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Features |  18 Jan 2016 17:53 |  By RnMTeam

Most popular fusion bands in India

MUMBAI: India’s rich musical heritage has witnessed a metamorphosis over many generations. With the world shrinking at every passing moment, there is a lot of cross cultural exchange that is taking place. There are a certain set of musicians that have embraced these changes and created a signature sound of their own.  They started a new trend in music by changing the status quo. These are the few of the best fusion artists/bands in India.

Indian Ocean

At a time where music was predominantly Bollywood and commercial pop, there was a musician who believed in his creativity and courage. Founding member of Indian Ocean Sushmit Sen, who is no longer with the band along with Tabla player and co-founder late Asheem Chakravarthy, set out on a journey of creating something unique. Eventually with vocalist-bassist Rahul Ram and drummer Amit Kilam, Indian Ocean was complete. Broadly classified as folk rock, Indian Ocean draws influences from Indian folk/classical, rock, jazz, shlokas, Sufism, hymns, environmentalism, politics and revolutionary themes. With six studio albums, soundtracks/background score for movies and countless live performances all over the world, Indian Ocean is one of the most sought after fusion bands in the country. 

Advaita

Founded in 2004, Advaita is an eclectic pop fusion band based in New Delhi, India. Consisting of eight members, the band has an interesting mix of Indian and Western influences. With Indian and Western vocals, Advaita’s music strikes a perfect balance between both the worlds. Creative musicianship is displayed by the elegant blending of the Saarangi with contemporary instruments.  Advaita has released two albums ‘Grounded In Space’ and ‘Silent Sea’, of which ‘Silent Sea’ won the Best Rock album at 2012 GIMA. Recently the band was in the news for its track ‘Mofunk’ featuring in the upcoming movie ‘Wazir’. 

Raghu Dixit Project

The multilingual folk/fusion band known for its colourful, feel good sound and live performances in Lungis has got the audiences grooving to its beat. With hits like ‘Hey Bhagwan’, ‘Mysore Se Aayi’, ‘Antaragni’ amongst others, Raghu Dixit Project gets your feet tapping and jumping with joy. The band released its debut album ‘Antarangi’ (The Fire Within) in 2008. The album was a massive hit and was the highest selling non-film music album of that year, and hit number one on iTunes World Music charts in the UK, and number one on Amazon UK’s Movers and Shakers list.

In November 2013 the band launched its second album titled ‘Jag Changa’, an eight-track album with hit tracks like ‘Jag Changa’, ‘Rain Song’ to name a few. Having toured North America twice, Lovebox festival in 2009, The WOMAD, Glastonbury and Latitude festivals in the UK in 2011 amongst others, Raghu Dixit Project has definitely made an international impact. The most prestigious performance was for the Queen of England at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Windsor in 2012.

Swarathma

With a sound that blends Indian folk and Classical with Reggae, Blues, Rock and Jazz, Swarathma has carved a niche in the Indian independent scene. The ensemble consists of tracks with folk based rhythms, powerful riffs/solos, soothing classical violins and impactful vocals. It was the 2008 Radio City Live, a nationwide hunt for India’s best Hindi band that gave the band a nationwide break. Post that, the band released two albums ‘Swarathma’ and ‘Topiwalleh’ and a number of singles. Politics, religion and environmentalism are few influences in their lyrics evidenced with songs like ‘Pyaasi’, ‘Yeshu Allah Aur Krishna’ and ‘Topiwalleh’. Swarathma has always played to packed audiences with its energetic and engaging stage presence and various visual elements like using faux-folk horses and unique colourful on stage costumes.

Mrigya

Delhi based Mrigya is a fascinating contemporary group that stretches the boundaries of music amalgamating genres like blues, rock, funk, folk, latino, Indian Classical, and jazz. Formed in 1999, the band consists of eight members with varied musical backgrounds that contribute to the creation of such a unique sound. Mrigya has toured extensively in India and abroad to Europe, Africa, Australia and Russia. Mrigya was the first Indian band to win the Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Festival, UK in 2002 for the Best Music Act, and also the first Indian Band to be empanelled with the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The band has released one studio album in 2010, namely ‘The Composition of World Harmony’.