Folk that rocks

Folk that rocks

Folk that rocks
Cutting across boundaries is something that music is known for. With an intermingling of genres that sees innovation at its best, traditional styles like folk music are undergoing quite a few transformations - one of these being an increase in the acceptance for ‘folk rock’.

With big names like Raghu Dixit and ‘Swarathma’ redefining music by fusing traditional lyrics with interesting grooves and beats, this genre is becoming a top choice among music lovers. And there are many takers among artistes too.

Singer Aabha Hanjura from folk fusion band ‘Sufistication’ says that many of their works have a rock tinge.

“Most of my bandmates are rock musicians who bring in that influence. Also since folk is the music of the people, it creates a connect with them,” observes Aabha.

She adds that both rock and folk music include prose and poetry, which makes the congruence a success.

“The rustic sounds created in these genres make for great entertainment. Folk music is an integral and nostalgic part of our culture and rock influences make the young and old alike connect with it,” she adds.

Musicians are excited that folk rock is seeing a surge in young talent. Drummer Yadhunandan Nagaraj, who has experimented with folk rock with bands like ‘Agam’, says that people connect more with this genre as it includes everyone’s likes.

“Many of us grew up listening to rock music and folk and ethnic tunes are a part of our upbringing, which makes it easier to accept this genre,” he says.

Rock bands which sing in English are a common sight and this is where folk rock comes as a change, notes Sachin Banandur from ‘Parvaaz’.

“Our works like ‘Gul Gulshan’ and ‘Roz Roz’, which include poetry by Ghulam Ahmed Mehjoor, and ‘Ziyankar’, which is based on poetry by Allama Iqbal, were mixed with rock elements that created foot-tapping numbers,” he says.

Folk rock will also eventually help put local music on the world music map, he adds.

Keyboardist Harsha Vardhan Raj feels that a feeling of ‘old is gold‘ has caused folk rock music to click with people.

“Many classic and traditional songs are being twisted and tweaked. So these hold a sense of familiarity yet sound fresh to the ear,” he says.

Harsha, who has worked with Vijay Prakash’s band ‘Jai Ho’, says that their ‘song to the beat’ format, where medley meets peppy beats, easily grabs the attention of youngsters.

Mixing home tunes with rock elements works great because of the mixing of the earthy feel of folk rock with upbeat notes, observes Shubham Roy from ‘The Shubham Roy Collective’.

He says, “Gone are the days when people always listened to a particular type of music. Now everyone wants varied experiences from a track and this is where folk rock music works well.”

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