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Interviews |  03 Feb 2021 16:13 |  By Namrata Kale

Raaga Trippin' on collab with Animal Planet: Recreating sounds of the jungle was very interesting; it helped push our vocal boundaries

On Republic Day, Animal Planet released a soulful natural symphony music video in association with RaagaTrippin’, the famous Indian A-capella group known for creating instrument-free music. This unique rendition of the famous patriotic song ‘Saare Jahaan Se Achha’ composed through human voices is exclusively produced for Animal Planet’s popular series ‘India’s Wild Tales’; which is a month-long relay of India special wildlife shows that truly captures the serenity of nature and the majestic rich biodiversity that exists in the varied terrains across the Indian sub-continent.

In this melodious symphony, RaagaTrippin’, produced soothing and extremely impressive animal and bird sounds like Peacock, Elephant, Monkey, Lion, Chimpanzee through 5 band members’ voices, which is bound to take the audience on a wild tour. India is home to an amazing array of wildlife and this special creation will showcase the charismatic visuals of India’s wildlife, over the mesmerizing natural sounds.

RaagaTrippin’ is a 5-piece Vocal Band comprising 4 multi-talented Vocalists and one of India’s finest BeatBoxers.

Keshia: Lead Vocals, Harmonies

Rohan: Lead Vocals, Harmonies

Suzanne: Lead Vocals, Harmonies

Gary: Vocal Bass, Lead Vocals

Alan: BeatBoxer, Vocal Trumpet, Harmonies.

To get a glimpse into the making of this project we spoke to Raaga Trippin’. Check the interview below.

 Could you tell us about your collaboration with Animal Planet?

RaagaTrippin’ as a band, have always been pushing our creative boundaries to explore new genres,  trends, and styles of music and that keeps us exploring various avenues and experiences. In the past, we have created customized corporate anthems and jingles based on original tunes and lyrics or covers customized as per the requirement of the client.

When the Animal Planet project came up,  they were looking at options of us creating music using the calls,  sounds and voices of the diverse wildlife, specifically from India, to be arranged into a patriotic song that would be unique, mesmerizing,  inspiring and entertaining.

They gave us all the creative freedom to come up with what best we could give them, that incorporated a patriotic tune and after bouncing off several ideas, we came out with the final version that you hear now.

We tried to do justice to all the sounds, all created with human voices, whilst ensuring that they worked together to create the final symphony.

We hope everyone listening likes what they hear.

How was the experience of producing animal and bird sounds, especially on a patriotic song like 'Saare Jahaan Se Achha'

Suzanne: As RaagaTrippin’, being an a cappella band is not as easy as it seems, and we have always loved a challenge. Recreating the sounds of the jungle and nature was very interesting and really helped us push our vocal boundaries and discover new things that we could do with our voices. Working on the Sound Design for this track with one of Mumbai’s Finest Sound Engineers, Madhur Hatsikar, was the most fun part of this entire project. And all of this of course, while maintaining the patriotic feel of Saare Jahan Se Achha- an overall very Creatively and Vocally satisfying project this has been.

Keshia: The Monkey sound for example, was the most fun to create, as you get to be your own crazy self and experiment with a variety of noises that vary greatly in pitch and volume. Monkeys make a variety of grunting/squeaking sounds that represent different emotions/feelings so when you put all these features together, it gives an interesting, playful yet patriotic aspect to the track.

You create songs without using instruments. What goes into creating the perfect rhythm or sound?

Alan: Rhythm and sounds play a very important role in invoking specific feelings when listening to any song. The fun thing about rhythm is that you can take inspiration from anything around you, be it from tapping a pen on a table or the sound of a passing vehicle.

I listen to specific sounds, analyze them, and recreate them vocally, by relating them to similar sounds I've made before, or by trying new ways of making sounds with my voice.

Working on a project like this has been challenging and a lot of fun. It required incorporating animal sounds in unique ways for example trying to invoke a trumpeting Elephant for the melody.

I tried to stay true to the natural sound while also trying to invoke a patriotic feel.

Could you please tell us about the recent music projects that you guys are working on?

Keshia: Come March 2020, at the start of the lockdown, we came up with a fun, Bollywood Hindi Retro Medley released on our YouTube and IGTV Channels to liven up our fans looking for that musical high

whilst stuck at home. We then created an incredible International mashup in July 2020 which received a huge amount of appreciation from all over the internet and the music Fraternity.

Gary: We’ve had immense fun creating and customizing our LIVE performances for a couple of recent Virtual Events that was a mind-blowing experience not just for ourselves, but our audiences as well, both nationwide and International.

We’re looking to bring more acapella elements into the Advertising and Corporate spaces and push the boundaries of creativity there and contribute something fresh and new.

Along with recreating and revising our repertoire and our Live Act, we’ve also begun work on our second Original and it's coming together brilliantly!

Mid-February onwards there will be a series we release every week, where we cover various retro classic songs and contemporary commercial tracks in English and Hindi. But the highlight of the series will be RaagaTrippin’ creating/incorporating more regional language music/songs in true RGT style and it will be something to watch out for!

How has the lockdown benefitted you in terms of creating new music?

Keshia: The lockdown has definitely given everyone the headspace to open the creative window to various aspects of music. It has helped all of us individually by helping us listen to various forms of music and learn something new; pertaining to a unique style or sound that could help bring about a new and improved Acapella sound.

The most important thing is the fact that everyone now has the time to write something new or work on a catchy hook. As a group of 5 multi-talented individuals, we could now bring those ideas together and actually spend a little more time on an original composition.

So overall, even though the pandemic has been a tragedy and a truly heartbreaking experience, it has been a positive influence as well, especially when it comes to music and spending more time TOGETHER as a group.

Thoughts on music industry post covid pandemic.

Music Industry, like most other industries, are slowly but surely picking up. And, to be honest, while the entire world was in lockdown, it was MUSIC that kept everyone going and continues to do so.

Through virtual gigs, we’re still able to connect with our audiences, but it’s not the same as being right there with them, in person.  However, now, that too is changing! Travel has slowly begun; the doors are slowly opening, and the music fraternity truly believes that the following season is going to be amazing!

The music industry post pandemic has witnessed a dramatic change with respect to the mediums of music entertainment available to audiences, moving away from live performances, movie audiences and Bollywood charts, to Digital, OTT, and virtual events. These, while challenging to us musicians, have also given us an opportunity to explore our inner creativity and bring out the positive best in ourselves.

It’s important to stay positive, hopeful, and of course, observe all safety measures to make sure you stay healthy and keep your immunity high!

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