Ideas from daily life

Ideas from daily life

Ideas from daily life

Despite their funny sounding name, the members of ‘Kurangan’ take their music very seriously, an earnestness and solemnity that is reflected in their answers.

 The Tamil pop rock band is making waves with its bold, powerful music and fresh music. At a time when many people consider English songs to be the epitome of ‘cool’, this group of four is trying to address the inferiority complex among Tamil speakers.

 In the city recently to perform at Humming Tree, two of its members, Kaber Vasuki and Tenma, spoke to Rajitha Menon about the rise of regional languages in the music scene and their odyssey so far.

Tell us a bit about the band.

Kaber Vasuki: We formed ‘Kurangan’ in late 2015. But even before that, we were all associated with music. I always wanted to form a tamil rock band and was looking for musicians to collaborate with. While working on an album, I met Tenma and asked him if we could team up.

Tenma: And I agreed. Krishna and I had been together for almost 10 years by then and Sahib was also one of our acquaintances.

How do you describe your music?

Vasuki: To give it a name, it is Tamil pop rock.

Your thoughts on the rise of regional languages in music?

Vasuki: I think there has always been a large audience for regional language in music; just that market was always monopolised by movie music. So for independent regional language music, the last 4-5 years have been fantastic. A lot more bands and lot more artistes are coming up.

Tenma: Many younger artistes are getting interested. Especially in places like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the scene for this kind of music has been good.

Does sticking to Tamil limit your chances?

Vasuki: No, I think sticking to Tamil actually makes us more popular. We believe that the more local you are, the more universal your charm. It is our unique perspective of local music.

Tenma: It is our own interpretation. The lyrics are Tamil and the music is western which makes it very ‘rockish’ melodically. It gives a different flavour to the music and that is the novelty of the band.

How do you feel about the indie music scene in India...

Vasuki: I feel it is the best time to be pursuing independent music. The field is growing rapidly.

Tenma: Because of the amount of pubs and college gigs, there is an employment opportunity also. Digital production is also enabling bedroom singers and producers to do a lot of stuff.

Which is your most favourite gig?

Vasuki: For me, it is the one gig we played in Chennai at a place called Musee Musicals. We were doing it on our own without any sponsors and yet a lot of people turned up. That was when we saw the kind of people who were listening to our music.

Tenma: We didn’t even promote it in a big way. We just invited a couple of people we knew and asked them to spread the word among their friends. It was almost like a jam but it turned out to be a really good gig.

One artiste you would like to collaborate with.

Vasuki: Everybody in the band will have different answers for this. I don’t know how I can answer this (laughs)

Any one favourite for the band as a whole?

Vasuki: Tenma, say a name.
Tenma: Delhi Sultanate
Vasuki: I like Bohemia, the Punjabi rapper.
Tenma: Oh yes! That guy is insane (laughs).

Your musical inspiration...

Tenma: It is too much of a collaborative process. For example, I am influenced by jazz and Krishna has a background in metal. So collectively there is nothing we can say.
Vasuki: We borrow ideas from everyday life and people that we observe in our hometown but the music is from all over the place.

How do you blend your musical tastes into a common sound?

Vasuki: The vision is the same. Once I finish writing the song, every body listens ot it and then we  see what we want to do with it. Tenma does primary arrangements and then the others add their own bits.

If not a band, then..?

Vasuki: Oh, we will all be doing solo acts or something.

So you would all have been in the musical field itself...

Tenma: I have no other skill (laughs). I grew up doing this.
Vasuki: I might have been a novelist but I would have even more broke then.
Tenma: I don’t know what I would have done. Cooking maybe.

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