Avi & The Uprising
Their music is unconventional. They don’t play only to entertain the crowd; rather they play to intellectually stimulate their listeners. Musically engaging, Avi & The Uprising creates music, infusing American folk, blues and 60s rock, with Indian folk and progressive rock. The band’s singer-songwriter, Avi shares, ‘We keep our melodies hummable, you can sing along with us even if you’re hearing the song for the first time.’ Their piece, Wahe Guru performed for Balcony Tv a few months ago, went viral and received 75,000 hits within days. Now gearing up to perform at TLR Café, New Delhi on 15th June, Avi tells platform_ a bit more about his band…
Your songs are characterized by their satirical lyrics, which have socio-political underpinnings. What drives you towards writing such songs? 41.6% of the Indian population is below the poverty line, 41% of the population is below 34 years of age, and 99.9% of the people who are ruling us are scumbags. Scumbags who also happen to control Indian pop culture. I believe that if I scream out ‘Nithari’ loud enough maybe some kid will unplug ‘chammak challo’ from his ears and say ‘what the f**k was that?’ As a songwriter, I don’t restrict myself to any one theme. I write songs like Wahe Guru on self-realization, because all of us are going to die. I write songs like Magic Carpet Ride on love because all of us are living.
You are soon to release your debut album, Eyes on the Radio in August. Could you give us a peek into it? The (long awaited) first album is finally rocking itself into completion, despite an ever-evolving band and an endless search for perfection. The album will be a rollercoaster ride that will take the listener from a sunset at Tughlakabad Fort one minute to a political rally at Jantar Mantar the next, from cut outs on climate change on a loners wall one minute, to a climb up to a secret Himalayan temple the next. Verses of beat poetry and instrumental interludes will be sprinkled through the album to paint the complete conceptual picture.
What is your favourite song from the album? Eyes On The Radio, the title track, is a song that speaks of telepathy, telepathically. It’s a long slow hypnotic hum, which explodes into an instrumental outro with a slide guitar solo. It’s structurally very different from a lot of our songs that are short, sweet and very radio friendly. I think listeners will connect with this song at some strange subconscious level. Ideologically, the band’s anthem is definitely, Who. The song is about asking questions of the establishment, fittingly, it’s posed in a question and answer conversation.
One subject/theme you haven’t yet written about yet, but intend on creating a song around it soon? I’ve always been fascinated with the lost continent of Atlantis. It seems to me to be a post apocalyptic vision quite congruent with this time of global warming, floods, the Mayan calendar and tsunamis. It would be very interesting writing about the lost continent, not as something of the past but possibly of the future if we are not proactive and responsible today. The eeriness of a Taj Mahal under water in the ghost city of Atlantis would make for a spine chilling verse, and more significantly, a wake-up call.
What’s in the pipeline? Avi & The Uprising as a media collaborative; more than a band. I will integrate everything from theatre and film to the written word and design, to propel the ideas forward via online content and live shows. Music – the language of vibrations will always be at the core of the project._
Sing along with Avi & The Uprising at TLR Café, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi on 15th June, 9:30 pm._
By: Radhika Iyengar
Follow me on twitter @radziyengar