Kolkata band The Miliputs has lined up some fresh tracks, including a folk number
The Miliputs have been around in Kolkata’s indie music scene for almost seven years now, and there’s no way you haven’t caught at least one of their wildly energetic live shows. Sharoni Poddar, the vocalist of the band, tells us that they have explored extensively with the fusion of Indian classical music and folk, which helps them connect to a wider range of audiences. “What we try to do is bring up the songs in a way that will reflect a balance of time. This helps us resonate with more people, across ages. Since I have a background in classical music, we thought we could incorporate some classical elements into our music. This is actually something you can experience in our upcoming work. We are constantly working on our sound, so we can produce music that’s more relevant,” says Sharoni.
The band recently completed recording a couple of tracks, one of which is a folk number, called Doyal. “With the new tracks, we are trying to deliver something fresh, which can also be acceptable in the folk milieu. We are not trying to hamper the original flavours of the track or the genre. With every passing day, we are trying to focus more on the production of our songs,” adds the vocalist. Besides Sharoni, the five-member band consists of Debmalya Dey and Samiran Sadhak on guitars, Nirvana Bhakat on bass and Debasish Das on drums and percussion. The Miliputs started out quite organically, at a chayer thek in college, like so many young bands do. “The band started when we were in college. We used to play music at road-side tea shacks, amid addas, and we would sing our hearts out. We formed the band secretly, and explored as many genres as we could, until we realised that folk music is the best way to express ourselves. It was also the kind of music we really wanted to pursue. We believe our journey is yet to begin,” offers Sharoni.
One of their most popular music videos on YouTube is a rendition of the Baul number Ke Bole Manush More, shot at an old-timey South Kolkata courtyard. The number showcases the band’s flawless blend of folk, classical and speciality vintage elements, as it featured an esraj and a ukulele. The Miliputs have built up an impressive résumé over the years, especially as a live performance act.
Their sets are superbly fiery and feature a diverse use of instruments. Sharoni thinks the advent of social media has made quality and excellence the need of the hour, especially when it comes to live, original performances. “It actually depends on the perspective, on how you choose to see it. For some performers, the scene has definitely changed for the better, and for some, it has deteriorated. There was a time when social media had no existence or role. But now, with social media on our fingertips, quality becomes a must — to get paid gigs. The restro pub boom has helped live music in the city, though performances in our regional language do need a boost,” we are told.
The performer also tells us that social media helps them reach out to audiences, and be a part of their journey to mental wellness. “Apart from all the love and support we receive from our audience, what makes us the happiest is when people suffering from depression and mental health issues send us messages saying that our music helped them heal,” notes Sharoni. She also tells us that the real-life struggles of icons like Bob Dylan, Fossils, Anjan Dutta, Geeta Dutta, Amar Pal and even Tagore inspire them the most to make new music.