Fifteen rock bands from across South Asia to perform at ICCR

Fifteen rock bands from across South Asia to perform at ICCR

Postby Surabhi Trivedi » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:44 am

New Delhi: It’s time for Delhi to rock once again with the most awaited rock fest of the year, the South Asian Bands Festival which will be held from December 2, 2011 to December 4, 2011 at Purana Qila from 6:00 p.m. onwards daily. Presented by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs & SEHER, the three-day music festival, now in its fifth edition, will feature fifteen popular rock bands from across nine nations of the sub-continent. Entry is free. For further details, one can log on to

While India is being represented by the famous Bollywood duo Salim-Sulaiman, apart from Indigo Children (New Delhi), Petri Dish Project (Mumbai), Boomarang (Mizoram), Advaita (New Delhi), Motherjane (Cochin) & Junkyard Groove (Chennai), what is certainly going to be a highlight feature of the festival is the girl-band of Zeb & Haniya from Pakistan who belong to the conflict-torn region of Pakistan – Peshawar. Zeb & Haniya, in fact, are slated to interact with nearly 100 students of some select schools and colleges of Delhi on the first day of the festival to discuss cultural relations between the two countries.

The other participating bands are Bohemian (Bangladesh), Metal Zone Oasis Band (Myanmar), Kingdom Hum (Bhutan), The Maldivian (Maldives), Thriloka (Sri Lanka), Fanoos (Afghanistan) and Robin & The New Revolution (Nepal), all of whom are making their debut at the South Asian bands festival.

Suresh Goel, Director General, ICCR says: “South Asian Bands Festival has emerged as one of the most popular festivals of ICCR. The groups presented in this festival-touch the hearts of people from all age groups, especially the youth. This is one of the most important initiatives of ICCR aimed at the youth of this nation and to create amongst them, an articulate consciousness of the South Asian regional cultural themes. The presentation and working together of artistes of various genres also enables creative artistes of this region to get to know each other’s creations and opens up possibilities of working together in the future. This festival therefore has become a major melting pot for talent in the South Asian neighborhood.”



SALIM SULAIMAN (Mumbai), Retaining the deep resonance of classical music, their soulful music strikes a chord with the contemporary as they compose music innovatively to suit the nouveau style of Chiaroscuro films our industry is dabbling in. That makes the audience want to rewind and replay the chart-toppers from movies like Teen Patti, Pyaar Impossible, Rocket Singh, Kurbaan, Luck, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Fashion, Chak De India, Dor, Iqbal, Kaal, Ab Tak Chappan, and the upcoming Kites. Apart from composing the lead songs of a film, they’re always responsible for the background score; if it isn’t the musical arrangement of a track, keep your ears open for Salim’s arresting vocals and Sulaiman’s perfect percussions.

Apart from playing for the Mumbai b’town , they also composed jingles for television commercials of India’s leading brands including Visa, Raymond and Pepsi; or producing albums for a long list of artists such as Adnan Sami, Voodoo Rapper, Style Bhai, Shweta Shetty and many more. The Indian audience also identifies television channel Sony and hit shows including Bigg Boss and Khatron ka Khiladi (Fear Factor) by the music created by this duo.

Today Salim and Sulaiman are among Bollywood’s hottest music directors, and everyone is dancing to their tunes. By incorporating western, folk, Hindustani and Sufi influences to their music, the duo has managed to enthrall audiences across the world and not only keep up with the changing face of India’s film industry, but also help redefine it.

ADVAITA (New Delhi): ‘A’- non, ‘dvaita’ – dual, Advaita means experiencing all as "One": is an eclectic fusion band based in New Delhi, India. Since their inception in 2004, they have established themselves as one of the most innovative and original acts on the Indian music scene. Advaita has successfully carved out a niche for their style of music in the global context, while staying true to their characteristically Indian roots.

Advaita’s music gives the listener the opportunity to enjoy the brilliance of Hindustani classical, as well as
the thrill of rock. From the smooth, polished husky tone of the Western Vocalist to the deep and powerful
delivery of the Hindustani Vocalist, the music of Advaita is further elevated by the synthesis of guitars,
keyboards, drums, the tabla and the exotic drone of the Sarangi. Of all Indian instruments, it is said that
the sarangi most resembles the sound of the human voice.

BOOMARANG (Mizoram) was formed in October, 2005, when four friends with the same interest in music came together. They started out playing covers first at some small local gigs, gaining experience in making music and writing lyrics. Their winnings in the “North-East Band Contest 2006”, “Hornbill National Rock Contest 2006” and their first “Great Indian Rock” experience gave them the confidence to grow more as a band.

Boomarang is a wild but nice mixture of Rock and Roll containing Jazz, Funk and Punk called, “JUNKROCK” “Semi-automatic mike with a bass and a drum, explosive with a six-string triggered by the strum”. With the right use of instruments such as the Vocals, Guitar, Bass and Drums, Boomarang’s music is believed by thousands of fans that it can conquer the world.

INDIGO CHILDREN (New Delhi) Indigo Children are a Delhi-based duo and have been part of the Indian circuit since 2004. They first found recognition playing in pubs and college fests around India. Some of the bigger competitions they won over their first few years include Campus Rock Idols in 2005, the Great Indian Rock festival 2006 and Channel [V] Launch pad.

Indigo Children were one of the few bands chosen to represent India in Singapore for Sutasi, a reality television show, featuring talent across Asia. They were also one of the four bands chosen to record with world - renowned producer John Leckie as a part of the British Council’s Soundpad. As a part of the Soundpad project the band went on a 2 - week tour of the United Kingdom; playing at festivals and venues such as ‘The Great Escape festival, Brighton’ and ‘the Barfly’. The band has also opened for Bryan Adams, Your Code Name is Milo, Freak Kitchen, Intronaut, Benea Reach and Backstreet Boys in India.

The band comprises Sanchal Malhar and Nikhil Rufus Raj, featuring an extended line up for the live act. The band refrains from categorizing their music to a genre but likes to write idiosyncratic vocal pop music.

JUNKYARD GROOVE (Chennai) was formed in the year 2005 and have become a main stay in the Indian Independent music scene. A band that has seen every high and low of being in a band, from being signed to an international label, opening for some of the biggest bands in the world like Iron maiden, Incubus, Prodigy, Robert Plant and more, to being dropped from their label, and going through line up changes.

Their first album 11:11 was a huge success garnering a big fan base and winning quite a few awards. Their song "It’s Ok" has become a part of playlists on every English radio station in India. Junkyard Groove was one of the first bands to take advantage of social media and viral marketing in India

MOTHERJANE (Cochin), is an Indian rock band from Kochi, India, formed in 1996. They released their debut album, Insane Biography in 2002 under Kan & Will Records. The songs "Maya" and "Soul Corporations" had strong Indian musical elements which would continue in later albums. "Soul Corporations" was featured in Geki-Teki Metal, a compilation album released in Japan in 2004. Insane Biography was the only Indian album to be featured in the Asian Rock Rising Festival in Japan on November 1, 2003. The band also headlined Levi’s Great Indian Rock 2003.

PETRI DISH PROJECT (Mumbai) is an apt name for what the band is labeling its new project – a mix of songs and sounds that have been incubating over the last 2 years and are now ready to burst out into an album and a tour. A high energy audience engaging foray into genres and themes that constantly evolve and are open to many interpretations. The music is a mix of electronic rock, trip hop, dub, and pop.

Petri Dish is a trio of seasoned musicians. The core band members include Debu Banerji, JD Thirumalai and Ashu. Additionally it features some of Indian indie’s most popular female artists Shazneen Arethna, Saba Azad
and Monica Dogra to name a few.

ZEB AND HANIYA’s music speaks to a shared base of human experience while evoking the rich and textured soundscapes of West Asia. Cutting edge and commercially successful, the musicians write their own songs and also rework existing melodies of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. In doing so, the musicians carve a space for music that transcends national boundaries. The duo’s debut album, Chup (Hush) broke to glowing reviews in Pakistan:
Herald credited Zeb and Haniya with creating an entirely new cannon of jazz-influenced numbers and blues in Urdu, and The News called their arrival “a landmark event.” All songs in the album, with the exception of Paimana Bitte—an Afghani composition from the 1970s—were written by Haniya and Zeb themselves.
Zeb and Haniya’s songs are set to music influenced by the classical tradition of the Indian subcontinent, Latin and West African grooves, American folk and blues, and their lyrics are poignant, soulful, and emotive. Their latest recordings have included songs in Turkish, Dari, and Pushto, and their music has been claimed by diverse audiences across West Asia. They have also performed in Malaysia, Italy, France, Pakistan, and at music festivals in the U.S and Norway, and their music has been received with the generosity of spirit with which it has been composed. Zeb and Haniya’s music is truly global; their songs excavate historical memories shared across national boundaries, and their music speaks to audiences unfamiliar with the language in which their lyrics are written, but open to the transcendent sweep of music.


FANOOS is a popular legend band, born in Kabul, Afghanistan 1998. They participate in concerts on the eve of Woman’s Day, Eid, Gul-e Surkh Picnic (Nawrooz Picnic) in Mazar-e Sharif City, National Army Concerts etc. Professionalism, skillfulness, best performance, friendly relationship between band’s members and people, resourcefulness, expressiveness and creativity introduced Fanoos Band one of the most popular bands in Afghanistan. Fanoos Band was seen as the embodiment of progressive ideas and influences the socio-cultural improvement of the early decade.


THRILOKA , The Sri Lankan fusion band 'Thriloka' (three worlds) has been entertaining local audiences
since 2006, delivering an innovative blend of traditional Sri Lankan folk music, Indian raga, jazz and rock. contributing musical ideas to the band’s repertoire of original instrumental music, Thriloka’s musical output is truly a fusion of global sounds and rhythms. The band has two albums to their name: 'Bisura' (2007) and 'Nirmanarathiya' (2010), and performed recently as a featured act in the Colombo Fringe Festival.


THE MALDIVIANS have been creating music in Maldives over a decade under the recording company "Super Muzik Faktory". The band’s aim and mission is to re-culture our traditional music in a way which the young generations would understand. They combine traditional music with pop, latin and electronic fusion. The last production has brought them to the international music world from MISS FRANCE BODU HITTHI which was held in Maldives . The band is led and owned by one of the most renowned musician MR. Schaaz Saeed.


ROBIN AND THE NEW REVOLUTION is a Nepali band whose live shows are energetic thanks to an exceptionally tight rhythm section and a charismatic front man, and their anthemic songs took them from strength to strength. However, as great as a band may be, there always comes a time when one gets bored of doing the same thing for years and looks to branch out. And that’s exactly what the front man Robin did. With a desire of playing different styles of music, and with a couple of songs already under his belt, Robin recruited several members for a project entitled Robin & The New Revolution. The new members were definitely not new to the music scene though. Rajesh, the drummer, also played in the backup band for the Angels, bassist Prabin was an accomplished studio musician and Dipesh, who still plays the lead guitar, is an arranger. And unlike in the past, Robin was seen playing the rhythm on his sunburst Fender. Kta/Kt the debut album of “Robin and the New Revolution” was a huge hit and the band grabbed some prestigious awards as well. More than awards, Kta/Kt brought about a change. Following up Kta/Kt, the band produced another acclaimed album – 13000, which was dedicated to the people who lost their lives during the political insurgency in the country.

With two new changes in their line ups, Sonam Lama replacing Prabin on Bass and Sanam Shrestha replacing Rajesh on the drums, the band still continues to enthrall and amaze its crowd with the music of their own. A steady groove of funk, blues, slow rock and folk tunes with a blend of down to earth words elevating patriotism – this what Robin and The New Revolution is all about


BOHEMIAN was born in January 2008. Shams Bin Quader and Mahbub Farhan were long time neighbours in Uttara, but coming together to form a band came much later.

The genre of Bohemian’s music can be categorized as alternative rock, with special focus on meaningful lyrics, melodious rock as well as heavier rock compositions. Bohemian was formed with the intention of creating an unique brand of rock music in Bangladesh, one which is melodious enough for the mass audience to relate to, and one which is also and rocking enough for the underground fans to jump and head bang to.

Bohemian’s first album called Babodhan, was released on the 28th of July, 2008 from Fahim Music and our second album Shurjo, was released on the 10th of January 2011 from G-Series.


KINGDOM HUM, was born out of demise. The six members of Kingdom Hum are erstwhile members of three other bands came together to sought new musical direction .Five of them were in rock bands that sang in English and other traditional Bhutanese and Tibetan genres. So they fused their musical impulses. “The new sound is a bit scratchy and underdeveloped, not quite what we envisioned initially. But that’s part of the process,” they confessed.


METAL ZONE OASIS BAND is a five member band playing in India for the first time. The Metal Zone band has been established in 1995-1996 with these musicians. This band is one of the most popular ones in Myanmar. The Metal Zone has been creating over 300 Series of Songs (Single Album and Couple Album) up to the present days. The live show of this band holds all over the country about 90 shows.

The most popular albums of the band are “The Night of a Young Love's Yearning, Angel, Ten Seconds, Allow and Forgiven and ls it a Dream or a Reality?” Their latest release albums are “ Zat Paung, 12 Inches Make one Feet”. The band has performed abroad several times: - Thailand in November 2009, Japan in December 2009 and Malaysia in November 2010 & September 2011.
Surabhi Trivedi
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:18 am

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