The rock capital of India, Bengaluru, is now becoming the new hub of India’s indie music industry. Musicians here have left no stones unturned to get back to their roots. So if you are lost in its rustic folk realm, you could be possibly witnessing a rich Indian musical tradition brought alive by the bands here, trying to promote an indigenous form of music, the one that soothes your soul.
The Raghu Dixit Project
A bright kurta, colourful lungi and ghungroos around his ankles define Raghu Dixit. The ‘lungi’ man has performed at the British Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with his band in 2012. Very recently, last year he broke into an impromptu gig with Coldplay front man Chris Martin in Delhi. The Raghu Dixit Project is the country’s foremost folk-rock band, started by Dixit. It is meant to be an open house for musicians and artistes from different genres to come together, collaborate and create a dynamic sound and impression. The multilingual folk band believes in creating music from scratch without lifting music from any other source. And they have made it to the top of the list for their music has a sense of freshness which grabs the listener with a new-found energy. Their unique combination of traditional Indian sounds mixed with western influences has brought them firmly into the spotlight of mainstream. With The Raghu Dixit Project, the unconventional balladeer sings about girls from Mysore (Mysore Se Ayee) and smokes away the blues with a pipe (Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo).
In April 2012, Raghu Dixit performed for Queen Elizabeth II of England and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, at a spectacular Diamond Jubilee Pageant marking 60 years since her accession to the throne in 1952.
The band vocalist, Tejas Shankar, says their songwriting begins as a tune or rhythm, which is then expanded upon over meetings at the many watering holes in the city, followed by jam sessions and thus, the folk rock that Lagori performs. The band uses a mix of both Hindi and Kannada while singing on stage. Highly focused on the youth, Lagori songs deal with “love, life and nature”, Shankar elaborates. Their top chartbusters include Boom Shankar, Jeene Do, Saiyyan and Darbari.
Written by Megha Paul