The Indian indie scene is booming and artists like Dualist Inquiry and Prateek Kuhad are becoming quite popular even among the mainstream crowd. We’ve curated a list of 10 indie artists and bands that you should check out if you want to explore more indie sounds.
1. Peter Cat Recording Co.
Peter Cat Recording Co. started in 2009 in San Francisco as the solo project of soulful singer Suryakant Sawhney. It has now blossomed into a 4 piece band based in New Delhi, which includes bassist Rohan Kulshreshtha, Kartik Pillai on the guitar and harmonium, and drummer Karan Singh. Their style is a mixpot of a lot of influences ranging from ballroom waltz to gypsy jazz to very Bollywood-like scores of car chase sequences. Think 60’s and 70’s Bollywood music, which in turn was inspired by 50’s American music like soul and big band. To know more about them, click here!
2. Sohrab Nicholson
You may have heard of Sohrab Nicholson, the singer-songwriter from Bombay, as he’s been quietly accumulating gigs and accolades over the past couple of years. His 2014 debut EP For What was critically acclaimed because of the lush piano chords and Nicholson’s soulful, restrained vocals. His style and voice have been compared to artists like James Blake and Joni Mitchell, and we’re totally loving his style. To know more about him, click here.
Sanaya Ardeshir (Sandunes) has been working with Kolkata based drummer and producer Jivraj Singh (Jiver) on their combined project called Perfectiming and they recently released their self-titled EP, comprising of 4 dynamic tracks. Their work is electronic mixed with instruments and it’s truly a unique undertaking.
4. Dhruv Visvanath
Dhruv is a one man show from New Delhi, who can sing like a boss and play multiple instruments to boot. His stage presence is enigmatic and he knows how to keep a crowd engaged. His acoustic, Jason Mraz-ish tracks are easy to fall in love with, and he’s performed all across the country at major music festivals and stages. Dhruv often performs with the Dhruv Visvanath Trio (DVT) consisting of Amar Pandey, Ishaan Gandhi, and Ashwin Nayar.
Madboy/Mink are a super funky duo consisting of Madboy Imaad Shah and Mink Saba Azad. They’re a Mumbai based electro, cabaret, disco, and funk outfit, mixed in with some old school Harlem swing. The duo brings crazy, eccentric energy on stage as well as off, and their music has a peppy, electric feel. They use live guitars, synthesizers, and a variety of distortions and sounds to make truly unique music.
This Chennai based, alternative dance music band was formed out of frustration at the barren cityscape where they live. The F16‘s have an arresting live set and they’ve recorded some of their music in New York City. The 5 member band is influenced by great acts like Arctic Monkeys, Alt-J, Radiohead, Pendulum, Pretty Lights, and a lot more!
Drummer Srijan Mahajan and guitarist/vocalist Arsh Sharma got together in 2012 to create FuzzCulture. They don’t ‘genre-lize’ their music, rather they consider it a melting pot of styles. Both members play on and off separately for other bands in the circuit like Half Step Down, Parikrama, Cyanide, and The Circus, but they’ve managed a good balance between their work and it’s easier to coordinate since it’s just the two of them. In the 4 years since their conception, they’ve done a lot of things that young artists aspire for. They’ve been touring abroad, released quite a few tracks, and have remarkable stage presence. To know more about them, click here!
8. Run! It’s the Kid
In 2013 when Shantanu Pandit and Dhruv Bhola were spending their college days jamming and creating music with each other, little did they know that in just a few short years they would be launching a full fledged album. The vocalist and guitarist added bassist Danik Ghosh and drummer Bhairav Gupta permanently to their roster and started their journey which led them to recording their first single ‘Move Over’ and stages all across the country like NH7 Weekender, Ziro Festival in Arunachal Pradesh, and many more. To know more about them, click here!
A Bangalore based band with a profound sound, Parvaaz produces a psychedelic mix of blues and rock, with Hindi and Urdu poetry as lyrics. They’ve built up a following across the country because of their infectious sound and live performances. They recorded a DVD for a live performance called Transitions in July 2015 at the Jagriti Theater in Bengaluru which showcased their evolution through the years. You can check it out here!
10. The Circus
Furious. Quirky. Angsty. Bouncy. Funky. Groovy. Eclectic. Vicious. Happy. Mellow. The boys of “The Circus“, describe themselves as a musical recipe consisting of all these elements. They are some of the most refreshing and original artists in the Indian soundscape at the moment and they take inspiration from Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and Tool.
11. Your Chin
The solo project of Raxit Tewari, Your Chin has been buzzing in the Indian indie scene since he released an EP in 2012. The EP was well received and it helped Your Chin score a number of gigs for festivals and clubs throughout the country. He’s played at NH7 Weekender, Magnetic Fields, Ziro Festival of Music, India Bike Week and a lot more. Your Chin’s music is danceable lively electro pop sound layered with muddy beats that lend his seemingly indecipherable urban lyrics a joyful complexity.
Begum is a Dreamy, lo-fi experimental band from New Delhi, India specialising in 11th century seduction sounds. Their songs are written in short bursts of clairvoyance and haberdashery and they released their Debut Album ‘Bagh’ recently and their 3 members include Tushar Mohan, Karan Singh, and Kartik S Pillai.