Archive for August, 2013

MTV Music Awards – the glorious night of victory

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One marvelous night of music, glory, jazz and celebrations – MTV Video Music Awards surely turns out to be one of the most expected and respected awards of the year. This year’s expectations and curiosity comes to an end with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis turning out to be the show stealer by winning 3 awards. They walked away with the awards for Best Hip-Hop video and best cinematography for ‘Can’t Hold Us’ and best video with a social message for ‘Same Love’. “Gay rights are human rights. There is no separation.” Macklemore said during the telecast.

 While Miley Cyrus acted as a crowd puller as she sang We Can’t Stop, the one stealing the thunder from this teen sensation turned out to be none other than Taylor Swift. Why? Well the singer but obviously received an award and it was for the best female video for ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’. “I also want to thank the person who inspired this song, who knows exactly who he is, because I got one of these. Thank you so much!” Swift said.

 And then, One Direction gladly accepted the award for ‘Best Song Ever’ but surely the audience weren’t very happy about the win considering that they couldn’t stop booing them! How sad is that?

 Rocking the stage like always Gaga performed her new single ‘Applause’ as the audience got immersed into it and by the end of her song, she ended up attracting quite a few men wearing a thong bikini decorated in shells and a long blonde wig. And going yet a step ahead was Miley who entered the stage in body suit with cartoon characters, but later changed into a nude skin bikini and later, when Robin Thicke entered the stage, she even gave him a lap dance.

 Amidst all the skin show and a little too groovy and grinding acts, Drake’s performance on ‘Started From the Bottom’ seem to pump up the adrenaline during the show, followed by Kanye West’s new album Yeezus’ ‘Blood on the Leaves’ with its controversial Nina Simone ‘Strange Fruit’ sample in silhouette.

 And how could this music show miss one of the sexiest singers! Katy Perry who but obviously sang the latest track ‘Roar’ and joining the bandwagon of whacky dressed singers since she too sang the song dressed as a boxer.

 But there was this one global icon who turned out to be a winner and the most applauded performer of the night. Justin Timberlake managed to perform on a few solos before his four members from N’Sync joined the stage and later, the band in itself was in full form as they made the audience dance to their beats of ‘Bye Bye Bye’. Justin’s ‘Suit & Tie’ also received the award for best editing and best direction by David Fincher.

 “Half of the moon men I’ve ever won, I won with those four guys right there,” Timberlake said pointing at his former band mates. “So above all else, I’m going to share this – we can keep it my house – but I’m going to share this award with them.”

 Other winners included Pink and Nate Ruess for best collaboration, Bruno Mars for best male video, Selena Gomez for best pop video, Thirty Seconds to Mars for the best rock video and artist to watch was said to be Austin Mahone.

www.artistaloud.com 

 

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Bas kar Delhi – It’s Enough Now – An initiative by Music Manthan against rising rapes in Delhi

Hate Delhi is being called a ‘Rape City’ but unfortunately it has become one. The cases of rapes and such filthy acts are increasing constantly in Delhi. Anyone of us could be the next victim. There are miles to go before we go to sleep. The time has come to wake up, to raise our voices and do whatever we can to prevent such acts.

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The single ‘Bas kar Delhi – It’s enough now’ is a small initiative taken to change the people’s mindset, thus making Delhi a safer place to live in. It is composed, written and produced by Sameer Khullar, Founder of Delhi based Music Studio ‘Music Manthan’.

The song has received a tremendous response with over 1500+ views on YouTube and 4500+ views on Rediff till now. While this noble effort has met with reasonable success, the team still claims that they have a long way to go. They believe that the potential in Delhi is immense. They are constantly putting efforts to spread the message to more and more people to ensure that each Delhiite realizes the importance of women’s safety. They dream about making ‘Delhi – A Safe City’ but also want to ensure that people learn the smart tactic in handling the crisis situation.

 

We at Artist Aloud and Music Manthan request you to be a part of this movement and ensure that it chugs along well so that each one of us recognizes the value of women and their safety.

 

Sahil’s Top 10 Songs by Indian Metal Bands

He is a man of talent! Its not only about music, he is the man who can be creative beyond that! Multi talented, multi tasker of Demonic Resurrection, Sahil Makhija is getting quite personal with Artist Aloud as he chooses to reveal his personal favourite rock numbers. We would say who better than the Demonstealer Makhija himself to talk about one of the strongest, craziest and best genre of the world – ROCK METAL. 

1. Bhayanak Maut – Ranti Nasha: This has to be my favourite song by an Indian band. Even though the rest of their discography doesn’t appeal to me as much, this song has really stood out. It’s very melodic and has a great groove and a superb vocal hook not to mention the catchiest chorus, a growling metal band can write. Come on let me see if you shake your tail feather! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2jjFFaI_zw

2. Exhumation – Consider This: I absolutely LOVE this Exhumation track but not the version that made it to the final album. I was really lucky to have got to hear this in the demo stage and it sounds dark and brutal as hell! It’s still got a very great melodic feel running through the song which adds to it rather than distract from it. I think in the final album the balance of guitar layers kind of killed that feel that was there in the demo. But an absolute smasher of a song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c3LKSnxzeo

3. Acrid Semblance – Genesis: Melodic metal is probably one of my most preferred genres of metal and this song hits all the check marks of a great song. The song is crafted with beautiful melodies on both the guitar and keys along with stellar solos. One of the landmark songs in the Indian metal hall of fame, I must say!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8KpREZjdl8

4. Kryptos – Decension:  I’ve been a Kryptos fanboy since 1999 when I saw them at IIT Mumbai and then again in 2000 at Deathfest in Mumbai. Kryptos are the true flag bearers of Old School metal in India.  It’s not about being fast or brutal or showing off your chops, it’s about great songs and despite being one of their oldest songs it’s one of their best till date. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz2kH5oYOGo

5. MyndSnare – Seeking The Maze:  I fell in love with this song when I saw it live in 2001 at NLS in Bangalore and has been one of my favourite Myndsnare song since then. Hats off to the amazing guitar work by KP and drumming by Yasmin! Top notch!

6. IIIrd Soverign – Face Of Despair: I heard this song way back in 2004 I think and I had never heard of the band and OH MY GOD it just blew me away! If you hear it today in terms of production it doesn’t match the bands sound and discography but in 2004 this song just won over everyone. I remember this song made me get the band down to Mumbai for the Resurrection festival where the band tore the place apart. This is an Indian metal classic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rawBZa1Jo80

7.  Narsil – Derelict Deranged – Narsil came, saw and conquered and then proceeded to vanish into thin air. Though they just had one EP and probably 2-3 live shows to their credit, this song packs a punch and at that point in 2005 was a production benchmark for other bands. Today Anupam is one of the top producers in India. What a great song and a great band! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmNBNhfA-Gk

8. Skyharbor – Aphasia: My favourite from the album and it featured Sunneith from Bhayanak Maut on vocals. Melodic, complex and beautiful is the best way to describe this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-s8WkhZvV0

9. Amogh Symphony – Cyborg Activation: Vishal J Singh is not human. Nuff said. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-SdrOXXR8k

10. Albatross – In The Court Of Kuru: One of the bands holding up the flag of traditional heavy metal or horror metal as they call themselves. This song really got me into the band where they took their epic horror story telling to a much higher level. Great song-writing backed by good fun horror stories. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsZa-2FIyuQ

Freedom – the most important element of music!

Freedom is what triggers war! Freedom triggers revolution and it inspires music! Music has the power to change and freedom gives you the ability. Music and Freedom have one thing in common, the more you let it go, the more it flows. Even the Independence Day that we celebrate has a connection to Freedom? Have you forgotten those long lost heroes who used music as their means of communication to evoke feelings?

Every Independence Day is celebrated with a national anthem created by the famous Rabindranath Tagore, which even now gives you goose bumps when you hear! Music is an art that celebrates freedom. Trained musicians used their music ability to evoke emotions among people that creates revolution. While we talk about India, there are few others like Bob Marley a firm believer in Rastafari movement created music that was inspired by it. In fact, he changed the history of music and created waves with his reggae music.

While that wasn’t enough, a group of girls created a band named Pragaash which created some mind blowing music in Kashmir recently but they, however ended up facing the wrath of the Grand Mufti. He claimed that the music was ‘un’ – Islamic. This raised a lot of questions across the nation about Freedom of music.

On one side, India has some wonderful bands like Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Agnee which give stellar performances as they step on stage and on another side, we have a few bands like Pragaash which do not get enough exposure because they are being banned from practicing music.

Music like any other form of art is a form of expression and it has proved to be one of the strongest weapons during the Independence movement. In a democratic country like India, where people have what we call ‘the freedom of speech’, shouldn’t those elements be applied to music as well? Think about it.

Changing trends of Pop music in India

‘Pop’ music that derives from the word ‘Popular’ is one of the most explored genres of music. From the biggest global icon Lady Gaga to small time musicians, Pop music seems to be one of world’s most favourite music genres.

 

Pop music set its foot in India in the 90s when Indian channels like Oxygen and ITV promoted these non- filmi songs on the basis of their fans’ request. Famous playback singers like Alisha Chinai, Shaan, Hariharan and many others have dipped their hands in this genre and have successfully gained stardom. Even a legend like Asha Bhosle tried her luck with this new trend of music, which in India is named as Indipop. Remember Raat Shabnami or Maeeri or Tanha Dil of the 90s?

 

Songs of those days, however, represented a kind of monotony in pop where only a few elements of this genre were explored. But with changing trends and the obvious influence of the west, pop music scenario in India has taken a drastic leap.

 

Today a lot of solo artists who like to keep music away from the mainstream Bollywood cinema have experimented with the genre of Pop adding the required desi touch to it.

Deane Sequeira, a star in the Hip Hop and RnB genre recently impressed the audience with the beats of her new song Only Mine. Pop music, with the flavour of rap which is  Deane’s forte surely makes it one that represents international standards. However, actress turned singer Suchitra Pillai’s Yaara has more of an Indian tinge to it. Following a similar trend is artist Raman Mahadevan’s Teri Talaash Hai which is soft and romantic. However, singer Nishant Mudgal who is also a Delhi pop singer likes to keep his numbers, lively and foot-tapping. 

 

Pop music as we see have different elements in it. Deane adds much more westernized elements like Hip Hop and Rap while Nishant Mudgal explores the peppy nature of Indian music. However, Suchitra and Raman prefer to keep the beautiful essence of true Indipop alive with their soft numbers.

 

With varied sub genres within the Pop music genre, we believe that the Pop music scenario in India has been quite dynamic over the years. Also, the Indian artists are adding their own unique elements that make it even more interesting!

 

 

 

 

Fusion music in India

Fusion music seems to the new trending chartbuster of the season. While bands and even solo artists are opting for experimenting with this genre, we wonder what is it that makes this one so special.

In a world of modern thoughts, Fusion probably keeps some elements of traditions and culture alive. May be that’s where the interests of the musicians lie! “Unlike yesteryears, today we have Shakira, Akon and Bryan Adams all looking at India with interest. There lays probably more possibilities of making fusion music,” says leading percussionist Fazal Qureshi. No doubt, we have to agree with the fact that this kind of music has much more scope in a country like India where every culture’s music can be classified as a different genre.  Moreover, with the continuous exposure to the western media, Indian musicians are given much more opportunities to fuse music.

But there are a variety of musicians who believe that this kind of music hasn’t been well handled by Indian musicians. “Today everybody talks about fusion music but very few in India understand fusion music. Fusion music is about two different musically diversified genres coming together. To create that one has to know the finer nuances of one’s own music,” says Satik Veena player Salil Bhatt.

While we don’t deny the words of these well experienced musicians, we also believe that there are musicians who are not only well versed with the meaning of Fusion but are also able to deliver songs that can match up to their expectations.

Kishan Amin, a resident of the U.K learnt classical music from Pandit Rajan-Sajan Mishra. While he is exposed to the traditional styles of Indian music, being a citizen of a foreign land, western music too is a part of his lifestyle. Fusing the two, the singer made his first album Geetanjali, a collection of bhajans with contemporary music! Other artists like Basant Singh create a fused music based on themes like nature. Anuradha Pal, the only Indian to have performed at the Woodstock Festival, her achievement says it all!

In a world of bass guitars and drums, Advaita also blends in other melodious instruments like flute and The Sarangi.

These prove that even though some musicians believe that Indian musicians need to be a little more educated when it comes to Fusion, we at Artist Aloud believe that Fusion and its awareness must be a little more widespread amongst music lovers, so that such talented artists get enough credit for their par excellence creations.

www.artistaloud.com

Bands and Solo artists explore creativity with Fusion

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Fusion is all about amalgamation! But within Fusion there are various ways an artist and a band create this genre of music. How they explore their creativity is completely upto them. Today we’ll look at how bands and artists become creative in their own way while creating Fusion!

Bands that play fusion music, from Parikrama to Indian Ocean, are popular and have gained a lot of momentum in the recent years. Playing varied instruments from the flute to the drums, the fused version of the east and the west turns out to be a splendid melody!

They have diverse elements from drummers to flute artists that they can experiment with. One can actually compare the music of Shanti and Sonu Kakkar. From Morning Chai to Dhalo, the band has experimented with varied instruments from the flute to the acoustic drums, bass guitar, and Goan percussion instrument Ghumat.

However, this creative freedom doesn’t stop the solo artists to find a similar group who can give perfect music to their well thought numbers.  Single artists like Shilpa Rao too stick to their crew when it comes to experimenting genres – from Challa to Ret Mein Sirkiye, she had an awesome band to support her but is that the case with all single vocalists who plan to venture into Fusion? Well may be, may be not!

While we explored one advantage of the bands, the single artists too have their way of freedom! Single artists can merge with different bands at different point of time and explore their compatibility with different groups. Like recently an Indian artist Shwetha Subram joined hands with The Piano Guys for her new single ‘Khushnuma’.

The two have their own benefits and what is important for them is to understand how they cash on it and seeing their growing popularity, we are quite sure that they are quite well versed with the tricks of this trade!