A musical journey well begun

A musical journey well begun

Band Astitva enthralled the audience by touching the right emotional chord

Excitement reached its zenith when multi-genre Hindi band Astitva, set the stage on fire at Citywalk main stage. It was an ‘open event’ for all presented by Songdew. Youngsters began pouring in at their favourite hangout and shopping mall from early afternoon before the main attraction of the evening – the performance by Astitva.

The band rocked the show and left the audience asking for more, especially on numbers like Mast kalandar, Bhul na jana, Rozana, Jeene do and many other popular songs. The 2007-born band has always worked towards carving a niche for itself by pioneering the dawn of a dynamic musical experience. For them, music is not just about striking the right musical notes and chords but also about touching the right emotional chord. And they have been aiming to do just that by belting out songs with a magical blend of rock, jazz, and Hindustani classical to enhance our soulful lyrics, written in Hindi and Urdu. The band’s lead vocalist Salman Khan, belongs to the lineage of the illustrious Rampur-Sahswaas gharana. Trained in classical music under Padmashree Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan (grandfather) and Ustad Shakeel Ahmed Khan (father), Salman chose to use the taalim he gathered but chose to move away from his family tradition. This was a boon for Astitva, considering that his astonishing voice can tug at listeners’ heartstrings. With his ability to incorporate Urdu poetry into the lyrics, Salman adds an extra edge to the soulful songs.

Accompanying Salman and giving him the right support was his brother and Astitva’s lead guitarist Zaman Khan. For someone who started playing since he was 10, Zaman has come a long way. This talented youngster, apart from being a hit with the band’s female fans, is also the base of the band as he works on compositions too. A self-trained guitarist, Zaman an ardent follower of Steven Vai and Slash, is a tempting mix of modesty and naughtiness, and adds life to the band with his innocent childlike charm.

Astitva’s backbone is their Bass guitarist Amit James – a well-known bassist-cum-drummer in Delhi rock circuit. With his wide repertoire of musical influences ranging from western classical to Indian beats, James’ experience has made a big difference to Astitva since he joined the group in November 2009. The soul of the band without whom the band is incomplete is the keyboard specialist. He also contributes in composing songs. Youngest of the band members, this classically trained artist is in total control of the keyboards when he is playing.

The brain behind the band and the head banging specialist is Ayush, drummer-cum-percussionist. A trained tabla player from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, Ayush plays a huge role in adding rhythm to Astitva numbers. He keenly follows the likes of Mike Portnoy, Gavin Harrison, and Dave Weckel. Barely 21, this highly sentimental teenager is the ‘Daddy of the band’.

Few years into the world of music and hundreds of smiles, tears, memories, losses, and successes later, the young team feels that their journey has just begun…