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News |  25 Jun 2015 19:22 |  By RnMTeam

Indian Ocean working with Vikku Vinayakram, George Brooks on new material

MUMBAI: Veteran Indian fusion rock band, Indian Ocean, is currently working on new collaborative material with legendary Indian percussionist T. H. Vinayakram (popularly known as Vikku Vinayakram) and American saxophone player George Brooks, confirmed bassist Rahul Ram. He also stated that the 72-year old Grammy Award winning percussionist has recorded his parts, as has Brooks, with members of Indian Ocean currently working on theirs.

Discussions on the collaborations started in October last year, when Indian Ocean met both Vinayakram and Brooks at a concert. “We met Vikkuji and he asked us if we would like to work with him on something, and we were beyond thrilled by his proposition. It truly is an honour working with a legendary ghatam player as Vikku Vinayakram,” stated Ram. Soon after, the band members went to Chennai where they worked with Vinayakram, father of famous percussionist V. Selvaganesh, in a six-hour long jam session. Following that the band worked with Brooks in Mumbai on the new collaborative effort.

Early this year, Indian Ocean also started work on composing three songs for the upcoming dramatic feature film, 'Masaan'. For this purpose, the band worked closely with the film’s director Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover, the film’s writer and lyricist for the tracks. Ram revealed that the songs were recorded towards the end of March, this year at the YRF (Yash Raj Films) Studios in Mumbai and then mastered at Abbey Road Studios. The film, which won the Prix de l’avenir (Prize for Promising Futures) in the Un Certain Regard category at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is scheduled to release nationwide on 24 July.

Indian Ocean had also composed a track for another film, which released earlier this month on iTunes called ‘Crossroads’. The band worked on the track ‘Do Rahe’, written by Sanjeev Sharma. According to Ram, the band finished composing the track back in 2013, when Susmit Sen served as the band’s lead guitarist, before leaving to pursue a solo career.

The band’s last release was its seventh studio album ‘Tandanu’ in June 2014. It marks Indian Ocean’s first record without the input of two of the band’s founding members, including Sen and former lead vocalist Asheem Chakravarty. The two have now been replaced by Himanshu Joshi (vocals) and Nikhil Rao (guitar). Apart from Ram, Joshi and Rao, the band’s current line-up also includes Amit Kilam (drums) and Tuheen Chakravorty (percussion).

‘Tandanu’, alleged to be the band’s best album to date, features a number of famous names in the music industry – Karsh Kale, Shankar Mahadevan, Vishal Dadlani, Shubha Mudgal and V. Selvaganesh to name a few. Ram stated that the band will promote ‘Tandanu’ for the first time in the US this year, from the middle of September till October with performances in cities like Boston, New York, San Fransisco and Connecticut, among others. Before that, Ram added, Indian Ocean would also perform in Singapore in July and in Muscat in August.

Indian Ocean is scheduled to perform at Classic Rock Coffee Co. India on 27 June in Pune.