'People don't pay attention to experimental music'

'People don't pay attention to experimental music'

As cafe culture in Delhi is mushrooming, trend of hosting live music or karaoke night is becoming an intrinsic part of city’s landscape. This invariably is giving a platform to aspiring singers, musicians and bands to kick-start their musical career by performing at several places. One such band is ‘Himalayan Routes’, a five-member group which specialises in experimental folk fusion genre. For the past four years they have performed at numerous cafes and restaurants. These days they perform at Unplugged Courtyard, FLYP @MTV and Imperfecto, Hauz Khas Village.

In a conversation with Metrolife, Lokender Verma (lead vocalist) tells about their journey and struggle as an independent band.

What kind of music do you create?
We are a group of five, (me, Manoj Majta (rhythm guitar), Mayank Hansraj (drums), Kushal (keyboard) and Alex (flute), whose roots lie deep in the Himalayas. People appreciate us for giving unique and peaceful feel to music. Also, we always start our shows with a Himachali folk song.

How has been your journey?
It’s been four years since the band’s inception. Since we come from Shimla, the biggest struggle for us was to cope up with Delhi’s life. When we started, we were living in a small room in south Delhi. But yes, life has changed for better since then.

What has been the milestone of your career?
It was a dream come true when we performed at the Gaeity theater in Shimla recently. It’s a place that holds a lot of value and emotional connect with us and people of Shimla.

What do you think is lacking in Indian music industry?
I think that the desire to do something different and new is lacking. People just want to go with the flow and make mainstream music.

How difficult it is to gain recognition?
People don’t pay much attention to experimental music. Music that doesn’t have Bollywood-like beats, will rarely be heard. Live acts are still underground in Delhi. I think musicians should be given credits for their originality.
What’s next?
We are coming up with a project to pay a tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It’ll be a small compilation of his iconic songs.

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