This World Music Day, we look at a trend that is fast catching up in the Indian Music context. Being one of those few desi-bands, Indus Gharana have broken the stereotype only to be largely appreciated and applauded. 

Team Youthopia had a chance to catch-up with this “Team-in-Tune”.

With the fusion of Indian raagas and Western chords, “Indus Gharana” is an ensemble of classical vocalists, percussionists, rappers and an official hip-hop DJ, who came together to start the band in early 2009. The band specializes in Indian music fused with rhythm and poetry, hip-hop, desi and fusion music. With the right proportion of Indian-ness and the energy of Western music, Indus Gharana is India’s first music band that has composed songs for a Tollywood movie.

The love and quest to learn more and more music and the determination to dedicate their future for that very goal made them choose this career. They say, “Music as a career in India is just picking up and has a long way to go before really opening doors.  Every day a new artist is introduced.  It is an honour for an artist when his/her art is in demanded.  Art for an artist is more about self-satisfaction and it never dies, it lives on” says Monica Rajenderan, who is soul-singer for Indus Gharana. 

Every individual should identify their talent and strive towards fulfilling their goals & responsibilities and should work hard for its progress. “Today’s youth are inclined towards both Indian and western music. People who listen to Eminem suddenly tune and sway into Bombay Jayashree’s Vaishnav Janato. It does not matter what kind of music you produce, all that matters is how you package and deliver it to the audience.”  Roll rida –the much celebrated Rapper of Indus Gharana adds to the above, “I believe that training in Indian classical music is a must for someone who wants to pull a career out of it, as it teaches you understand the feel of the song, helps in composing and helps distinguish between studio and stage performances”.

“When it comes Indus Gharana, music and lyrics go hand in hand. Its like asking which eye is more important for a person. Music and lryics put together produce the soul-stirring or the head-banging compositions. We write all the words with extreme simplicity and passion. It just depends on the mood whether we first work on music composition and then switch to lyrics, or its vice-versa” says Meghraj, who wears multiple hats, apart from that of a rapper.

 “We believe that a singer has to make an impact on the audience, such that they start to shake and break a leg along” says Roll Rida. “It’s all about balancing the act and knowing the crowd’s pulse while performing. It’s all about timing and mood of the track we are producing and exchanging vibes with the crowd. To make every performance different from other, we just have to go back in to time and see what we played the last time and make something more exciting and better than before.

The most memorable performance was at GITAM University’s Fest in Hyderabad this year, because the crowd knew our songs and was singing along with us, they had so much energy and zest within and made the day unforgettable. When we think of the vibes the audience shared, we still have goose bumps.

The Madison Square Gardens, World’s most famous arena located in Manhattan, New York is the dream stage for Indus Gharana. The who’s who from the music industry have been there and also NEW YORK CITY, is the city that never sleeps. The energy in the crowd and the vibes, everything is magical.

“Being a musician is not an easy task as there is lot of un-stability and travelling for which we require family support and cooperation. Initially, it was very difficult to handle because of our jamming sessions.  Later as we grew and understood the tricks of the trade, things started falling in place. Psst! Our next song is ‘Will you be late tonight too?’ is based on our initial experiences as a singer.”

On the thought of “If not musicians, where would each of them land?” Monica wanted to become a writer. She says “Writing goes parallel with my music and both are equally important for me.” Roll Rida wanted to become a Civil Servant since his childhood, but he quickly interrputs “Music had taken over me, it can change moods easily and my love for it would never die.”

Team Indus Gharana draws great influence from a list of Indian greats like Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Fateh Ali Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, AR Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja. Western singers and musicians like Eminem, Jay-z, Kanye West, Timbaland, 50 cents etc have equally contributed. The best contemporary artists, according to them, would be Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, Salim-Suleman, AR.Rahman, Raghu Dixit, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Shankar-Ehsaan- Loy, Eminem, Jay-z, Alicia Keys.

“We’re really glad Youthopia is doing a marvelous job by letting every young gun speak from the bottom of their heart. Keep showcasing more and more inspirational, thought-provoking stuff. And yeah, keep the window open to promote young talent like us.

Make sure you announce to the world – Youthopia has arrived and is here to staaayyyyyy!” sings the team in a Chorus.

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