It’s a widely-known fact that India is a land flourished with rich culture & heritage. With more than 20 distinct dialects spoken across the country, we exemplify the slogan ‘Unity in Diversity’ in its most authentic form. While the majority of the crowd are devoted to Hindi & English music, there are a plethora of artists who have carved out niche audiences in their respective regions with rootsy yet contemporary music. This week, we bring the spotlight on 8 artists who have adeptly crafted such heart-warming gems.
Kashmir-based collective ‘Alif’ are known to texture poignant lyrics with their peppy sound. Kya Karie Korimol, is a satire on the extravagant weddings & all the strain placed on the bride’s father to bear the lavish expenses. Although the music is mainly groovy-upbeat rhythms, the meaning of the track literally is “What can a bride’s father do”?
Naom Chhangte & Jajah Fanai, an indie duo from Aizawl, Mizoram delivered this acoustic-based single in 2018 which comprises Naom’s haunting & surreal vocals. It talks about the aftermath of a failed relationship & and its effect on a broken heart. The band name is the duo’s version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Here, a small town kid (Jenny) goes to the cinema for the first time and is left in awe and fascination by this cinematic experience of hers. The same fascination is observed in Naom’s melancholic but vehement voice which is a perfect fit for the all-nighter playlists.
‘Khatiuwi’ by the Tripura based Contemporary folk-fusion outfit Koloma, is a playful acoustic driven track in the band’s native language ‘Kokborok’ which also includes 3-string traditional instrument – ‘Chong Preng’. The song is about lost love but it is composed over a very child-like melody. The Frontman/guitarist Rumio who often seeks help from his mother for the lyrics aims to preserve the losing relevance of their mother-tongue which despite being spoken by a large indigenous population, has yet to become an official language of India.
The Gujarat based fusion-rock act truly justifies their name as they incorporate multiple genres in their music, much like different colours of Rainbow(Meghdhanush). Mor Bani & Kasumbi No Rang is a song that conveys how one’s heart & spirit dance like a peacock at the arrival of the rains. It talks about the hue of crimson that flows through all – the compassion that flows in each heart for one’s own soil. What these guys bring to the table is a crazy Dandiya night intensified with Rock n Roll, which is sure to thrill both the young and the old.
Nobody knows what they’re doing, at the very best we are making educated guesses as life goes on. Chennai-based Urban Thozha dedicates this one to all those who’re labelled as losers. As much as we thrive for perfection without actually ever achieving it, this Tamil song is a calming reminder that it’s okay to have blemishes & vulnerabilities. Just like each of the five fingers(Anju Viral) in our hands are unique, each of us are different with our own little flaws.
Madurai, one of the world’s oldest cities and the birthplace of the Tamil language, is home to this gifted musician named Umashankar Kannaiyan. He crafted ‘Vaa Mapla’, which is a combination of acoustic-folk sound & harmonised vocals, in the land of ancient temples. The proud son of Madurai celebrates his hometown & is inviting everyone to experience its rich culture.
Bengaluru based & bred Peepal Tree released a tribute EP to their hometown, in which the classic-nostalgic alternative rock number Friendship stood out for me.
The song is clearly about the unshakable link between a bunch of old buddies, as well as recollections of time spent with friends at various periods in the life and how they remain with them. It all fits together perfectly with the flashbacks of growing up with friends in Bangalore.
Law student turned Singer Sagar Shastri is a hopeless romantic & he proves this with his acoustically fresh-sounding track Aparichita. The Bengaluru-based musician shares personal anecdotes about those casual non-creepy checkouts that grow into crushes. Pretty sure that most of us have been a part of these fleeting encounters that eventually form the roots of many fictional scenarios in our head.