Indian Ocean: A band that believes in 'more the merrrier'
Posted on May 11 2014 | IANS
By Natalia Ningthoujam, New Delhi, May 11 : Indian Ocean has completed nearly 25 years in the music business and has seen many musicians come and go. Amit Kilam, drummer and vocalist of the Indo-rock fusion band, says it has never felt threatened as it never wanted monopoly in the industry.
The band originally consisted of Asheem Chakravarty, Susmit Sen, Rahul Ram and Kilam when it was formed in 1990. After Chakravarty died in 2009, they were joined by Himanshu Joshi and Tuheen Chakravorty. Nikhil Rao later became a member after Sen left the band in 2013.
The "Bandeh" hitmakers have come a long way and new bands or singers don't make them feel insecure.
"The more the merrier. We are not doing business. We don't want to have a monopoly. The idea of musicians is not to become rich. It is mostly to play music that they like and co-exist with a lot of people," Kilam told IANS.
"I don't want that all shows come to us and two more artists while other artists get no work because that would be regressive," he added.
They are so secure in their skin that they even chose to collaborate with artists like Shankar Mahadevan, Shubha Mudgal and Vishal Dadlani, the frontman of rock band Pentagram, for their seventh album titled "Tandanu".
"We enjoyed and learned from them. Vishal is a very interesting musician. He is a fantastic writer too and he is not stuck up of doing western music only," said Kilam.
The album features seven tracks, co-composed by Indian Ocean and the collaborators. Since they wanted to give weightage to each and every number, they decided to release each song in a different way.
"Each song is a gem. All seven tracks will be released per week with a short film on 'Pepsi MTV Indies' and a few portals. The short films are about the making of the songs with each collaborator," said the drummer.
Till now, "Gar ho sake" with Shubha Mudgal and "Behney do" with Karsh Kale have been released. The entire CD will be out by June.
The band will promote the album by performing in various cities, but it will also be relying on the marketing strategies of its record label Times Music.
"The music company is also doing marketing. The publicity will be done by us too. We will play live shows. That's the best way to promote," said the member of the band, who had a problem with record labels in the past.
In 2000, Indian Ocean chose to distribute its album "16/330 Khajoor Road" for free online as it didn't hit a good note with the music companies.
"We couldn't understand why a company wants to take away all our rights and then sell music and still not give anything substantial back to the artist.
"I had no hope that music companies would ever change. This time, Times Music took the right step. They approached us with a fresh thought and decided that they have to be fair to artists, so we decided to work together," said Kilam, who along with his bandmates, worked with the music label for their "Black Friday" soundtrack and "Kandisa" album.
The band is at present occupied with the promotion of its new album, but it's stage shows that take up most of its time. It has given 800 to 900 performances so far and covered many Indian cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata apart from entertaining music buffs in the US, Britain, Japan and other countries.
The band members enjoy performing in all cities, but unlike many artists they consider the capital's crowd to be good.
"It's a myth that Delhi audience is not good. If there was no good audience, how could a band like us survive who have only been playing original music -- no western music, no cover, no Bollywood music," said the 40-year-old.
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)