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Thu, 12 Dec 2019

Northeast Today

Diving Into Underground Music

Diving Into Underground Music
May 13
12:58 2019

The Gramophone Company is a blend of people coming from different sub-genres of a genre that is underground music. The band comprises of underground musicians from Northeast- Markoz and Koustav in vocals, Rachit on backup vocals and bass, Tanmoy and Debanjan on guitars and Rachit on drums. Markoz, on behalf of the band talks about the status & struggles of being an underground musician.

What sets apart the band from the rest?

Underground music comprises musical genres beyond mainstream culture. Any song that is not being legally commercialized is considered underground. We believe in saying our thing, yes it always doesn’t help us to pay our bills but that is what music is all about, if you’re not doing it for expressing your own story and the story of the world you see around then you are not doing music at all. We don’t wish to be a bunch of corporate sell outs, that’s not the vision, the vision is to say what we feel deep down within without any hypocrisy. May be the difference is, you might find your story which you deal with daily in our songs.

Is Northeast ready for Underground music?

I am from Meghalaya, Rachit and Mrinal from Sikkim and none of us are in our hometowns. The problem is corporate or the business circuits are running the live shows and they call up people who are into popular music. People are musically literate in northeast I believe, but the underground musicians and music is not being promoted. The organizers have a pre-conceived idea that people don’t listen to underground music but I believe that’s not true. I will get paid if I sing Bollywood songs for an hour, but if as a band we want to perform our own songs then forget the money, you don’t get the show. The art of making music is getting polluted this way because no one is singing what they want to say but they are bound to sing what the organizers want to listen.


On Challenges..

Financial challenge is the biggest challenge for any band. Few go into jobs to support music, then the job takes all the time and music takes a back seat. We all are struggling with it. The platform is missing and moreover, I hardly see the band craze now. The youth is more into PubG than writing a song or playing a guitar. We need more people to hold on to the culture. The only key to overcome is proper planning, savings and calculated risks.


Take on Social Media Platforms..

The Internet is actually playing a vital role in flourishing the talent of raw musicians or independent musicians. There should be a lot of independent music that should be played and the Internet is the best possible platform available. If used proficiently then it can give an independent artist his/her audience, which is a major need of an artist to flourish because you know who your audiences are.

Pros & Cons of being a Musician..

Music as I see it has no rules, it’s all about what you feel deep within and having the courage to put it in words in a song. Let me give you an example of what impact a song can make- I was into a lifestyle I shouldn’t have been into, I was worried, sad, frustrated as I can be because I was asking questions and seeking answers, one day I heard a song where a line said “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind ” and it changed my life. I realized all answers were right there in front of me and I was too much of a fool to recognize. It taught me before looking for answers outside, look for them within. It changed me as a person, gave me principles in life and today you are considering me worthy for an interview. Music heals, it changes lives.

The mockery done in the name of music makes me sad. Pick up any random mainstream song; either it’s a stupid mockery of rap, an item number or a meaningless love song written by using the same vocabulary again and again. The same thing is being fed every year, name one mainstream song on unemployment, rape, corruption, self realization, student’s problems, about the indigenous people of the nation?? None, even if you find, the quantity will be a handful. This is what the business tycoons handling the music business is doing, destroying the art form and make a mockery of music. It’s sad how Kabir Dohas vanished, folk is almost extinct on main stage, on how many occasions you find an artist singing his song, may be the audience can change this by demanding music in the way it’s supposed to be made, it should be rich in content and only then will a platform be created for the independent music scene in India, we need to support local bands and musicians.



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