Indie music is really having its moment in the sun in India… finally! And honestly, I AM HERE FOR IT. There are two things that carry me through tough times, or maybe three: the support of friends and family, writing and journaling when I feel down, and finally, listening to some tunes.
As with most people my age, I’m sure, I too fell for the trappings of good old 90s Pop while growing up, but I also had very strong musical influences thanks to my very large family; uncles who’d listen to western classical on large speakers, a mother who introduced me to Carole King and The Beatles, a father who sang along to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and brothers because of whom I learnt about the Dark Side Of The Moon. But one thing I didn’t know or explore was the Indian music industry, Bollywood or otherwise. This though has long since changed because of my job, my friends and now the burgeoning independent Indian Indie artists who are creating such lovely music both in local languages and in English that I’m relishing this exploration even more so in lockdown.
There have been so many new releases by Indian Indie artists during these past few months of lockdown, and here are some favourites that are on my lockdown playlist.
1. Raghav Meattle
Raghav released the official video of his song, City Life around the time Mumbai first went into lockdown and the words along with the visuals of the city were like the perfect balm for the heart.
More recently, he released another official video of his song, Bar Talk that even stars Team MissMalini‘s fave, Sushant Divgikar! The video explores two same-sex couples and the bittersweetness of their relationships.
2. Tejas Menon
I’ve been a big fan of Tejas for a long, long time. I have friends who will be nodding emphatically as they read this. But anyway, I was really happy to hear his latest release, Lead.
A very talented DOP, Krish Makhija also recently teamed up with Tejas and used one of his older originals, Foresight to put out a video of some stunning visuals he captured on an old Super 8 camera. You can read the story behind the visuals on his Instagram. But for now, listen and watch!
3. The Yellow Diary
In January this year, we had the chance to interview this band of talented musicians and talk about their latest release, Rab Raakha for our series, #BeyondMusic. To take an excerpt from their YouTube description of the song,
Rab Raakha is a poetic ode to the belief that while you search for yourself in this big maze of a world, someone up above, is looking after the ones you love.
More recently, they launched a ‘newish’ version of their song, Dheere Se too. It’s beautiful.
Riya and Simran Duggal aka Simetri are such a talented twosome. I can listen to these sisters’ harmonies forever and ever, honestly. They have some pretty killer dance moves to boot as can be seen in their On My Mind music video.
Another original of theirs I really enjoy listening to is called Ego.
5. Shannon Donald
Shannon is not just a talented, beautiful singer and performer in her own right, she also trains singers too. Funny story… The first time I heard Simetri sing live was for Shannon’s student showcase where here vocal students performed and they did a special performance. And during this lockdown, she finally released her first single, Happy Place. Give it a listen, but be warned: it’ll get stuck in your head fo sho.
I met Subhi virtually when she graciously agreed to do a live session for us on MissMalini‘s Instagram handle. And her voice was too beautiful. Also, she played the piano, and I’m a sucker for the piano. And the guitar. And the sax…. Well, you get my drift. This is her song, Cage.
More recently she also released another song, called Naqaab.
7. Prateek Kuhad
Okay, legit question. Who doesn’t love this guy? I mean, his voice, his sound, and even his videos are just so pleasing and heartwarming. Wow. Kasoor is another super duper lockdown song. Just wow. Perfect video to end this listicle with too, IMHO.
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