Rasiya – Shweta Subram

Rasiya

Dubai-born Shweta Subram is a vocalist and songwriter with extensive training in Hindustani and Carnatic, learnt in India, under the guidance of Padma Wadkar (singer Suresh Wadkar’s wife), and Sunil Borgaonkar.

“Rasiya” is a pretty ballad that showcases Shweta’s songwriting skills, and her clear voice – with instrumentation provided by keyboardist Advait Nemlekar, and Purbayan Chatterjee on sitar. “Rasiya” is sung with passion, energy, and a certain youthful exuberance by Shweta Subram.

Also enjoyed Shweta providing a “special thanks” mention in the making of “Rasiya” to music director Tapas Relia, who I had immense pleasure working with during the production of Nagesh Kukunoor’s Bollywood film, ‘Mod’.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Advertisements

For His Glory – Andrew Thong

Andrew Thong-For His Glory

From Nagaland, Andrew Thong has been passionate about his music since learning guitar at 7, and performing at churches at 12. By the time the self-taught musician attained adulthood, he had honed his songwriting talents too. ‘For His Glory’ – Andrew’s 7-track album that had remained unfinished since 2014 – now finally sees the light with an underlying theme of praising Christ.

But that does not change the musical content, which has influences ranging from Audioslave to Alter Bridge, which can be distinctly heard on the splendid rocker, “Without You”. The balance tracks have a tremendous country and western vocal feel and range from the soft to the solid.

Credit to Andrew Thong on writing songs based on his personal experiences, and sharing the emotions that he has passed through, on ‘For His Glory’.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Cocktail – Faraz Khosa

CocktailFrom Pakistan arrives Faraz Khosa, a graduate in musicology from Lahore’s National College of Arts.

On this Indian version of his “Cocktail” album, there are an incredible 16 songs packed into it, obviously containing tracks from his previously released albums too. While Faraz’s voice is nice and versatile, the songs range from the uptempo [check out the rocker “Chulenge Aasma”] to ballads; for me, the pick of the softer selections being “Phir Num Hueen”, featuring the outstanding vocals of Khadija and a marvelous flute interlude.

‘Cocktail’ certainly serves the listening audience well as it is a satisfying Indian debut from a promising talent named Faraz Khosa.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

THHM Street Mix Vol.1 – Produced by Shinji & Mumbai’s Finest Records

THHM1400

‘Street Mix Vol.1’ features some of the more talented, underground artists from the Mumbai hip-hop scene, encompassing MCs, beatboxers, and producers who have joined hands to create this unique collection. The 12 artists featured on this five-song mixtape include D’Evil, Shakespeare, Gravity, Rhymix, Bombay Lokal, Adro, EMF, Rapture, Sai, X-Centrik, and Jay Kila.

Launched by Mumbai’s Finest Records, this label is an initiative from a pack of musicians known as Mumbai’s Finest and fronted by Ace [a.k.a 39] along with colleagues Kinga Rhymes, Ninja, D Hood, and Adro.

‘Street Mix Vol.1’ is an apt name for this five-track compilation as all the artists featured have never worked with each other before and, yet, have been paired on the tracks, bringing out a very different hip-hop sound, courtesy producer Shinji. Warning: the lyrics are explicit in nature and, hence, the songs are to be heard by your ears only!

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Jag Changa – Raghu Dixit

Jag Changa

Since the days when he was challenged to pick up playing the guitar, self-taught musician and one-time microbiologist Raghupati “Raghu” Dixit revisits his 2nd album, ‘Jag Changa’, which was first released in 2013. On ‘Jag Changa’, Raghu effectively showcases how and why he became India’s premier singer-songwriter, amalgamating Indian ethnic sounds with those from the West through his a multilingual folk music band, the Raghu Dixit Project.

In collaborating with artists that Raghu met during his previous concerts in England, some of whom feature on ‘Jag Changa’, the album consists of eight tracks, sung across multiple languages, including Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi. Tracks include traditional sounds in “Amma” featuring remarkable violin playing by Mysore Bhaskar, the acoustic ballads of “Sajna”, “Yaadon Ki Kyari”, and “The Rain Song”, the finger-snapping “Parasiva”, the pacy title-track “Jag Changa”, the Spanish-influenced “Kodagana Koli Nungitha”, and the country and western feel of “Lokada Kalaji”, which contains horns and banjos!

Raghu Dixit’s music is undoubtedly an amalgamation of Indian ethnic music with musical styles from across the world and, through his band, the Raghu Dixit Project, he firmly establishes that language is indeed no barrier to be able to effectively understand the quality of his outstanding music. Play on, Raghu…

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

The Beginning – Faiz Khan

The Beginning

As a follow up to ‘The Preacher’, his first full-length album, Gurgaon-based singer-songwriter Faiz Khan continues to take welcome, yet risky steps with his sensitive-guy-with-a-guitar sound on this EP titled ‘The Beginning’, opting for yet another personal collection of five songs based on his experiences, which Faiz admits in his bio, are about “personal journeys, hopes, dreams, fears, loves, and heartbreak”. Delightfully moving away from the sounds of mainstream with the usage of subtle and yet appropriate offerings of keyboards/guitar, such as on the instrumental “The Interlude”,  and without compromising on his vocals and the sounds of his acoustic guitar on ballads, such as the title track and on the pain-filled “Drink Myself Away”, the musical tempo-changes of the electro-pop sounding “Tonight” with its brief guitar break, and keyboards doubling as strings/horns on the guitar chugging “Change”, which is my favourite track and, in turn, helps change the soul of ‘The Beginning’ into pop.

No doubt, while listening to ‘The Beginning’, you are almost bound to compare Faiz’s vocals with Bryan Adams, but the comparison is as misleading as it is inevitable. As Faiz’s soft, guitar-based music – while being inventively augmented with keyboards on this EP – ‘The Beginning’ is undeniably an auspicious and highly listenable album: atmospheric, seductive, and beautifully produced and sequenced. Looking forward to your next effort, Faiz!

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Tu Mil Gaya – Shirley Setia

Shirley Setia - Tu Mil Gaya

Undoubtedly, this is the rare story of a Daman-born student, Shirley Setia, moving from University to YouTube through her passion for singing, all this while studying in Auckland. Apparently, Shirley’s entry into a singing contest was recorded in her bedroom while she was wearing pajamas;  earning her, perhaps unwittingly, the nickname of “Pajama Rockstar” by the media. Four years following Shirley being declared as one of the contest winners, she moved to Mumbai and now commands 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube, no mean feat, and she continues to feed her fans with content, moving from covers to originals, as in the song under review, “Tu Mil Gaya”. This composition, from the duo of Haroon-Gavin with lyrics by Kunaal Vermaa, possesses the slick, processed pop production and the squeaky-clean innocence of teen pop of the ’90s, the same era in which Shirley was born, and perfectly supports Shirley’s voice.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.