Stand up, be indie, and deliver: The sixth IndiEarth XChange is here
Six years since its inception, the IndiEarth XChange has grown into one of Chennai’s premier platforms for independent artistes, who deliver electrifying performances and host informative discussions on a wide range of topics.
One of the firm indicators of its growth is the music line-up this year, headlined by reggae revolutionary Apache Indian, easily one of the biggest names to feature in any edition of the festival. “It's great to see various artistes from across the world taking part in the festival. I know its not easy to achieve this so audiences should appreciate all the hard work that goes into making this happen. I hope that the festival is recognised as an international trade fare that makes a real difference to the Indian market and also across the globe,” says the flamboyant musician, who recently released an album titled In Ja. Joining him is another reggae artist, Canada’s top dub/electro producer Dubmatix, along with other internationally acclaimed artistes such as Mr Bill from Australia.
Besides the performances, there are also workshops and masterclasses by the likes of Portuguese filmmaker Harold Monfils, Australian musician Kristina Kelman, and Israeli producer Yoav Rosenthal, among others. Harold is also the curator for the XChange film festival, whose association with EarthSync (organisers) go back more than a decade, starting with his documentary titled Laya Project.
“This year’s selection is pretty eclectic,” he says. “The first day will open with Liberation Day, which is about the first rock concert ever held in North Korea. Closing it off on Sunday is Redha, a story of hope, love and understanding. Between them is a line-up of indie movies covering a wide spectrum of genres and subject matters,” he explains.
Representing Chennai in this festival are city-based bands like Stacatto and Vertigo, composer Bjorn Surrao and Carnatic musicians Mandolin Sisters. “I will be performing songs that I have written over the years and songs from my EP, Stories from a Bottle, which includes songs like Walls and Crystal Skies. My set will be easy to listen and groove to, with acoustic folk mixed with hints of Carnatic, reggae and bossa nova,” says Bjorn, who reveals he will debut his next single, Sunset Boulevard, on the day of his performance.
Stacatto, on the other hand, will present their brand of contemporary classical music, even as they are looking to add more electronica into their sound. Vertigo too has an album in the works — a five-track one titled Starfetched. Besides them, bands from other cities include the likes of Bangalorean alternative rock outfit Blushing Satellite who will present tracks from their recently-launched debut album, The Union.
To cap it all, Apache Indian shares fond memories of Chennai, a city “where I have had a lot of support from fans over the years!” He shares, “My greatest memory of Chennai was working with AR Rahman at his home studio on a song called No Problem for a movie called Love Birds so I’m looking forward to be back in the city soon!”
At The Park. November 24-26. Details: xchange.indiearth.com