So I have written a lot of rage posts recently. I hate stupid game mechanics, I hate captchas, and most recently I recounted how much I hate the social bandwagon. But I am not really a hateful guy (You don’t believe me, check out my love story, and my sonnet), and to exemplify my point, today I write about something that I like.
As a rule of thumb, I stay away from commenting on music. There are 2 basic reasons behind it. One, I am not musically educated, I can’t tell a C minor from a major, and guitar from a banjo; and I avoid commenting on topics about which I am not informed about (so yes, there is something that I don’t know). Secondly, song-writing is weird, it has no regard for grammar, and forgoes semantics in the name of melody (not that I mind listening, its just difficult picking up sometimes).
Anyways to the topic at hand. I have a weird choice in music, my playlist often has me playing Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Adele in conjuction with Linkin Park, Hoobastank and Nickelback. But if I had to pick a genre, I would pick Rock, ‘alternate rock’ to be exact. Contrary to popular belief, rock actually has very strong lyrics, and can express much more than anger. Akhil has already written about how ‘Rock Rocks’, so I won’t go back there. Where I want to go however, is to a band known as Sifar.
It was way back in December 2010, I was still in college, and in hostel (best time and place to be influenced by various genres). I had bought Digit‘s magazine monthly issue and just put in their software CDs. They had this neat FLASH based interface which was running some background music, while I browsed through the various content of the disc. At first I thought it was some generic rock anthem, but then the lyrics hit. They were in Hindi (my native tongue), and what more they were good. I was intrigued, and curious so I looked around a bit. Turns out Digit were shipping a complete album from an up and coming rock band from Delhi. The song that was playing in the background was ‘Kaala Asmaan’ and the name of the band was Sifar.
I googled and searched them on wikipedia. They were not that famous, and I could guess why. For most people (including me, I confess) ‘Rock and Hindi’ didn’t go together. I mean we had Rock On!! and we had Indian Ocean, but that was about it. It was my first proper experience with an Indie band (apart from ‘Madam Baith Bolero Me’ and ‘Hat Jaa Tau’), and it was an interesting one. They were not plastered all over the internet, but an average googler could find info about them. They didn’t have a huge fan following, but that meant there was more opportunity to have direct interaction with them. Their songs were few and far between, but they were FREE, no strings attached.
Following an indie band can also have its cons. The biggest problem is discussing them or recommending them. I mean face it how many recommended bands do you listen to, not a lot. And since people have’nt heard about them, how do you discuss them. A typical conversation is as follows:
“Hey, man check this out. LP released their new album.”
“Cool man…Hey you know what’s cool too?”
” ‘Gunaah’, its an awesome song.”
“Na na. They are from this hindi rock band Sifar…..”,goes on and on while friend nods.
Since that day in college, Sifar have become much more famous. They have a FB page, a Twitter handle, their own website, and even a Wikipedia entry. They have performed all across the country in various rock-fests, and have recently signed on to a music label. They are winning Indie and rock awards, and gaining much deserved recognition. Their latest offering ‘Shaitan’ has an electro mix to their rock based aesthetics. They are real good, and if this article make you try even one of their songs, my job here would be done.
But this article is a little beyond a single band. Its about finding an Indie band, and liking it. Its about enjoying music for music’s sake and not be influenced by labels. Following an indie band, has a secretive thrill to it. Its almost like watching something grow up. I suggest you find one for yourself. Until then check out Sifar.