NH7 Weekender is celebrating its first decade with a smashing line-up. While everyone who has not been living under a rock knows where in India Kodaline and Earthgang are landing this November the Weekender lineup is filled with a slew of artists that have a small but loyal domestic following. These are the bands that have been pushing the limits of contemporary music in our peninsula. Here's a lowdown on the vanguard that is to grace Mahalaxmi Lawns, Pune at the NH7 Weekender, also called the largest non-Bollywood festival of the subcontinent by some:
‘Mirza Ghalib on drugs’ is how one YouTuber describes Lifafa’s creator. Lifafa is a solo project by Suryakant Sawhney of Peter Cat Recording Co., a hemp-jazz group. According to a leading lifestyle publication, Lifafa was conceived as (and still is) a search for identity, a throwback to ‘Old Gold Hindi’, and a flirtation with electronic modes of music production, all at the same time. In the track Jaago, all the defining elements of the project come together quite brilliantly.
With what can only be described as a metred revolution, the multilingual hip-hop collective called Swadesi has marked itself as a major proponent of the campaign against the felling of trees at Aarey forest, called ‘the green lung of Mumbai’ by many. The members share a deep connection with the forest, having spent their school days wandering about in a pristine wilderness that exists, incongruously, in the middle of the city. Bucking the trend, this collective’s music is anything but oblique, politically. They mince no words in their track The Warli Revolt.
Not only can the nation northwards of Mumbai get not enough of the strange concoction (Alternate rock meets Carnatic meets Hindi) that Anand Bhaskar represents, but the band has also been a hit on many stages southward of the metropolis. Begun as a solo project by the vocalist Anand Bhaskar, the collective has managed to break linguistic barriers — most of the songs of the Mumbai based band are in Hindi, but with his Carnatic influences, Bhaskar has managed to get even their southern audiences singing to the collective’s lyrics. Hey Ram, a track from Samsara, the first of two albums from their discography, is inspired by the 26/11 attacks and speaks against the communal tensions perceptible at the time.
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