Playing along the path of music

Playing along the path of music

It’s raining bands in Bangalore and Lagori, the relatively new one on the block, is surely making its presence felt. With their folk-rock tunes and simple, easy to hum lyrics, Lagori has managed to win young hearts across the country.

The five-member band comprising Tejas Shankar on vocals, Geeth Vaz on guitar, Edward Rasquinha on acoustic guitar and backing vocals, Shalini Mohan on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Vinyl Kumar on drums, is all set to perform at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, a grand musical event that sees musical talent come together from across the country.

Speaking about its musical beginnings, the band says, “Geeth Vaz and Edward Rasquinha already had a rock band called Fahrenheit. But one fine day, over good biryani (motivation), they decided to take the rock influences within them to make music with a predominant Indian touch. A few tunes were composed, and then with the arrival of Vinyl, Shalini and Tejas, Lagori was up and performing.”

But why the name Lagori? “Well, all of us loved playing lagori as kids — the game of seven tiles, which is also called pittu in the north. As musicians, we kind of have a fascination for the number seven, as many of our favourite songs too have a 7/8 time signature. So we thought Lagori would technically, and in all casual ways too, be a catchy name to tag along with the band. Who wouldn’t love to shout out ‘lagori’! We would,” the excited band remarks.

The band’s songs, which are like a concoction of varied musical influences, clearly reflect the different musical backgrounds that the members come from. “Tejas brings a lot of Indian classical elements and Indian lyrical influences to our music; while Geeth gives the songs an eclectic rock touch, Vinyl has roped in his metal influences on the percussion; Shalini induces a lot of funk, and Edward adds a smooth country feel to the music. Though all of us are hugely inspired by different genres, when we meet for jam sessions or rehearsals, our sound instantaneously becomes one. We never try hard to fuse something. The reason why each one of our songs is so different from the other is because of the countless influences within us. So, that makes five mad people with crazy different influences under one roof. But, that is exactly what fuses our music naturally and wonderfully,” the band quips.

Apart from this generous dose of different genres, another USP of Lagori’s music is their simple lucid verse that has garnered a considerable fan base amongst the youth, and stands true to the idea that music must touch one’s heart and soul. Explaining their aim behind creating such songs, the band says, “We like to keep our music as simple as possible.

Irrespective of the technicalities that are involved in making music, when we perform our songs in front of a crowd, we want them to go back home singing our songs. We have no major philosophies or symbolisms hidden in our music. So we do not want to convey or preach anything. Thus you could call our music — ‘easy on the ears’, fresh, young, energetic and soulful!”

And indeed, fresh, young and soulful is the best way possible to describe the band’s self-titled album. “We released our debut self-titled album digitally worldwide early this year. It has eight tracks in Hindi, and one song in Kannada. The first track, Boom Shankar, is a song about living life to the fullest by letting go of everything. The peppy, foot-tapping and totally uplifting track is popular with the audience wherever it is played. The River Song starts off with soothing sounds of flowing water coupled with equally melodic and intricate guitar work.

It has great harmonica and flute sections and is, perhaps, the most folksy tune on the album. It is a song that speaks about the life of a river, which experiences beautiful things during its meandering course. Our other track, Saiyyan, is a romantic song, while Jeene Do is about freeing yourself and doing what you want to do. It is a rock-infused peppy song that goes well with the young crowd. The Kashmir Song is the only song in the album written in Kannada. It is soft, melodic and filled with layered and catchy guitar melodies. Ni Re Sa is a funky track with Hindustani classical influences. So, our album basically is an amalgamation of all our varied interests in music put together in totality.”

Apart from enthralling the crowds in Bangalore, Lagori has also performed in Kashmir and Manali and has managed to get tremendous response. “We started doing shows from mid-2011, but the show which kickstarted our career would be the Gulmarg Festival held in Kashmir. Live music was being played in Gulmarg after 28 years, and we were one of the privileged bands to have performed there. This show was where we realised that language is the last barrier for music. Because at the end of the show, we had kashmiri locals and tourists from all around the world singing along with us in Kannada! This motivated us to continue composing and playing songs in our regional languages. The same response followed in Manali too, and since then, we have performed all over India with our Kannada and Hindi compositions.”

Talking about the bustling music scene in their home ground, the band says, “Bangalore’s music scene has become so versatile, we are proud of the city. Today, a music lover on a Wednesday night could choose between a jazz concert, rock show, classical gathering, or just an Indian pop-rock band gig. Our city has some great music venues too.”

The band is all set to perform at the Bacardi NH7 Weeekender, one of the much-awaited musical events in the country. “Bacardi NH7 Weekender has always been a great platform for bringing together artistes from varied genres. We have had a great time playing at the NH7 Weekender parties in Coimbatore and Bangalore, out of which Bangalore saw a completely packed house.”

So, what next for Lagori? “We are working towards an all-India album launch tour. We also have a lot of shows lined up all over India. And hopefully, we get to take our music outside the country too. We are looking forward to some interesting collaborations too. We are looking forward to pretty much bombard the whole of India with Lagori!”

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