Posts Tagged ‘ Independent Artist ’

The Preacher | Faiz Khan

On his first full-length album, ‘The Preacher’, singer-songwriter Faiz Khan takes a risky step with his sensitive-guy-with-a-guitar sound, opting largely for a thoughtful collection of six songs that tug at heartstrings with polished pop sheen. Although a conscious decision, as the confidently self-aware Faiz says in his bio about writing from “personal journeys, hopes, dreams, fears, loves and heartbreak”, recruiting music producers Kabir Singh and Viraj Mohan on production, assist Faiz from delightfully moving away from mainstream with the usage of subtle and yet appropriate offering of keyboards/guitar without compromising on Faiz’s vocals and the sounds of his acoustic guitar. Indeed, at most points, Faiz’s confident singing creates a trademark of sorts, turning songs like the sing-along of “Wait It Out”, the fitting, distorted guitar in “Blue Shades”, the harmonies of the title-track, the funkiness of “All Night”, the electro-pop sounding “Back To Basics”, and keyboards doubling as strings/horns on “Replaceable”, turn the soul of ‘The Preacher’ into pop. ‘The Preacher’ is a brave bid for contemporary relevance in 2017, a wonderful initiative by the singer-songwriter in stepping outside any middle-of-the-road genre and making his effort more memorable and more exciting than the reams of output of indie content this year, for which Faiz Khan and his music directors need to be lauded.

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘The Preacher’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music : http://bit.ly/2r5nd6N
iTunes India: http://apple.co/2qHyqdk
iTunes International: http://apple.co/2q8DtDQ

Also Available on Wynk Music, Reliance Jio Music, Idea Music Lounge.

Lehra Tiranga – Hard Kaur featuring Bhaven Dhanak

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All patriotic songs are motivational, bringing out emotions that often appear to be bottled inside, and so too it is with “Lehra Tiranga”, composed by the artiste born in Meerut as Taran Kaur Dhillon, but returning from Birmingham as Hard Kaur. After the obvious indulgence in Bollywood, it is a pleasant feeling to note [pun intended] that the artiste has not forgotten her nationalistic roots with lyrics provided by Sonny Ravan. From the keyboard/vocal opening to the introduction of percussion, “Lehra Tiranga” is certainly one of Hard Kaur’s better compositions with a richer scope. The end result is a paradox of a sombre theme but with vibrant arrangements that is sure to provide a wider appeal to listeners that go beyond Hard Kaur.

 

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘Na Kar Bandeya Meri Meri’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music : http://bit.ly/2luzPRI
Wynk Music: http://wynk.in/u/101htF1aPIHfsZ
iTunes India: http://apple.co/2luQTXR
iTunes International: http://apple.co/2mAibga

Fagun Ahise Notun Ronge – Angshuman Pol Deka

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Based in Guwahati, multi-talented artiste Angshuman Pol Deka  has apparently been performing since age five, initially learning harmonium and tabla, before expectedly taking a journey into reality-based programmes such as ‘Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa’ and ‘The Voice’. However, Angshuman’s journey to find his true vocation continues with “Fagun Ahise Notun Ronge”, an Assamese romantic track, featuring lyrics co-authored by him with Barnali Chanda, and music provided by Rajib Hazarika. The result on “Fagun Ahise Notun Ronge” is pleasantly and inoffensively melodic, with welcome yet limited interludes from piano and from guitar on a softer and friendlier landscape that appears to augur just fine for Angshuman Pol Deka as he plays safe by remaining well within his comfort zone.

 

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘Fagun’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music : http://bit.ly/2m30vfB
Wynk Music: http://wynk.in/u/1023DYgCUiRIjd
iTunes India: http://apple.co/2lSdxtY
iTunes International: http://apple.co/2m89jkM

Sanu Ik Pal – Mame Khan

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After witnessing Mame Khan’s brilliancy last year at the Mumbai Exhibition Centre’s ‘Paddy Fields’ concert, he continues to perform in a style that remains unique, pursuing a tradition introduced by his family over fifteen generations. Commencing his musical career in a small village named Satto, near Jaisalmer, Mame Khan’s energy and his vocal prowess owes much to his father and tutor, late Shri Rana Khan, as it transcends his repertoire consisting of folk and Sufi songs.

On ‘Sanu Ik Pal’, Mame Khan takes traditional lyrics from Punjabi and Rajasthani folk, and combines them with both his composing and singing talents. Superbly arranged by Amol Dangi, the instrumentation blends with the musical content to perfection, thanks to the musicians featured: Vikram Singh Chongtham [guitar]; Amol Dangi [keyboards, harmonium]; Robin Vassy [drums, percussion]; Nishad Ali Kawa [tabla]; and Sadam Langa [sarangi]. Also utilised is an instrument known as morsing – in Rajasthan, it is called a morchang – a wind percussion instrument that is effectively utilised on this track by Sharu Khan.

Not surprisingly, the lilting melody of ‘Sanu Ik Pal’ is both accessible and captivating and, as a listener, you really need not be a seeker of any musical genre to recognize the power of the sound for when his voice soars to the heavens as it were, and then returns down to earth, you are swept into another world…Mame Khan’s!

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Stream & Download ‘Sanu Ik Pal’ exclusively on Artist Aloud – Talent First App.

Also Available on:
Hungama Music : https://goo.gl/jvW55n
Wynk Music: https://goo.gl/mJmyFK
iTunes India: https://goo.gl/QAnPfY
iTunes International: https://goo.gl/Z93VPk

3 – Sifar

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From a project initiated by songwriter/producer Amit Yadav, Sifar is a band that commenced musical operations in 2008, going live from 2010 onward with a line-up consisting of Anshul Bansal [Amit’s partner in musical crime], Deepak Singh, and Yapang Lemtur, along with Nikhil Auluck, who becomes part of the band while performing live. In honing their craft of metal, Sifar reached a crescendo of sorts with “Roko Na Mujhe”, which got the band nominated in the “Best Rock Song” category at the annual ArtistAloud Awards.

On ‘3’, simplification and streamlining are the keywords for their sound. While the assessment makes sense from a musical standpoint, it also presents an opportunity to commercialize their music, and Sifar accomplishes both goals. The best songs are more melodic and immediate, from the opening of the crushing, manic grooves of “Kambakht” to the closing, crisp, remix production by Naren on “Dil Ki Sada”, which adds accessibility to ’3’ and to Sifar’s marvellous metallic sounds. Seeing Sifar live is certainly on my bucket list!

Stream & Download the album exclusively on Artist Aloud – The App

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Bhujne Na Humne Diya [A Musical Tribute To Pancham Da] – Mushtaq Naik

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One of the more talented music directors of the Indian film industry was undeniably Rahul Dev Burman [“RD”], who passed away in 1994, although he was liberal in taking pieces or entire songs from the West that he believed suited well with the films for which he was providing musical direction. Nicknamed ‘Pancham’, RD was the only son of the composer Sachin Dev Burman and, from the 1960s to the 1990s, RD composed musical scores for an incredible 331 films. He served as an influence to the next generation of Indian music directors and, as this album shows [‘Bujhne Na Humne Diya’], his songs continue to remain popular; this time around with Mushtaq Naik, a businessman.

His tribute consists of 12 songs from the glorious musical past of Pancham and, as admitted by him, Mushtaq has no formal training in music and hence, to cover this limitation, Mushtaq has packed his album with a number of singers in support: Sneha Pant, Shweta Pandit, Shraddha Pandit, and Amit Sawant. The instrumentation is low keyed, with the stress on keyboards in, perhaps, an effort to make the sounds contemporary. It remains indeed a difficult task to have people consume an album when the “originals” are freely available – in more ways than one – in the digital space, but there is no denying that Mushtaq Naik’s effort is noble.

Stream & Download the album exclusively on Artist Aloud – The App

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Weirdness Causing Ecstasy – Subhrojyoti

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From Pune arrives singer-songwriter Subhrojyoti, a researcher by profession, but for whom music is a passion. He tackles psychedelia this time around on the appropriately titled “Weirdness Causing Ecstasy”. Any listener of songs from the ‘60s can well relate to the melody that is supported by sparse arrangements of guitar and keyboards, and it is completely divergent from any polished production that you may consider, but the virtual atmospheric sound that surrounds it, also becomes the song’s cornerstone. While Subhrojyoti’s vocals continue to have obvious limitations, they paradoxically still support the musical path that he continues to pursue, which is as varied as his compositions which have, in the past, ranged from roots, rock, to reggae.

Listen and Download the song here: http://tinyurl.com/ztqky3a

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Bahon Ke Darmiyaan – Piyush Gupta

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U.P.-based Piyush Gupta is a music director who composes music, writes lyrics, and produces catchy songs. This time around too, he provides a likeable ditty with “Bahon Ke Darmiyaan”, which is a slow starter, but soon picks up pace as the ballad changes gear into a mid-tempo guitar-cum-keyboard-based track and speaks about the third and final song of a trilogy initiated by Piyush, which commenced with “Jaanu Na Main” [about “Falling In Love”], followed by “Jane Kab Phir” [about “Missing In Love”] and, now, “Bahon Ke Darmiyaan, which celebrates “Kissing In Love” with vocals provided by Nazim Ali and Debanjali Biswas. As this reviewer has mentioned before, Piyush Gupta has become an expert of sorts for producing/arranging uncluttered pop that requires no deep thinking for enjoyment and, even though his songs/renditions may be considered light weight, nothing changes the fact that the tracks that emanate from his roster remain pleasing to the ears.

Listen and Download the song here: http://tinyurl.com/he2bm63

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Sherni – Hard Kaur

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Born Taran Kaur Dhillon, this Meerut born’s success as Hard Kaur occurred when she returned to Indian shores after having based herself in Birmingham. Since then, Hard Kaur has indulged in Bollywood as well continued a parallel career as an independent singer with evolving sounds from pop rap to – and in living up to her name – hard core as on “Sherni”, where the lyrics have been written and the music composed by the artiste herself. Sherni is a song on women empowerment, where Hard Kaur will urge all women to be strong and be shernis in real life. While her new musical identity and rap approach makes Hard Kaur’s sound leaner as on the existing arrangements of “Sherni”, her rapping has got tougher and more fluid. “I represent female empowerment to my core. I wrote this song four years ago but didn’t release it till now as I didn’t think people were ready for this kind of track. We don’t really get much support for this kind of material because it’s not commercial. So now that the digital scene is so big, artists like me can afford to drop our music independently and let our fans enjoy our true work,” said Hard Kaur. She added, “With all the bullshit that’s been happening in our country regarding rape, sexism, and ill treatment towards women, I think we are done taking all this crap. Enough! We all need to be shernis and let the world know that.”

Listen and Download the song here: http://bit.ly/2bigPDl

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Ehbaab – Sunil Kumar featuring Dalbir Virdi and Roop Sagar

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Punjab-born Sunil Kumar is a ghazal singer and composer who is also academically qualified in the musical sphere that he indulges in and, having completed his masters in music, he is apparently pursuing a doctorate in ghazals. Of course, this assists on “Ehbaab” where Sunil’s soulful voice and clear diction on the poetry of Roop Sagar, who has got his poems published across several books, combines well with music director Dalbir Virdi’s arrangements using Western instrumentation with Indian, notably santoor. All this while maintaining ghazal traditions that are closely tied both historically and by contemporary sounds that remain appropriate on this light guitar-laden, mid-tempo selection which is melodic, pleasant, and soothing.

Listen and Download the song here: http://bit.ly/2bigPDl

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.