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Exclusive: Indian Ocean continues to rage on


Exclusive: Indian Ocean continues to rage on

The indie music industry in India is currently undergoing a blossoming phase where it’s slowly merging with the mainstream due to rising popularity and acceptance. Two decades back, this was not the case. Breaking the mould of Bollywood and the raging indie pop of the 90s, a few bands emerged from India and paved the way for countless others to follow and create the building blocks of the indie scene. Churning out original compositions, many of these bands soon faded away as independent music even today does not work for everyone. Indian Ocean, a young band in the early 90s, pioneered with its peers in this movement and today, they have created a space for themselves in the music industry where they are often hailed as one of the country’s most iconic and successful bands.

Formed in 1990 in New Delhi, Indian Ocean established itself with a stable lineup with Rahul Ram, Ashim Chakravarty, Susmit Sen and Amit Kilam by 1994. This lineup stayed unchanged till 2009 when Chakravarty passed away. Two years later, guitarist Sen quit the band and went ahead to form his collective called The Susmit Sen Chronicles. Despite the loss of the original members, Indian Ocean took no time in getting new equally talented colleagues in the form of Himanshu Joshi, Tuheen Chakravorty and Nikhil Rao.

Towards the end of the last millennium, Indian Ocean was hailed all over the country by many followers. Separating itself from the mainstream rock sound, it indulged in a fusion of Indian elements with its sound. The band heavily uses jazz rhythms while incorporating sufi touches, shlokas and concepts about environmentalism and revolution.

Since its inception, the band has released six albums and has provided music scores for some Bollywood films. The band has also done countless shows outside the country in places like the UK, New Zealand, USA, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Germany and more. With their eclectic style of music, the band left no page unturned even on foreign shores, attracting scores of western fans. Currently, they are the leading global band of the country.

The music industry in the country is not an easy place to be. Ruled by Bollywood and a general incline towards poppy mainstream commercial music, a band creating its own unique and recognisable sound is nothing less than launching a start-up. On those terms, Indian Ocean has grown up to one of the biggest and popular music collective ventures.

Today, the band has a changed lineup with Rahul Ram being the only one who played on the 1993 debut album. With new members comes new talent and influences that the band continues to utilise to evolve their style further. The band continues to headline almost every major music festival in the country and churn out new music for its die-hard fans. From the iconic 1997 Mandi House show to having its chronicles published in a coffee book, the band has come a long way to establishing itself as a significant milestone in the pages of Indian music history.

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