ASEAN India Music Festival 2022: Raghav Meattle, Faridkot, Empty Wallets, Linying Band explore music that transcends boundaries

The festival will show the rich cultural capital of ASEAN countries through performances including the likes of Papon, Vishal and Shekhar and more

Priyamvada Rana Published :  15th November 2022 11:38 AM   |   Published :   |  15th November 2022 11:38 AM
ASEAN India Music Festival

ASEAN India Music Festival

Delhi is all set to host the second edition of the spectacular ASEAN India Music Festival 2022. Music aficionados can witness a three-day jam-packed session from November 18 to 20 with 10 bands from ASEAN countries and five from India, including the likes of award-winning singer-composer duo Vishal and Shekhar, cultural icon Papon, singer Jonita Gandhi of Arabic Kuthu - Halamithi Habibo and Pipni fame, and many others.

The artiste line-up

The ASEAN bands from other countries include Tri Minh's Quartet from Vietnam, Empty Wallet from Brunei Darussalam Lao, Linying Band of Singapore, and MRTV Modern Music band from Myanmar among others. The festival will immerse one in high-octane performances aimed at highlighting the rich musical traditions in ASEAN. We speak to artistes and bands Raghav Meattle, Faridkot, Empty Wallets, and Linying to know more.

Singaporean singer-songwriter Linying

What made you get associated with the ASEAN music fest?

Raghav Meattle: It's such a great festival that stands for so much, and that too at Purana Qila.The opportunity to play with so many ASEAN bands is a great opportunity.

Faridkot: We have always been a fan of the festival and absolutely love the diversity it promotes. The cultural exchange enriches everyone who is a part of it. It helps us grow as artists and it’s an honour to share the stage with so many new musicians with diverse influences. It adds to our tastes in a way that is unique and truly memorable.

Faridkot from India

Tell us about your music journey back from home.

Empty Wallets: Our music journey back in Brunei Darussalam started in 2011 when we just freshly graduated from high school. At first, we were just a bunch of kids who'd love to cover songs from the artistes or bands that we adore. In 2017, we started to compose our own original songs and post them online and also give them to our local radio station here in Brunei Darussalam, and unexpectedly, we received a very good response from listeners throughout the country.

Linying Band: I’ve played music and written songs since I was a child, so it’s always been personal to me. It’s hard to pin down a single influence because we’re always absorbing new things all the time, but I did grow up listening to a lot of country music, so I can’t get rid of that descriptive impulse when I write. I love bands like The National, Green Day, and The 1975, and some of my favourite writers are Bright Eyes, Taylor Swift and Bon Iver.

Empty Wallets, how would you define your music style and what are your influences?

Empty Wallets: At first, we would define our music as alternative rock but, the listeners in Brunei Darussalam claim us as Indie Pop Rock and we got the title of Brunei’s own Indie Rock Darling from the TV and radio stations here in Brunei Darussalam.

Empty Wallets and Linying Band, have you been to India before? What do you like the most about the country?

Empty Wallets: This is the first time we are coming to India, and we have to admit that we are very excited and delighted. Personally what we love the most here is the old and historical buildings and architecture that India has like the Taj Mahal, Red fort, and also Jama masjid. Second, the food. As we all know, India is very rich and famous for its spices. Even back in Brunei Darussalam, Indian food is one of the top-rated food that people crave.

Empty Wallet from Brunei Darussalam

Linying Band: I’ve been to Delhi and Agra before and I’ve been dying to come back since. It was sensorial; you see more colours, you hear more sounds, and you smell more scents. I cried when I saw the Taj Mahal. I haven’t had a proper poori in years. I just love how colourful everything is there.

What are you going to perform at the festival?

Raghav Meattle: I will perform many new songs that I've released in the last year, including Woh Saat Din, my first Hindi song that I released last month.

Faridkot: We will perform songs that we’ve written over the last 14 years. We’re also featuring Amar Jalal with us with whom we have co-composed the song Nasha. We’ll be performing that as well.

Empty Wallets: We are very excited about the festival! We can’t wait to perform with the other ASEAN performers and we are very happy to share our music knowledge with the others performers. We will perform our own songs and some of Brunei’s traditional songs with the style of Empty Wallet.

Is there any key message your music shall deliver at the festival?

Raghav Meattle: Just to be happy and enjoy the music. I try and say intense things about how I see the world, but ultimately it's really easy listening to music. People who come to watch should just take a break from reality and enjoy the music for a bit.

Raghav Meattle from India

How integral is language in music?

Empty Wallets: We believe there’s no language barrier or limitation in music. Everyone can enjoy it despite what language we are using.

Faridkot: Language is the medium through which the lyrics of a song are expressed. And the words are as integral as any other element of the whole composition. However, there is a lot of music that we listen to which is written in languages we don’t know. We’ve grown to learn that the phonetics and cadence of words also create music of their own. And that is beautiful in a completely different way. 

Raghav Meattle:  I think it's a way to express your emotions and tell a story. Language is key to being able to put forward your expression as an artiste.

How do you think music has the power to transcend boundaries?

Linying Band: It’s a universal language, isn’t it? People say it all the time but I do feel like I’ve experienced it firsthand when I’ve travelled. Wherever you go, when you meet other musicians or music lovers, there’s just this undeniable sense of kinship, even if you can’t understand each other, but also in this one way, you do.

The festival will take place from November 18 to 20 at Purana Quila in Delhi.

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