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Indie Music from First Half of October- Reviewed

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Jay Sean and Rishi Rich/ Nakhre, Break The Noise Records

In the early 2000s, singer Jay Sean and producer Rishi Rich were at the forefront of the British urban desi movement, with slick tracks like ‘Dance With You’, ‘Stolen’ and ‘Eyes On You’. They also teamed up with Juggy D, Veronica and others on some songs.

Jay and Rishi now come out with ‘Nakhre’, an uptempo dance number with Jay also recording some Punjabi lines. The song is a tribute to 1990s Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan movies, using the flute passage from Baazigar and scenes reminiscent of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge.

The addition of the popular line ‘Mera Laung Gawacha’ lends a twist. The outdoor locations go perfectly with the mood. The final result is a number that keeps you tapping your feet.

Rating: 7/ 10

Rohan Solomon/ Without A Trace, self-released

A member of the Delhi band Cyanide, Rohan Solomon has of late been making a mark as a singer-songwriter. His latest single ‘Without A Trace’ is an introspective song which has the lines “No one hears my shout, and now I stand here lost in space, watching my life leave no trace”.

The song is driven by an acoustic guitar, with cello and violin passages in the interim. The video, directed by Arya Jha, is shot on the outskirts of Delhi, with a vast expanse of barren land in the backdrop. With its strong lyrics and simple tune construction, this creates an impact.

Rating: 8/ 10

Forbidden Lovers/ Jah, self-released

The Forbidden Lovers features American rapper-producer Cameron Ashkar and Delhi singer Gargie Verma. In the song ‘Jah’, they blend the popular raag Bhimpalasi composition ‘Ja Ja Re Apni Mandirwa’ with rap stretches and a Mediterranean lounge backdrop.

Besides being sung by many classical musicians, the composition has also been used in a fusion setting by Delhi band Advaita. The Forbidden Lovers take is different in that it’s got a chill-out flavour, dependent more on the mood factor than vocal technique.

The video shot on beaches in the Maldives has a grand look that goes with the song.

Rating: 7/ 10

Sayantika Ghosh/ Samurai, Springboard Records

On her new single ‘Samurai’, Kolkata-based singer Sayantika Ghosh sings, “What can the whole world do when you believe in me and I in you?” She’s referring to her concept of the samurai, which emerges the winner when positive and negative come together.

Described as ‘dream-pop’, Ghosh has a smokiness in her voice that makes it intense. Co-written by her and Aman Moroney, the song has a chill-out feel and smart tempo changes.

The singer has directed the video herself, using comic book-styled illustrations. The song would go well in a lounge bar or while driving.

Rating: 7/ 10

Ankur Tiwari/ Farz Karo, self-released

Ex-Beatle John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is one of the most powerful songs ever. To mark the legend’s 80th birth anniversary on October 9, singer Ankur Tiwari and lyricist Swanand Kirkire come up with a ‘reimagined’ Hindi version.

Using the same tune as the original, Tiwari sings, “Farz karo koi mulk na ho, na ho koi mazhab; Farz karo duniya mein kahin bhi, na ho koi sarhad”. Sidd Couto and Whale Boy provide the backing vocals.

Pooja Kadam’s video has been nicely done, using Lennon’s round glasses and symbolic visual statements as metaphors. The song fulfils its purpose of spreading Lennon’s message of peace further.

Rating: 8/ 10

Ketan Mohite/ Tera Intezaar, self-released

Having released the singles ‘Main Kaun Hoon’ and ‘Raahein’ last year, singer Ketan Mohite comes up with ‘Tera Intezaar’. A song on longing and waiting, it’s characterised by a smooth build-up and relatable lyrics.

At the start, Mohite intelligently uses space between words, gradually increasing the tempo. Manoj Yadav has interesting lines like “Chaahe bula, ya de bhula, tujh mein mitaa, tujh mein mila”.

Nygel Dlima’s steady guitar backs the song. His solo towards the end is classy, but a bit short. Overall, a worthy follow-up to Mohite’s earlier songs.

Rating: 8/ 10

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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