Modern avatar of Indian music

Rock Star

udmusic, his first love  Uday Benegal photo by Bobin JamesThis talented singer has big aspirations — to be part of the new rock scene in the country. Benegal has a first mover advantage for sure. He started a rock band called Rock Machine in the ‘80s, later christened as Indus Creed, that won accolades like the Asia-wide MTV Video Music Award for their song Pretty Child in 1993. When this band wound up, Benegal and his band mate Jayesh Gandhi moved to New York and rebounded in a new avatar. They launched a band, Alms for Shanti (AFS), and played at various clubs, colleges and festivals in the US. Later, they released a self-titled album, which also has a Hindi version called Kashmakash.

Benegal and Gandhi returned to India in 2008 and regrouped with their former band Indus Creed’s band mate Mahesh Tinaikar to launch Whirling Kalapas. Late last year, Mahesh and Benegal decided to revive Indus Creed with Zubin Balaporia and got Rushad Mistry and drummer Jai Row Kavi to complete their new outfit. Besides singing for his bands, Benegal also sang the popular track, Life is Crazy, from Wake Up Sid.

So, what inspired him to come back? “Well, to be honest, it was not music that got me here. I came back to work in movies. I have always loved watching films and, as a child, I watched at least one movie a week. However, music has and will always be my first love. When we got an opportunity to revive Indus Creed, we did it. It was the most natural thing to do. We are working really well together and our sounds are very contemporary. We should have a three to four song EP (extended play) out in the next month or two, and a full-length album out in October or November. This will give our listeners a teaser of what to expect from us.

Obviously, over the years, we have evolved and our music is focused on rhythm and is very ‘today’. We were also very clear that we did not want to cash in on nostalgia alone. We still do play our old hits, but we will be creating a lot of new music as well. So while we’re really happy that we have been a part of the growing rock music scene in India, we’re also kicked that it’s far more mature today.”

He adds further, “It’s a very fertile time for rock music in India, but it needs to come together in a more organised fashion. There are plenty of new clubs in major cities across the country that give upcoming as well as established bands great opportunities to play regularly. No more having to wait for promoters to put up large stages at festivals and the like.

The big gigs are there too, but they take a while as for them, sponsors are required. Also, the internet revolution and social media forums like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace have changed the way people listen to music and has given us a great platform to express our creativity,” adds Benegal.

Benegal is also open to singing for Bollywood, provided he gets the right song. With so much happening for them, you are sure to hear more from Benegal and Indus Creed in the days to come.

Rock on!

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