Delhi is not only the capital of India, but can also be considered the capital of the indie music scene because of its vibrant musical panorama. The music scene is as diverse as the street food in old Chandni Chowk, and the level of their musical dexterity reaches beyond the height of the Qutub Minar. In this article we have covered popular musical outfits (in no particular order) in Delhi who have made the city a sanctum for musically inclined minds.
Eka describes its music as 'Swatantra' rock. They believe in transcending all musical boundaries in order to create a rare style of sound which is not constrained to any particular category. They perform popular, classic and regional covers, but with a refreshing touch.
The contribution of Indian Ocean towards the fusion music scene in India has been phenomenal. Their music follows themes such as sufism, environmentalism and mythology. Amalgamation of styles such as contemporary rock, classical and jazz earned them a great amount of admiration from music enthusiasts across the country.
Members: Amit Kilam (Drums, percussion and vocals), Rahul Ram (Bass guitar and vocals), Himanshu Joshi (Vocals), Tuheen Chakravorty (Tabla and other percussion), Nikhil Rao (Guitar)
Advaita stands for non-duality, and means experiencing all as "one". Since their inception in 2004, their style of organic Indian psychedelic music has been considered one of the most original sounds to ever come out the Indian underground music scene.
Nasya's music is a soulful blend of Sufi, Haryanvi and Punjabi folk along with rock influences. The name Nasya comes from a Hebrew word meaning 'A Miracle Of God.' And it is actually quite a miracle that a few skillful individuals from diverse musical backgrounds came together for the sake of creating something so distinctive.
Catch "Nasya live @ Honda RevFest" alongside "AKSHAY KUMAR" and "KAILASH KHER" on 4th August,2015 at Pragati Maidaan.
Parikrama in Hindi means revolving around. The band came into existence on June 17th, 1991. This outfit has witnessed the gradual evolution of the indie music scene in India from its embryonic stage. They often fuse Indian classical instruments like the Mridangam, tabla and flute with conventional instruments like guitar, drums and keyboards. They have been inspired and influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors.
Members: Nitin Malik (Vocals), Sonam Sherpa (Guitars), Saurabh Chaudhry (Guitars), Subir Malik (Keyboards), Gaurav Balani (Bass), Srijan Mahajan (Drums)
Since its inception in the year 1995, Hundred Octane has created a special place in the field of grunge and classic rock in India. The mission of this outfit is to explore and experiment with different facets of alternate music. Their music is heavily influenced by popular bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and many more.
Members: Saurabh Kishore (Vocals), Arvind Singh (Guitars, Harmonica, Blues Harp, Ukulele), Ambar Tewari (Bass/Vocals), Lakshay Dabas (Guitars), Pankaj Khurana (Drums)
They integrate genres like rock, metal and electronic sounds which add a whole new vibe to their music. The exquisite vocals merged with the instrumental harmony especially create a kind of magic. Their focus is to create a sound with a varied styles of rock, metal, and psychedelia, and give their listener all the more reason to closely follow their work.
NORTH is a band that has given a new direction to alternative rock in India. Creativity and experimentation come naturally to them as most of the crew members are from creative backgrounds such as photography, writing and acting. The band members bring to NORTH years of live experience, and have been seen on stage and in music festivals in New Zealand, U.S.A, Thailand, South Africa, England, Ireland, Nepal, and India.
Click here to check out our recent interview with this band.
Members: Jordan Johnson (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Akshay Deokuliar (Drums), Shobith John (Electric Guitar), Zoe Tuckey (Vocalist), Sean Tuckey (Bass)
Faridkot is a familiar name in the field of indie pop music in India. Their music is a mixture of shifting blues guitars and harmonic love melodies blended around a thumping percussion and bass. They have released their debut album titled Ek in January 2011 with Times music.
Members: IP Singh (Vocals), Rajarshi Sanyal (Guitars)
Music enthusiasts who have heard them playing have defined their sound to be a combination of progressive, groove, thrash and Indian sounds. What makes it a special outfit is its amazing synergy with its audience during a stage performance.
Inspired by the dramatic world of rock 'n' roll, their love for songwriting has directed them across the course of the thoughtful to confessional. The band name reflects the general attitude of the band, which was to look at their stage personalities as clones of their selves.
Members: Prithwish Dev (Vocals), Joseph Lalhmachhuana (Guitars), Akshay Raheja (Keyboards/Samples/Low Ends), Surojit Dev (Drums)
Menwhopause creates music for everybody. They are the ones who have conceptualised the idea of DIY in the field of music by distributing their music free over the internet. Their first EP called 'The Story Begins' was released online as a free download in 2003 after which the band released a full-length album 'Home'. The band has also initiated several humanitarian and social projects like the Tihar Jail music workshop series where they helped interested inmates in Asia's largest prison to form a band (The Flying Soul) and record songs.
Sifar took its initial shape in the year 2008 when Amit recorded a demo version of a song composed by his friend Anshul Bansal and uploaded it online. The song earned them a decent number of followers. One finds a complete sync between their lyrics and the harmony, which makes it an even more fascinating experience. They have released their first full-length album titled '1' in October 2011.
Members: Amit Yadav, Anshul Bansal, Deepak Singh, Sachin Mittra
Rated by MTV as one of the best Hindi Rock bands in the country, Antariksh creates a fresh, elegant, and progressive sound borrowing nuances from various musical styles presented in a cohesive and powerful manner. Their very first single, 'Dheere Dheere,' released in 2013, was selected in the top five songs in the VIMA India awards, and was nominated for VIMA Asia awards. After the immense success of their first album, 'Khoj', they are currently in the studio recording the second one. Other than catching them playing in your city, you can also expect a lyric video release and a new music video over the next two months.
Undying Inc, one of the pioneering extreme metal bands from India is a New Delhi based act. The band has been playing festivals this year with their 'Decade Of Destruction / Retrospective' Set and were one of the mainstage attractions at Bangalore Open Air and will be doing the same at Metal For Nepal, slated for September at Kathmandu. The band's brand of metal is a lethal blend of speed, technique, groove and extreme aggression! Defined by relentless riffing, sharp twists, massive breakdowns; rapid time signature changes and fluid gear shifting between polyrhythms, Undying Inc's music is a lesson in crushing modern metal! The band is currently working on new material as a follow up to their last records 'Ironclad'(2014) and the critically acclaimed full length 'Aggressive World Dynasty'(2010). Undying Inc is endorsed by Ibanez Guitars, Line 6 products, Paiste Cymbals, Mapex Drums and Axis Pedals.
The name Indigo Children is inspired from one of the songs of the band Puscifer. It was originally a solo recording project started by Sanchal Malhar, which currently consists of Jaidev, Nikhil and Sahil Mendiratta. The band has opened for renowned artists such as Bryan Adams, Your Code Name is Milo, Freak Kitchen, and Intronaut.
Members: Sanchal Malhar; the live setup also features Nikhil Rufus Raj, R.N. Jaidev and Sahil Mendiratta
The Vinyl Records a.k.a TVR is a punk-indie-rock group that was formed in 2010 by Banu, Miniam and Mithy. They explain their sound to be a part of the new wave era of the 70s and 80s, when analog and early digital were popular! They have been featured in MTV F1 Rocks 2011 and were among the 15 finalists of Rayban Never Hide Sounds 2012.
Brutal riffs weft on a melodic soundscape. Accentuated by intense breakdowns and super-layered with an equally intense electronic samples and enormous amounts of energy are a few common traits that everyone associates Phobia with. They have rocked many popular music festivals in India and have generated an enormous number of fans.
Members: Gavvy Basnet (Vocals), Tushar Saxena (Samples/Guitars), Aaquib Wani (Guitars), Robin John (Bass/Vocal), Udit Mahar (Drums/Vocals/Samples)
If you are the one who enjoys soothing harmonies along with some interesting lyrics then MAP is a must listen for you. The band released its debut album 'Rear View' with major record label Times Music in July 2013. They are presently recording their second album, slated to release this year.
The band's name has its roots in the Devnagiri script and means basket of arrows. And they certainly do have lot of musical arrows in their repertoire. The band prefers playing genres like sufi, rock and bollywood.
Founded in 2009, The band plays an eclectic mix of Modern Jazz blended with elements of funk, swing and bebop. The music is centered around soulful melodies with modern funky grooves leading into frenzied improvisations.Their repertoire consists of original music which projects the band’s attitude and approach to Jazz as the evolving art form it is.Their performances have been described as being soulful, energetic and inspired by the moment. The band has clocked over 200 successful, Independent and Corporate shows and played at the most coveted Venues & Music Festivals across India. Their debut Album Titled ‘TUNE IN’is out in stores around March 2013 on Audio Ashram Music Label Constantly rediscovering the boundaries of Jazz they share the common idea that music is dynamic and Ever-changing.
The Circus has all the ingredients of an ideal rock outfit - the soulful vocal dexterity of Abhishekh Bhatia, the impeccable guitar riffs of Arsh Sharma, the bass work of Abhinav Chaudhury and the pure percussion abilities of Anshul Lall. Since 2007, they have put out two full-length albums, Bats and From Space.
Astitva gives priority to feelings above technique and comes up with their own brand of music. Influenced by diverse western pop and Indian classical influences, it incorporates hybrid styles of exquisite melodies and everlasting pop/rock instrumentation, hence carving out a special sound and considering their music as a message of hope to all.
Members: Amit James (Bassist), Ayush Gupta (Drums/Percussions), Zaman Khan (Guitar), Kamal (Keyboard), Salman Khan (Vocals)
The Uncertainty Principle's music has gone through a lot of transition starting from an alternative rock sound, and has later on developed a more progressive rock sound, drawing inspiration from bands like Tool and Karnivool. The outfit has opened for international acts like Dead Letter Circus, Viatrophy and Sylosis. They have recently performed with the Karnivool,the renown progressive band from Australia in Jan'2015.
Members: Shashank Chandak (Vocals), Abhishek Rajan (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Nishant Kurup (Rhythm Guitar), Siddharth Rajan (Bass), Keith Peter (Drums/Backing Vocals)
SI started as a duo with Puneet Vohra and his childhood friend Aditya Verma which was formed in August 2013.Puneet and Aditya have been together for 20 years since school time .They were passionate about nature and music right from the childhood and share a very strong bonding of friendship and brotherhood.For a few years they were away for further studies and both came back as engineers where one took the musical journey and the other got into the corporate world.But both have always been keen to work together and make some good music.So, finally they did it. A home production and their skills and feelings bundled together with similar music taste led to the formation of this group. Both are Die hard Grunge fans and believe in each other. Emotions, Pain, Facts, Freedom, Faith, Joy and Soul. That's what makes Soul Inclination.
The word Distill means to extract the essential meaning out of a topic and they really do extract lot of meaning out of important issues, and structure it through their expansive song writing. Each member has a vast array of influences, but they come together to infuse ingenuity into the Indian metal scene.
Kabul is a talented vocalist who is also engaged with numerous Bollywood projects, and his UNICEF OST has actually created a benchmark in the music industry. He has shared a stage with artists like Shafqat Amanat Ali, Shankar Mahadevan, Shibani Kashyap and many more. The band has also performed in prestigious music festivals, youth festivals and colleges.
They have bagged the Best Genre - Fusion category award in the 3rd season of ARTIST ALOUD AWARDS, India’s leading digital destination for independent music. Balcony TV, which is one the most sought-after online music TV stores aired a scintillating acoustic piece by Kabul & Rock Veda.
The Superfuzz formed in 2005 with an intention to add their own flavour of music into the existing alternate rock domain. The band with their uncanny ability to write radio-friendly, power pop tunes, shot to fame when they won the Channel [V] Launchpad competition, earning them warm critical appreciation.
In the beginning of 2013, a song spread across the internet like wildfire. Not surprisingly, it was titled Wildfire. The song became a massive hit on Soundcloud with over 6,50,000 plays till date and has received tremendous radio airplays in India. Their album 'Sketches of Darjeeling' which was inspired by his life around the hills of Darjeeling gained him accolades of music community.
Members: Pranai Gurung (Guitars), Rahul Rai (Bass), Reuben Narain (Drums/Percussions), Prabir Sekhri (Keys), Kiran Nepali (Sarangi), Binaya Amatya (Sound Engineer)
Decibel was formed in 2003 by Kanishk and Krishnan. It initially started as a thrash metal act, but constant experimentation with various genres of rock/metal turned them more into a progressive outfit. They have incorporated elements of both thrash rock and progressive rock in their music.
An association of three bright musical minds in order to produce a music which is imaginative, fearless and constantly expanding the limits of songwriting beyond lyrical, rhythmic and harmonic conventions. Their recent single 'If Only' has been featured on VH1 India and MTV Indies.
Members: Chayan Adhikari, Vasundhara Vee and Tarun Balani
Through this article we have made an honest effort to come up with a comprehensive listicle of musical groups in Delhi. As you will agree, it is difficult to cover the entire music scene of a city in a single article. Let us know if we have missed any good bands in the comments section, and we will work on including them.
If you have enjoyed this article, click here to read about the music scene of Mumbai.
Saurav is a person who believes in Karma. His friends call him a digital animal as he is obsessed with gizmos. A Music freak by nature, he will listen to all genres without prejudice. Highly allergic to pseudo intellectuals.
Fond of inspirational novels from Napolean Hill & Jeff keller. Football aficionado. Read more