afaqs!

Swarathma on promotional tour for new album

By Justin Thomas , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 09, 2009
After winning the talent hunt organised by Radio City, Swarathma is touring four cities to promote its music

Upcoming & #BANNER1 & # musical talents face tough competition from the mainstream music industry and every available opportunity is a gold mine for them. In such a scenario, Radio City launched a talent hunt last year for the best Hindi band in the country.

Called RC Live, the initiative was a platform to bring Hindi music bands into the limelight. The nationwide talent hunt was held early last year and the winner was to get its album launched by EMI-Virgin Records, which was a partner in the endeavour.

Swarathma, a Bengaluru based band, won the competition from among 125 Hindi bands. The album, Swarathma, which was launched recently, was produced by Amit Kilam, the drummer of the well-known band, Indian Ocean.

RC Live was divided into regions, North, South and West, with entries from Delhi, Lucknow and Jaipur converging in Delhi (North), Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai converging in Bengaluru (South), and Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, Nagpur and Pune converging in Mumbai (West).

Swarathma's music has the sound of contemporary Indian folk, with a fusion of rock, Carnatic and jazz. The band describes its music as rooted in India and its values and traditions, yet not afraid to look beyond the 21st century to adopt the best of the West.

Speaking to afaqs!, Jishnu Dasgupta, bass guitarist and backup vocals for the band, says, "The opportunity came at the right time as we required a major break for our musical journey." While conceding that every band requires some sort of booster to propel it from being anonymous to being heard, he says that the band had an edge and was waiting for an opportunity.

Considering the overwhelming reach of Hindi film music, market penetration is a big task for alternative music. The situation becomes grimmer when record labels put forward money only where they are assured of returns.

In this context, Dasgupta feels that by backing their creativity and the platform provided, they have achieved a lift-off. Currently, Swarathma is touring Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi to promote its debut album.

The band comprises six members: Vasu Dixit (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Jishnu Dasgupta (bass guitar, backing vocals); Pavan Kumar (percussions, backing vocals); Sanjeev Nayak (violin); Montry Manuel (drums and percussions); and Varun (lead guitar).