Sez On The Beat : My aim is to set a benchmark of quality.

Image may contain: text

“My aim was to set a benchmark of quality”, says the prolific hip hop producer Sajeel Kappor aka Sez On The Beat who produced rapper Prabh Deep‘s riveting album, ‘Class-Sikh’.

It’s no surprise that the underground hip-hop scene of India is booming. But little do people know that one of the key figures instrumental in orchestrating the sound of this movement is this young Delhi based producer. Other than busting out the bangers from ‘Class-Sikh’, Sez has also produced some of the hottest joints the Indian hip-hop scene has ever witnessed. From Divine’s ‘Jungli Sher’ to Naezy’s ‘Asal Hustle’, Sez has successfully conjured the flair and oomph this scene has grown to be known for.

“Being Tiesto was my goal back then”, says Sez reminiscing about his early days of production where he was heavily into mash-ups, remixes and electronic music. When asked if he ever plans to go down that road again Sez laughs and says, “Absolutely not. I cannot tolerate EDM music now.” He later stumbled onto hip-hop and immediately got fascinated by production citing Dr. Dre, Noah “40” Shebib & Metro Boomin as some of his biggest influences.  He finally decided to take production seriously when encouraged by Mumbai based rapper Enkore and others. After that, nothing was the same.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

“I try to make a beat per day”,  says Sez. Between playing video-games and going to the gym, Sez spends most of his days in front of his computer cooking up some fresh tunes. He says the abundance of hip-hop music in today’s world prevents him from falling into a creative rut, for there’s so much to be inspired by. He religiously uploads ‘type beats’ on his YouTube platform and markets it to a variety of hip hop fans to buy. It could range anywhere between Anderson .Paak type beat to Future type beat. Sez says, “All I care about is that whoever picks up the beat should treat it with well.”

The ‘type beat’ is a clear testament of the vast spectrum of sounds Sez frolics in. Being a fan at the core really allows him to incorporate the various elements of this expansive genre. While working with an artist he credits the singular crucial factor for any fruitful collaboration to be – communication. Sez says how rapper Prabh Deep crashed at his home for almost two years during the making of ‘Class-Sikh’. They used to talk about whatever was happening in each other’s life and Sez would then work on the tones of the sounds to help Prabh pull out the corresponding emotions.

Another important aspect of this creative’s professional career is that he’s one half of a producers wrecking crew called ‘StunnahSez Beats‘. Sez together with Stunnah are proud owners of the ‘StunnahSez Beats’ brand where they collectively sell their music. This collaboration was born out of their admiration for each other’s work. Sez also tends to produce for Stunnah when he is rapping. This powerhouse duo are pushing their brand and music globally by a concrete combination of talent, hard work and professionalism.

Image result for stunnah sez beats

While Sez has a lot of projects under his belt for 2018, he’s in no hurry to ever release his solo project or to go live. He’s grateful for the current state of hip-hop but is fully aware of the life cycle of any genre in a country like India and does know that few years down the line hip-hop might lose its touch. For now he’s putting his head down and doing what he does best : produce like there’s no tomorrow.

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Advertisements

Clouded North : ‘Resilience’ is about fighting through challenges and achieving your goals.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

“The concept of the EP is based around the name ‘Resilience’, which is about how every person has a lot of negativity and challenges thrown at him/her every day. But it’s all about getting yourself up, dusting yourself and fighting through those challenges that help us achieve our goals”, says Thejus Nair aka the man behind Clouded North.

Thejus is a musician & a studio/FOH engineer from Bangalore. The former rhythm guitarist for Cheisrah has finally dropped a solo project under the moniker ‘Clouded North‘.

Listen Here.

CN

“The name ‘Clouded North’ is basically about how the direction you would like to move towards and the path you wanted to follow is always filled with uncertainty and hurdles”, says Thejus. The debut release of this project is a hard hitting four-track EP called ‘Resilience’. The associating artwork plays with the similar idea of pushing through obstacles. In the artwork by Joanna Davala, you can see that there are rocks heaved at the person, but as he/she is made of stardust and IS literally the universe, nothing can really stop him/her from achieving anything.

The entire EP shines in perfectly blending heavy sounds with captivating melodies. The tone is really meaty but sticks with you for its use of harmonic tunes. We have tracks like the haunting ‘Resilience’. The track ‘Confront’ is soulful and gives the EP the additional dimension.

There is also fantastic vocal performance by Abijith Rao on the track, ‘Race To The Surface’. “It was such a pleasure working with Abijith on the song. He’s such a genuine guy and gives it his all when he has to get things done, which was great for me as I hate babysitting and forcing people to get stuff done. Abijith heard the song, liked it, got started with writing the lyrics and then came over to the studio in a few days to record. That’s professionalism right there”, says Thejus.

Thejus runs the Eleven Gauge Recording studio where he works with bands and handles recording, mixing & mastering. “For the guys starting out, I would only advice you to get into this field if you’re obsessed about music and making music and the whole subject of audio. There’s no glamour in this career and if you think there is, you’re highly mistaken. This job is all about being passionate about music day in and day out and knowing how to communicate with your clients”, says Thejus.

Image result for clouded north resilience

While he has plans of going live, it won’t be anytime soon since it’s tough finding like minded musicians for him. He does have a lot of song ideas so you can expect new material from Clouded North. Well, looks like there’s no stopping this audio wizard!

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hearts + Fields EP : Review

No automatic alt text available.

Zokhuma‘s recently dropped ‘Hearts + Fields’ EP is rich and equally refreshing.

As the SoundCloud description suggests, this two track EP is – “the result of a little love, a lot of rain, a never ending forest and a cozy cottage in the south of Sri Lanka.” This paints a vivid picture as the entire EP feels intimate and pretty. It twinkles with really colorful sounds. While ‘Hearts’ feels acrylic in terms of tone, ‘Fields’ is punchier with its house influences.

The only complaint being if the songs were more structured and didn’t feel like two long mixes. This 14 minute, 2 track EP does lose its charm post the first few listens. However, this is a great introduction to Arman Menzies aka Zokhuma and the fields of sounds he’s plans on sowing to captivate the hearts of future listeners!

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

‘Chance Hi Nahi’ – Track Review.

Mumbai based rapper Enkore recently dropped a new single ‘Chance Hi Nahi’ merging his impeccable flow with a rather juicy beat.

Ankur Johar aka Enkore has a rather rough voice which gives the words he’s spitting that extra punch giving the track more replay value. His vocal delivery is on point along with some noteworthy word play. The hook to the track sticks with you as you find yourself singing it every now and then. Would highly recommend an acoustic version of the track live at The Port!

Sadly, Enkore jumbles a variety of topics due to which it’s hard to put a finger on where the song is heading thematically. Regardless it’s one of the fresher singles from the ever growing hip hop community and Enkore should definitely be on your radar and playlist!

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

NEVER BEFORE///NEVER AGAIN – Review

Related image

Artist brnsctr releases a moody sample infused three track project called “Never Before//Never Again”.

The audio and visuals for the project are inspired by 45 rpms from the Indian subcontinent that came out in the 60’s. Samples are creatively flipped across these three tracks. Lot of the sounds lurk in the shadows and set the tonality of the entire project. The tracks are charismatically trippy and keep your head bobbing.

Sadly the beats do just seem to be thrown together and thus lack any reply value. They could have been longer and more structured to render a cohesive listening experience. However, this release is not to be missed!

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Backstage Pass : Artist Manager Tej Brar On India’s Independent Music Scene.

Image may contain: one or more people

We had a chance to pick Tej Brar’s brain, the man behind the artist management agency, Third Culture. He put us up on game regarding his approach and outlook on the music industry. Check it out :

Q) Given that the main revenue stream for artists is live shows, you have put it really well by saying :

“Use your content as a marketing device for your live shows.”

Could you expand a bit more as to how artists can go about this?

Ans. There’s basically two things going on here. The first is that with digital distribution and streaming, revenue from digital downloads and streaming is basically negligible – so that makes those revenue streams basically non-sustainable for an artist to earn a living from. As we have seen in the rest of the world and in India this essentially means that the artist has to turn to live shows to earn a living. Now once an artist puts a release out, there is a certain time frame where that content is relevant and has real impact. Within that window the artist goes on the road to tour behind that material and has the best earning potential off that release. That window in today’s digital world is about a year, at most two years. Once that cycle is complete the artist needs new content in order to be able to draw fans back to their live show, because that is where the money is. Secondly, there are various peripheral content bits that can be made around the primary release (album/single) that help to keep the content relevant, examples of this include behind the scenes, music videos, sync deals or licensing. These peripheral bits can extend the longevity of that particular piece of content.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Q) Could you expand a bit on an artist’s “Long Term vs. Short Term” goals and how they can take decisions through that?

Ans. The first thing is that whatever is listed down under either of these categories should be practical. For example, someone who hasn’t release a track yet saying I want to be Steve Aoki in the next year is not going to happen. Short term goals are goals that can be achieved in the next 6 to 12 months. Things that can be achieved if the right decisions are made during that time frame. Examples can include, finishing and releasing X album, or playing X number of shows, or getting X company to endorse me, or putting on a show at X venue.

Long term goals are loftier goals, they are the ones that take a serious amount of preparation and hard work in order to achieve. These typically will take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to achieve and are basically a culmination of an individual or group’s aspirations as an artist(s). Examples of these would be signing to a big international label, touring internationally, having enough income coming in for music to be an entirely sustainable full-time job, becoming popular enough within India that they are now an important part of the cultural landscape. An artist really needs to sit down and think about what is important to them, then it’s the manager’s job to chart out that trajectory and what it is going to take to get there. The short term goals that need to be ticked off, in order to achieve the long term ones. The artists needs to be realistic about their expectations and the manager needs to be practical in their approach.

Image result for tej brar

Q) In today’s YouTube savvy market, artists are finding it tough to put regular content to stay digitally relevant. How can artist concentrate on their creative pursuits and still find balance in putting out content and expand their audience?

Ans. I actually think that YouTube and other digital platforms have actually made it much much easier than before to distribute content and remain relevant. Now, artists and content creators can speak directly to their audience without having to go through a traditional channel like television or radio. They can do it how they want whenever they want. It allows them a lot more freedom to express themselves creatively. To answer your question above on how to find balance, I think the best way to do that is to make their audience part of their creative process, show them what it’s like when working on material with behind the scenes stuff, vlogs, just including them in the journey. That is, of course if the artist is comfortable with that. Otherwise, what we have found quite successful is having someone else who updates social media, just so the artists doesn’t have to worry about that at all. It’s taken off their plate entirely. 

Image result for tej brar

Q) Nucleya is Nucleya, and his shows are absolutely kickass. But how should say singer-songwriters or the more eclectic and ambient producers go about in putting on a great live show?

Ans. I don’t think it’s all about flash or gimmicks. I think it’s really about what the artist wants to express and how they want to showcase their art in a live setting. There are some incredibly talented people out there in the independent space who are going incredible work in the indie live space and I think the more eclectic and ambient producers can look to them to collaborate and put in something really incredible. Some examples are Ground Control and what they are doing with lighting. Studio Moebius with visuals and animation, Sourya Sen and UT with visuals, VJ Zombie. There’s a bunch of really exciting collaborators. I think it’s important for an act to want to put on more than just a basic stage show and I think the audience is ready for it as well. For example, Nicholson did an entire show where they were just silhouettes behind a mosquito netting that has visuals projected onto it. The artist needs to want to go that extra mile.

Image may contain: night

Nicholson/LANDS’s live set-up.

Q) With good quality music being put out every other week, why do the artists across India still have to fight over the same five venues? Is the lack of venues because it is not economically viable from a business standpoint or is the reason something else?

Ans. Those venues are usually being fought over because they are considered the taste maker venues. They are the venues that are usually being frequented by hipper kids who will go on and influence their friends to maybe check out a new act or explore a new sound. Also, a lot of other venues will look at those 5 venues for programming inspiration and take cues from what they are programming. So those venues become important in breaking acts and setting trends, but they are certainly not the only venues to play in the country. I personally think that once an artist has played there once or twice, it’s important to look outside of that circuit and see what other venues and cities might be out there for them to explore. Also, I think the large issue that you indicated in the question about good quality music being put out every week, does not really relate to venues but instead related to how that music is being distributed. I think it’s more important for independent artists to focus on their digital distribution strategies than to worry about playing at one of the “it” venues.

Image result for the humming tree

Q) Is India’s music scene a ‘Bombay-only’ party? How should artists from different parts of the country navigate without say Bombay, or Bangalore, or Delhi’s infrastructure?

Ans. It is absolutely NOT a Bombay only party. Sure, Bombay is where a lot of artists migrate to in order to network and find other work – but the B and C tier cities are really where the opportunity is both as an artist and as a promoter. Bombay is oversaturated as are most of the big metros across the country. Also, there is a sense of people being a little jaded in those big metros, they think they’ve seen and experienced it all already, if not within India then outside of it while travelling. In B and C cities, the game is wide open. There are large numbers of young people who are interested in exploring alternative music and culture. As an artist you can build your own audience first hand and really become a hometown hero and as a promoter there are so many great acts that you could bring down and introduce to that market. Artists wise, everyone is up to explore outside of the big 4 metros they have been touring for the last five years, so it’s really a promoters dream if they play their cards right.

Third Culture

Q) What message would you give artists who believe they can’t push beyond the ‘glass ceiling’ of the India’s independent music scene? How should they be navigating and make decisions in their careers?

Ans. I think it’s important for them to try and look at the industry from outside the box. Look at how the systems are set up right now and think, how can we do this differently? What else can be done here that hasn’t been done before? It’s really important to not just accept that things are a certain way, but to question why they are that way. Once you start doing that then all kinds of other possibilities become apparent. Other ways of doing things that you could not see right up at the front. Super important to challenge the norm and experiment with other models and ways of doing things and that when the envelope will get pushed.

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Third Culture : We Build Culture, Not Individuals.

Third Culture

“Third Culture comes from the term ‘Third Culture Kids‘, who are basically global citizens. They are individuals who grew up in cultures outside of their parents own. Their parents are from one culture, while the country they grow up in has a second culture, and the amalgamation of these two cultures results in a new, third culture, which is theirs and unique.”, says Tej Brar on the story behind the name of his artist management agency, ‘Third Culture‘.

Image result for tej brar

Born to an Indian father and a English mother, Tej identifies himself as a Third Culture kid. He grew up across Australia and the US before returning to India, where he made a name for himself as the talented manager behind Nucleya‘s success story. Tej finally stepped down as the Head Of Artist Management at Only Much Louder(OML) early last year to launch Third Culture, a new company with a fresh mindset :

“We build culture, not individuals.”

“The idea behind the tagline is that our goal is larger than just creating successful careers for our artists. Sure, that is the base objective, but we hope those successful artists shape their city or even the country’s culture through their careers – be it introducing new sounds, putting on different live show experiences or even just the way they distribute music for their audience base to consume. The overall goal is to create a sustainable and vibrant community for independent music across India.”, says Tej.

If managing one of India’s biggest act isn’t enough, Third Culture’s illustrious roster comprises of another gem beside Nucleya, Gaurav Malaker aka BLOT. “BLOT is probably my favorite DJ to dance to in India. He’s essentially a house and techno artist but who plays and produces the more emotive and deeper side of those genres. He’s someone I have known as a friend for the last 5 or so years and we’ve always wanted to work together”, says Tej. While Nucleya is massive stadiums and outdoor shows, BLOT is Tej’s connect to the clubs and keeping his feet in the underground. He says, “Both Udyan(Nucleya) and him are no nonsense, let’s get the job done dudes.”

Image result for tej brar

It’s safe to say the powerhouse duo of Nucleya and Tej has had an iconic run over the last couple of years and there’s no stopping them, but it seems that their personal relationship has blossomed as fruitfully as their professional one. “My relationship with Udyan, it’s changed a lot over the years. We started as a manager and client relationship, soon after became friends and now we’ve sort of moved into a place where we are family. At this point we are beyond brothers. Our careers have become so intertwined that it’s difficult to tell the story of one without the other. For me, my relationship with Udyan is about much more than just music and gigs. It’s literally about life planning and what is really important in life. The gigs and music and money is a very small part of what we share now. He is an amazing person and I am very lucky to have shared such an incredible ride with him so far.” When asked about the one thing fans don’t know about Nucleya, Tej surprises us by dropping the news that the Raja Baja is in fact a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. Tej says, “I mean, he has literally never used those skills ever, but he has a piece of paper saying he is qualified. After every show, there is always a bunch of kids who come up and talk about how they don’t want to finish college or that their family is forcing them to do a degree, but what they don’t know is that Nucleya had to do the exact same thing. He always tells them that they can do both, do the degree but also do music on the side, that those things do not have to be mutually exclusive and I think that is really good advice. It’s really hard to make a full time career in music and it’s important to have that backup option, because the reality is that not everyone will make it as a musician.” Well kids, if the country’s finest DJ tells you to take a degree before pursuing a career in music, you better do that.

Tbone

Nucleya will stop touring in April 2018, in order to work full time on the full length follow up to Raja Baja which will come out towards the end of 2018, supported by a full blown tour and a new live show. BLOT! has a bunch of releases lined up that are currently being shopped to international labels. He will be debuting a brand new live show in 2018 as well which is currently being worked on. Tej concludes, “Third Culture will be looking at creating some video content of our own and probably move into promoting some shows next year with artists that we want to introduce to the Indian market. There’s a lot more ahead and I’m not in any rush to grow fast. Slow growth comprising intelligent financial decisions with an eye on longevity is how we plan to scale up.”

We wish Third Culture loads of success and hope that it inspires a newer generation of individuals looking forward to work in the music industry. All the more power to Tej, Nucleya and BLOT!

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tejas : One glorious day of being a musician is always followed by 20 days of ‘WTF am I doing’.

Tejas Logo Unit Turquoise DP_Master.jpg

“If I can say I’ve truly done one thing in life I’m really proud of, it’s this album”, says singer-songwriter Tejas on his recently released full-length album, ‘Make It Happen’.

“I wanna know what people think when you make an unabashed, straight-up, pop-album”, says the 28-year old artist. The sonic progression from his 2014’s debut release, ‘Small Victories’ is hard to ignore. While that EP was charmingly fresh, ‘Make It Happen’ is a statement by an artist who has clearly honed his craft. Even with a pop-sound at the core, the album does explore various genres like Funk, RnB, Rock and Folk, making it all the more richer. Tejas credits this to the knowledge he has garnered over the last two years as a professional musician, which enabled him to have a firmer creative control on the fabrication of his current release.

Tejas_So Much To Say Film.jpg

“I absolutely feel no loss in having missed the label boat”, says Tejas referring to the recording deal that fell through last year. But fortunately, this made Tejas crowd-fund the entire album, which not only felt way more rewarding but also thematically fit the album title. He crowd funded a whopping 2 Lakhs in 6 hours. This is a great testament of potential consumers who are willing to pay for quality independent content in a Bollywood-driven country.

download.png

With a sudden burst of excitement, Tejas scurries away and proudly shows me the physical copy of the album. It is a really neat booklet which opens up beautifully to showcase the code for the album, lyrics, track-list, along with some extra goodies. Flip it, and you’ll find a kickass poster! With a passionate gleam in his eyes he narrates the story behind the poster and is all praises for Mira Malohtra’s ‘Studio Kohl’ who are behind the artwork.

CoverMIH.png

Tejas’s love for art, nerd culture, animation and cartoon is wholly represented in the strikingly colorful album art. The more noticeable ones are for the track, ‘Kindness’, which is a Hand Of God, for the track essential is – “Tejas vs. God in three acts”(this track might also feature Vishal Dadlani in the vocals in the album’s deluxe version). While for the track ‘Wine’ we have a playful taxi, which is a throwback to Tejas’s famous car jam for the song. It is evident that painstaking attention has been given to every nuance of the album experience.

MIH_Story.png

We finally come to my favorite track from the album, ‘Maybe We’re Not Enough’. It’s a beautifully soulful, yet a sad closer to the record. When asked about it, Tejas pauses and says, “It was a fucking cry out for help. One of my darker moments, I’ll admit.” The song encapsulates all the anxiety he had been through. The latency period between writing and releasing this album was emotionally exhausting for him. Coupled with the fact that he had to halt the recording after 5 days because he discovered he was suffering from dengue. This took a toll both physically and mentally, but he convinced that 2017 and releasing this record had been the light at the end of the tunnel for a rather turbulent 2016.

“Honestly, doing this album has been the most rewarding thing. I’ve broken my head over this damn thing for so long that it’s made me a little more cynical about a bunch of things. But I’m so much more richer for having it done it myself”, says Tejas. He looks like a seasoned musician who has finally learned to play the game.

Tejas_transparent_03.png

Tejas truly wants to pass on whatever he has learnt over the years, the extension of which is his label, ‘Kadak Apple Records’. Tejas says, “I want to be that person. I wanna be a custodian for whatever I know. I want more people in this industry.” Tejas believes if you want to truly get into the scene, go in full throttle. Do a good album, good design, put effort into your music and don’t half-ass anything. There is a difference between talent and hard work, and sometimes it’s not pretty. “Every one day of glorious feeling[of being a indie musician], comes with 20 days of ‘WTF am I doing’, says Tejas. He continues, “You have to wear 800 different hats man, otherwise you are just yesterday’s news.”

Tejas_Acoustic.jpg

 

In the course of the recent few months, Tejas has successfully managed to accomplish three of his major life goals : releasing this record, playing a show back home in Dubai, & seeing KT Tunstall live. When asked what’s next, he introspects and answers, “Leave India for a bit, man. I’ve this great calling card in the form of this album. I think the world needs to become my 30 city tour where I travel to get fresh again.” But before he takes the next step and starts a new chapter, he does plan to tick a few things off : like doing a proper tour, releasing the deluxe album, putting out other content like music videos. Well, we can only wish this talented singer-songwriter luck on his journey ahead and we hope, he makes it happen!

Tejas_transparent_02

 

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sri : The Indie Scene’s Spirit Is Inspiring.

Sri My Indie Playlist With Sri Vol01 Image 01_Srijit Bhowmick_PC Jyotirmoy Gupta.jpg

A new addition to the family of several singer-songwriter releases this year is a delightful self-titled debut EP from Mumbai based indie artist Sri.

Srijit Bhowmick has been writing his music for almost 9 years, but it wasn’t until recently that he decided to take his talent to the stage and to people’s ears. “I came to a point in life where I felt overwhelmed by the amount of material I had written. So, I put up a show of my own with a little help from others in Jan ’16. That was my first gig as Sri”, says the singer-songwriter who then released the three-track EP. The song ‘Am I Here’ got included in Apple Music India’s weekly playlist : ‘The A-List : Indian Pop’.

Sri cites a varied range of musician from the Indian scene as his influences. He says, “It was mostly the spirit of playing one’s own music against all odds that influenced me more than anything else from the Indian indie scene that I was exposed to.” Being a Bengali himself, a lot of Bangla acts such as Cactus, Fossils and Anjan Dutta influenced him. But the more he got exposed, the more indie bands made into his playlists. “Started with Zero, big fan and was hooked to their songs. Parikrama’s ‘But It Rained’ followed. Then Blackstratblues, big fan. ‘Anuva’s Sky’ by Blackstratblues is still one of my favorites”, says Sri. From the newer lot he likes Parvaaz, Prateek Kuhad, Shantanu Pandit, Imphal Talkies, Nikhil D’souza and more.

If the EP can be described in one word it would be : potential.“I wanted to represent the wide variety of songs I penned down over the years in terms of musicality, songwriting, vocal capabilities, range of topics, and so on and so forth, through my debut release”, says Sri. He is a distinct songwriter with a voice yearning to tell a story. He’s truly experimental with his voice and you can almost hear the emotions pour from his words. Sonically, it predominantly consists of his acoustic guitar and his voice with occasional keys and other instruments trotting along. On the raw instrumentation he says, “Creatively, I wanted to keep the essence of my songs intact – make them sound just how I wrote, imagined, and wanted them to be or as close as possible”. Sri had to strike a balance between the creativity of capturing the natural folksy roughness of his songs with the perils of the limitations that comes with being a independent musician. But he sure made it work, he says, “Satyajit Ray’s films are a great example, if you know what I mean, as he would easily turn his limitations to his advantage”.  Even though there were times in the EP where his ambitious vocals would eat up the words he sang, there’s no doubt Sri is bound to leave a mark and has a long way to go.

Sri doesn’t want a particular genre to succeed, but the individuals and the entire scene to grow. “I like the universality of what we are as individuals. The nature of making music is such that it may require all sorts of talents, and craftsmen and craftswomen. We need more of them primarily be it singer-songwriters, instrumentalists, songwriter-musicians, instrumentalist-songwriters, sound engineers or whatever. And then at different stages of operations, we need those who form the support system around them and/or help in terms of turning it and their own efforts into legit businesses or entities as well such as publications, music journalism, lawyers, artist management companies, venues, sponsors, fans, listeners, helping hands and the whole range of things. Each of us have specific roles we can play and excel in, and I wish we all keep on striving to do that primarily to the best of our abilities.”, says Sri.

Sri My Indie Playlist With Sri Vol 01 Image 04_Srijit Bhowmick_PC Jyotirmoy Gupta.jpg

Sri is really keen on playing more shows and taking the EP to different places. He is hoping to connect to musicians and people on the business side of things of the scene. Who knows there might be a music video or a tour on the way? Well, we for one can’t wait!

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Blackstratblues : The Last Analog Generation.

Band

I get less time to practice!“, says guitar virtuoso Warren Mendonsa on his recent fatherhood. However his 10-year old brainchild, Blackstratblues, just added another iconic album to their stellar discography called ‘The Last Analog Generation‘.

Albumart.jpg

India’s finest rock bands have returned two years post their previous release ‘The Universe Has A Strange Sense of Humour‘. The album has come at a perfect time for the multitudes of fans wanting new material. Warren says, “I think by the time we recorded this one, the four of us were very comfortable playing together as a unit and as a result it was recorded very organically.” The 8-track album is definitely a stimulating release from the act. It has a very charming 80’s flair to the sound and is seasoned with the pristine musicianship of  Jai Row Kavi on the drums, Adi Mistry on the bass and Beven Fonseca on the keys. Charging through it all is Warren’s signature guitar playing which evokes a different emotion with every song. The album is a very distinct feather in Blackstratblues’ revered cap and it was a conscious effort. Warren says, “There’s no point repeating what we’ve done before.

Bands

The title ‘The Last Analog Generation’ does encapsulate the sound of the entire album. It does numb down the synthetic electronic sounds that floods today’s mainstream music. The album isn’t necessarily drunk in nostalgia, for it does dwell in current themes. The album name came about when Warren and his wife, Uttara, were blessed with their first child. It struck them how different it would be growing up now with the influx of modern technology, social media, music consumption and more. It wouldn’t be anything like growing up in the 80’s. “The difference would be way more than the one between our parents generation and ours“, says Warren. Thus, ‘The Last Analog Generation’.

 

Most of Blackstratblues’ songs are these illustrious rock epics over 5-6 minutes long. Warren mentions how most of the songs are divided into two sections and are written together. They usually start off as guitar loops, home demos or have a pre-existing live version before they enter the studio. The track ‘Mediatrician’ revolves around how the modern mainstream media treats adults as children who are incapable of formulating their own opinions. Warren says, “These days we get mainly opinions and entertainment disguised as news, all designed to get maximum eyeballs and advertising.” It starts out with a sample of his daughter crying with a news debate going on in the background. Warren adds, “She does recognise her voice at the start of Mediatrician and is all smiles whenever that plays.

The track ‘Love Song To The Truth’ features singer/songwriter Tejas Menon. It’s a dreamy track with the words and the melody from Warren championed by Tejas’s soothing vocals. Warren says, “What you hear on the album is his first take, minutes after he first heard the track. It was a pleasure to work with him, and he added heaps of soul to that track.” The track also has an audio snippet from a Joni Mitchell interview that Warren really resonated with. Warren says, “The best music is open to interpretation, and causes the listener to introspect or find a personal connection with the music that could be very different from what the songwriter may have originally imagined.

Having been the guitar player for the legendary rock band, Zero, and with Blackstrablues leaving it’s mark for more than a decade, it’s safe to say Warren has seen it all. “There was a quantum leap in the 2000s with audience acceptance of original music, and it has only grown since then”, says Warren. He fancies acts like Nicholson, Parekh & Singh, Kush Upadhyay and obviously Tejas, from the current indie scene. But with electronic music in the forefront, it does seem that the true craftsmanship of musicians is fading away and rock might not be the hip thing to follow. But Warren believes otherwise, he says, “I don’t really think the popularity of one genre affects another. Both can coexist and influence each other. Rock has been around for quite a few decades and keeps changing with the times, and I’m not fearful for its survival.

Warren

Between promoting the album via shows across India and being a father, Warren is pretty busy and content at the same time. There’s nothing exceptionally new on the horizon. With the legacy that he has, he can take all the breaks he wants. Who knows, maybe we might get another iconic video like for the track ‘Renaissance Mission’ on the previous album? For now, simply forget your blues with their latest gem, ‘The Last Analog Generation’.

 

 

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.