The sounds of passion

The sounds of passion

Experimental funk

The sounds of passion

It is surprising when Kavita Sarna, the bassist of ‘ChandBibi And The Waste Candidates’, says that there are very few songs which the four members share in common as favourites. One often tends to believe that the band came together only out of interest for the same genre as Mana Dhanraj on vocals, Navneet Rao on drums, Sidhant Jain on guitar and Kavita gel easily and really well as a four-part-troupe.

From ‘ChandBibi...’, what one hears is raw and rich guitar riffs, lyrics which touch the heart and an upbeat sound that can get one to dance immediately. Though most describe the band’s genre as progressive, experimental funk, their music is an amalgamation of the members’ different influences – from jazz harmonies to progressive rock tunes, peppered with classical strains. Kavita adds, “It’s natural to have an amalgamation of sounds when people from different genres and music influences come together to jam. I support original music and see nothing wrong with fusion.” 

 ‘ChandBibi And The Waste Candidates’ was formed two years ago and their under-rated, non commercial music with a haunting aura and jazzy feel has already managed to carve a niche amongst the charts of lesser known bands as they haven’t touched a mass appeal just as yet. Their album, ‘Tidy Funk’, is slowly making undercurrents across the country and fans love Mana’s rich, powerful vocals that are layered with solid guitar sounds. Music graduates fresh from ‘Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music’, near Chennai, Mana and Navneet were the founders of the band. They later met Kavita and Sidhant.

    Kavita says, “I guess they were thinking of ‘Chand Bibi’, the woman warrior. Waste candidates is a term used for activism in Hyderabad which our former guitarist came up with.”

About the multitude of bands which generally prefer to take a self-taught route, Kavita comments, “Learning music in a structured school has helped all of us. The Academy has polished our skills and exposed us to different kinds of music as we were taught by teachers from Latin America, Europe and the like. This has pushed us to become better constantly. We also realised how competitive the scene is abroad. Nevertheless, there have been many self-taught, wonderful artistes and ultimately, it is a personal choice of where one goes and the direction they take.”

The band is now on a break but is hoping to catch a few gigs by the end of the year. Kavita and Mana have also cited the lack of infrastructure and training in music for children at primary and secondary levels and hence are working with a school in Bengaluru so that they can integrate music learning in tune with their curriculum. However, they love the City and feel that they are lucky that Bengaluru is extremely receptive to new genres and supportive to young artistes. Kavita adds, “Though we don’t fit into the range of playing at big festivals, we have our own, devoted audience and have played at unique festivals like ‘Naariyal Paani’ in Alibaug.” However, a lot has to change in the music industry. Kavita is dismayed that artistes are still asked to perform for free or aren’t paid a lot for their performances. “There are undercurrents of this attitude as people don’t understand the time and effort that goes behind rehearsals. This has to change in the music scene.”

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox