2016: Resolve To This Revolution!

At the dawn of a new year I propose to be a crusader. And, no, I am not proposing a fight for (or against) net neutrality, so for all of us overdosed with ads, tweets and other views on the subject, you can read on. I am super excited today because after a long and arduous process of music deprivation and being ignored, I have reached an exhilarating state – where there is great music just a touch away. I guarantee you a good experience – as long as your are willing to experiment.

Who am I?

I must confess – I have never learnt music, do not know how to play any instrument, and am not technically proficient to differentiate “commercial” music with true cred. If you are a music snob with extremely eclectic and specific tastes, this may not resonate with you. All I am is a 35 year old whose musical tastes were influenced across many genres since I was 12. I have loved rock, alternative, metal, rap, hip-hop, techno, house, EDM, electronica etc etc. If it sounds good to me, regardless of language, I dig it.

I also spend a lot of time listening to music. While travelling, driving, jogging, cleaning, showering, and at times, it’s the best way for me to focus to get work done when I need to push boundaries on creativity, efficiency and at times even boredom.

And, I love listening to it live. It just sounds different.

The travails

The last eight years have been reasonably torturous in music land for me. I won’t complain about the quality as there have been stand out artists and tracks released, yet the sheer dearth in music variety has had me pulling my hair out.

Radio, which was once a good source, had hit a mean streak of loud cackling RJs, many advertisements, and only Bollywood music. Dead for me now.

A large part of commerically successful music (outside a few exceptions like Coldplay, The Killers etc) were ignoring us 30 year olds – it was either Bieber (not my kind of music back then), or Imagine Dragons (too processed) or EDM (which was great in parts but just not enough).

The only glimpse to music of our generation was standout performances by Third Eye Blind and Kailash Kher (separately) at Hard Rock Mumbai and a shoddy desperate try by Axl Rose which was terribly disappointing. Even today, most of us would need to make a trek up to London to see U2 live.

If you were a mid age music loving Indian, you were ignored.

The discovery

The efforts to build an independent non Bollywood linked music scene in India has been in the works (and gaining steam) for some years now and I must confess, after having spent sometime researching the movement, I realise I discovered the scene much later on than I could have. Yet, as I experiment these discoveries on many of my friends and peers my age (including you), their startling reactions make me believe it’s still in its nascency. And the optimist in me believes the potential is endless.

India has never been short of creative talent but thanks to technology (Soundcloud in particular), music discovery has never been easier……..and it’s FREE! In a nutshell, there are a number of independent bands in India across different genres (rock, pop, electronic, blues etc) uploading their music on Soundcloud, waiting to be discovered. They are good……. some of them in my view are world class, and if you are musically starved, or just looking for some variety, try them out and you won’t be disappointed.

To start with…..

Follow these steps

1) Download the Soundcloud app (or stream off YouTube)

2) Search for these artists based on your preferred music genres (my recommendations)

  • English rock: The F16s
  • Hindi rock: Prateek Kuhad
  • Electronica: Dualist Inquiry
  • Blues: Dhruv Ghanekar
  • Rap: Brodha V

3) Reply with your thoughts and do recommend other indie bands of interest

I must confess…

The fact that these bands are Indian does excite me; inherent patriotism at work I guess. Further, thanks to locations such as Blue Frog in Mumbai, I will get to see them live.

India had a partial local music scene with Indus Creed, Indian Ocean and Euphoria, which had died in the mid 2000s, and has been resurrected again thanks to the efforts of movements such as NH7, VH1 Supersonic etc. Yet, technology has made music discovery so easy, and the tunes from these bands have delivered beyond expectations. This post was triggered by my wife’s reaction when she heard F16s. She said, “They sound like a professional international act”. Maybe, we can help them get there.

So, once you stumble out of your hungover morning tomorrow , why don’t you stream and listen to the acts above. And join the revolution!

PS. Do recommend other Indie acts that have caught your eye. I am a bottomless pit for this.
Disclaimer: Views are personal. I do not have any private interest in any of the artists or organisations above.
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