Five names to look out for in the Indian Indie Scene
The Indie scene in India is buzzing with a plethora of talents from solo artistes to six-piece bands, who cover everything from Pop to Heavy Metal. We have made a list of musical acts you should keep an eye out for this year. The artistes we have listed have either release a new album or single or are working on releasing one this year. Be it the versatile and multi-instrumental Perfect Strangers’ or Tejas, a pop-rock artiste from Mumbai, and Rocazaurs, an old school Rock band from Kerala, there's something for everyone. See what they have to say about their music, inspirations and more.
Once Dhruv Visvanath picked up the guitar, no one could stop him. “My mother forced me to play the keys when I was seven and it took me seven years to realise that I never truly enjoyed the instrument. When I found the guitar at the age of 13, I thought that the journey I’d have teaching myself would be far more rewarding than being taught,” says Dhruv. Since then, his love for the instrument has gotten stronger, along with his skills.
Since releasing his debut EP called Chronicles in 2011, Dhruv has come a long way. He is a singer-songwriter whose repertoire mainly focuses on the percussive-guitar. He says he has been composing for a long time and often looks back on his life experiences as the inspiration for his songs. His songs are very similar to stories, as it is a piece of himself that has been set to music.
His second album, Lost Cause, came out very recently. He says “The lost cause is an introspective record, which looks at my childhood and the stories I had heard as a child. I really looked at the record as a chance to express my anguish about the passing of my father, the day my childhood ended and of course, about chasing my dreams. I really wanted to look at it as a chance to tell my story instead of making it up along the way. I feel so proud to say that my surroundings and the people closest to me inspired this album.”
It was independently released and through some crowd-funding he was able to make more content for his album in the form of videos and creative art. Lost Cause is a fantastic project that complements Dhruv’s skills on the guitar. It is an album with some incredible melodies and hooks. He says “ I really think that The Lost Cause has more meaning than my previous album because of the patience that was shown in building up the story.”
Formed in 2013, the band relaunched itself in 2017 with a brand new lineup. They play melodious Rock with elements of Funk, Jazz and the Blues. Debjeet Basu, lead guitarist of the band says, “The music we play is not restricted by the conventional ideas of genres.” Their sound is easily recognisable, and it bears similarities to bands like Toto, Rush and Journey.
Perfect Strangers’ first album, A Strange Connection, is set to hit stores during the month of June. The album is a culmination of the different experiences that one might go through and is a take on the stories between different strangers who are all connected by the giant web of life. It will include their signature songs like Walk On the Wild Side, which talks about the transgender community and Just For Gigs which is a song about the ups and downs of playing live gigs.
The band is driven heavily on the groove set by Preran Gulvady on the drums and Prashanth Gnanamuthus’ bass. The keys and synth are played by Joshua Costa. The vocals are handled by Raphael Emileenaa and Pranav.
“The best part of the band is the fact that all of us can sing; this is great cause now we can sing in four-part harmony” says Basu. The band is technical and musical at the same time; if you want music that makes you tap your feet and makes you think, then PF is the band for you.
There single Selfie was released earlier this year.
Foi is the brainchild of frontman and guitarist, Sanjay Kumar. Sanjay says “The idea of Foi has been there since 2011, but it never really worked out. I was part of other bands back then. The project only came to fruition in 2017.”
Their current lineup includes Sanjay Kumar on the guitars, Naresh Nathan on the bass and Liben Tom behind the drums. Their debut album Faith came out last year and had some of the their signature songs like Battles, Lift, Balance and Evidence featured on it. Foi is all set to release their latest single, “Log Kya Kahenge” by June.
The band plays what can only be categorised as melodious instrumental metal. Despite the fact that their music is not mainstream, Foi can boast of a good fan-following. According to Sanjay, the music that they play has been influenced by different bands and guitarists, most notably by acts like Plini, Intervals and Nick Johnson.
Mumbai-based Pop-Rock artist, Tejas just concluded his North-East India tour. He writes songs about himself his experiences and people he has met. He is a singer-songwriter who does not believe in the superficial boundaries of music. Tejas’ inspirations include artistes like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Sting and Madonna.
When asked about his music, Tejas says, “I think my music can be categorised as Pop with elements of other genres mixed in. What I’ve tried to do is reinvent Pop in a way that makes it a little more complex and intelligent”. His songs are easily enjoyable with addictive hooks and quirky lyrics - perfect for your ‘long drive’ playlist.
He burst onto the scene with his debut EP in 2014 called Small Victories and his full length album, Make It Happen came out last year. The album was enjoyed by many and had a lot of critics baffled by Tejas’ genre-bending style of music. While talking to Indulge about his last album, Tejas says “Wine is a very special song and the song Kindness is about my mother”.
He is planning to release a deluxe version of his last album, Make It Happen by the end of this year. The album will add a couple more tracks to the existing set.
‘Rock is dying. And we hope that good music does not go extinct like the dinosaurs did’- this was the reason behind the launch of Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal band Rocazaurs.
After a very long break, Kochi-based Rock band, Rocazaurs is ready to come out with their next album. Fredy, lead guitarist of the band says, “We are working on the album and it’ll be called ‘Rise’; it will have all the familiar old-school Rrock elements that defines the sound of Rocazaurs.” The album will include the bands’ staples such as All I Want is to Rock and Roll, Rise of the Extinct and the Punk. The band is heavily influenced by ’70’s and ’80’s Rock and Metal bands.