Waves of fusion

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Waves of fusion

The Indian Foundation of Arts organised a concert by the indie-rock band the ‘Indian Ocean’ featuring the melodious Hindustani singer Shubha Mudgal at Chowdiah Memorial Hall recently.

The concert that contributed to the development of arts, was a huge hit as the audience present was on a musical high. They tapped their feet, sang a long and a few even danced with joy listening to the band perform live.“I am a half-Kannadiga. My ‘chikkama’ (aunt) used to sing this song with her sisters and they called themselves ‘LG Sisters’.

We wanted to work on this song from a long time. This song talks about Belur and it is a Kannada folk song,” said the bass guitarist of the band, Rahul Ram, before they performed the first song ‘Tandanu’ to the already excited audience.

After the demise of lead singer Asheem Chakaravarthy and the split with the founding member Susmit Sen, ‘Indian Ocean’ has come a long way. The band that has gone through many hurdles, still continues to remain an all-time favourite among music lovers.
When asked for the reason behind this, Rahul says, “We actually have no idea why people continue to love us. We cannot analyse this.”

The lead guitarist Nikhil Rao adds, “There is a middle stage that ‘Indian Ocean’ occupies.  It has never been outrageously popular and also we have never been completely neglected by our fans. Dheere dheere maamla chaltha rehtha hai (It is just moving slowly).”

Their new album, ‘Tandanu’ which released this June, has become a huge hit among the fans. This album has been ranked the number one album of the year in the iTunes listing. It features seven brand new songs from the band including collaborations with Shankar Mahadevan, Vishal Dadlani, Shubha Mudgal, Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt, Karsh Kale, V Selvaganesh and Kumaresh Rajagopalan.

The band, which is completely focussing on their new release, say that they are happy with the kind of response that they have received till now.  “We have spent six months making this album. And now our plan is to tour around playing these tracks live. We all are making new stuff. But I do not know when that will become an album,” says the energetic Rahul.

‘Indian Ocean’ is unequalled in terms of lyrics. Most of the tracks of the band have unmatched lyrics that have been taken from different languages. When asked about this, Amith Kilam, the drummer, says, “They are mostly traditional. It is a mix of different types... For example, the track ‘Jhini’ is Kabir Khan’s composition.

We generally avoid love songs. There are almost no love songs as there are lot many things to sing about.” Rahul adds saying, “There is a strong spiritual link to some of the lyrics. There is also a political bend to some of the tracks of ‘Indian Ocean’.”

The artistes, who have performed in the City several times, say that they love the City. Rahul says, “Swalpa swalpa Kannada baruthe. I have been visiting Bengaluru since my childhood. I love the food here and my favourite food is the wedding meal that has varieties of sweets.” Amit Kilam adds saying, “I find the city fantastic. I came here first in 1993 and I have seen the city change.”

For Nikhil, there is a special vibe in this place and he has a long list of things he wants to do in Bengaluru.

 ‘Indian Ocean’, which has a mixed group of fan following, signs off with a message for the aspiring musicians, “A career in music depends on how passionate you are about the art. You should also have the ability to know whether you are good enough or not to take it up as a career.”

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