biggest thing or if you are from south music industry for films is the biggest thing around but it's also very tough. Young people getting into Bollywood think only to become a singer, because no one wants to be a background guitarist. Though there are sessions artists but they don't get the limelight. Now if one wants to become a Bollywood singer, then most singers have a tendency to say that "I can sing anything, gazal, folk, romantic almost everything". So I feel one loses their own identity. You get ready for any song to just get a break. But please understand you may get exploited for this desperation, because they can see the hunger and there are a lot of sharks out there who want to swallow you, wanting to just get the work done for nothing.

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  • What challenges do you face in the music industry?

    Rahul: You will be penny less for years. A lot of people see Indian Idol and other talent shows, so they feel it's an easy fame mechanism. But they forget the 10-12 years of struggle those children have gone through. Everybody who makes it to the top are actually people who are trained and go through hardship, right from singing for free, singing everywhere, learning, they do a lot of work. The non formal lines really require a lot of years and only passion can make it happen. There may be a trained classical singer who can give the most boring concert but they may be not be good enough to take your heart away. Amit: Sometimes a good doctor may leave a scissor inside. Rahul: A medical topper is not bound to become a good surgeon. Amit: In every field, the rate of success is usually the same. We see only the success stories. Hollywood or Bollywood, we only remember the top 5 movies but the rest unsuccessful ones we don't even count.

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  • Let's talk about how to create great music and what are the necessary steps to continue making great music?

    Rahul: I think it is very important to like the person with whom you are playing, because if you don't like the person you will not enjoy it. Also, one must try to play with people who are better than you. They may be equal in age but if they are better than you they will push you and you will push yourself more. Whereas if you are better than the ones you are playing with, it's really not a good idea. It might make your ego big. Amit: What happens is that when you play with people who are better than you, you get better and they get down. Nikhil: Most of the band doesn't have a formal degree in music. But what I understand is that when you are a teenager or young, you tend to get rebellious about wanting to study music and nothing else. I think whatever the situation is; at some level you can keep doing music. In fact it's just been 2 years that I joined professional musicians. But I have been playing guitar for 16 years now. Yes, I used to fanaticise getting full time into music but it never got to me that I could not. I did conventional engineering, did a job then Masters. And I believe this is the reality. Even for people who cannot afford financially to just go all out for music can create music in parallel. It's possible to take few hours out and keep playing and keep making your own stuff till the time you get a break. That's my take. Rahul: The typical parents' permission way is still a botheration for all. Till now, middle class parents are not ready to take music as a profession career. We hear a lot of times, "Oh you create music but what do you actually do". I also suggest to take basic B.A, B.Sc degree because music is like cricket may be you are very good but there are a lot of things involved in getting to the top. I suggest a safety net to be there. Some people tell me that I have become old that is why I am saying it. Amit: I second that you have become old. Because what I believe is that a safety net is fine but if you have a B.A degree then you will roughly do the same things as a failed musician. If you want to take a job, do one thing at a time and do it. Because being on two boats really is very difficult. It might not work for all. It's a good suggestion but to do it is really difficult and confusing. If you wish to do a mediocre level of B.A and mediocre level of music, it will be like a Hindi saying, " Dhobi ka kutta na ghar ka na ghat ka". So if you are good at multi-tasking then it's the best way. But if not then just choose one. Just for the sake of a safety net don't become mediocre.

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  • How can one make music as a career?

    Amit: Just keep playing and create new songs. It's very important to go out there and do it. I don't think education helps a lot in this field. Tuheen: Yes, you may become a teacher of music but not a great musician. Amit: You must learn from your teachers and get the basics but ultimately you have to be out there to get that experience. Music is certainly not a career like an MBA and you get a job. In music you can get M.A degree and get a job in some music department. If that's your dream, go for it. But I personally don't think that everyone wants to do that, most people don't want to be music teachers. Everyone either wants to sing, play, compose get famous, and perform. And if you wish to achieve that, then it will require a lot more than just studies. You have to struggle, you have to create a band, sing for less money, sing for free and sometimes you may have to pay to sing. Rahul Ram: No it's true, many of them say, we are giving you a break. And you should be grateful and don't expect money. You have to face this; thousands of such decisions will come in your life. You have to choose.

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  • Was Tandanu, their last recorded point, a turning point?

    The ethos of the band has improved over the years. “Tandanu (their last studio album, launched in 2014) was a very nice turning point.” The album was their first fresh cut with all the new members. Every song on the album features a collaboration with a prominent musician, around whom the song is centered, including Vishal Dadlani, Shubha Mudgal, Karsh Kale, Shankar Mahadevan, and others.

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