It all started in the 60’s. The pre-existing expressionist style of Indian music, assisted as an ideal platform for the fusion of western music with the Indian. For that is when the artists from the west came to the eastern parts looking for inspiration, and what they got was more than what they had predicted. This fusion gave rise to some discrete styles of music. Indian bands have been producing original music since the 1960s, though the pace has picked up only in the last two decades. In spite of the fact that Bollywood music holds the most prominence and recognition in the Indian music scene, Indian Rock music has always existed parallel to it.
The genre has given rise to numerous bands and artists. Even though Indian/Hindi Rock music is gaining popularity because of digital marketing and various music and college fests, it still remains a fringe in front of the very dominant Bollywood soundtracks. However, the future looks encouraging thanks to the following Rock bands and artists. They are adding more life to the genre. It was the time when a new generation of Indian bands including the likes of Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Pentagram and Indus Creed (then known as Rock Machine) began making their presence felt.
The Indian Rock music scene started brewing from the mid-eighties, when Gautam Chattopadhyay ruptured onto the scene, with his critically acclaimed band Mohiner Ghoraguli. He is debatably, India’s first independent Rock star! His song, Prithibi, was nothing short of a rock anthem, which the average Bengali rock fans still swear by.
Indian music lovers started getting exposed to various styles of music like thrash metal, grunge, punk among others when MTV arrived in India in the early 1990s. Tastes rapidly changed, encouraging bands to harden their style and focus more on underground styles such as death metal, alternative metal, and progressive Rock. Cities like Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai soon became breeding grounds for upcoming Rock bands. Also, the Rock Street Journal was started as an independent project by Amit Saigal in 1993 and was the only magazine devoted to Indian Rock music at that point of time.
(Lyrics & Music: Gautam Chattopadhyay, Pallab Roy, Album (Studio album) – Aabar Bachor Kuri Pore by Moheener Ghoraguli, Year of release: February, 1995 Label – Asha Audio
From – Bodhisattva Bandyopadhyay’s YouTube channel)
All the credit for the rise of Rock culture in India goes to the fans of the genre. India accepted rock not only as it is but also tried to influence it in a way which made it much more particular and social.
This week, Music Plus caught up with some of the best known Indian Rock bands.