Popular band Indian Ocean had a unique plan to release their fifth studio album, 16/330 Khajur Road — allow fans to download songs free from their website, Indianoceanmusic.com. And within a few days, their first song, Chand has crossed 10,000 downloads.
"The response has been fantastic," says Susmit Sen, lead guitarist of the band. "The numbers are rising quickly, but it’s not really about that. We retain the rights of our songs, share our music with the entire world, and don’t have to deal with labels. If this works well, we may use this platform for our future releases as well."
The songs in the album that has been named after the band’s rehearsal space in Karol Bagh, Delhi, since 1997, were not made specifically for it. The songs were composed for several Bollywood movies, which failed to take off, and have now been grouped into an album.
“But that doesn’t make it Bollywood music,” Sen stresses. “The compositions are in Indian Ocean’s style. Filmmakers would come to us for our music, and not to make something in the Bollywood space. So although the songs have the tag of being ‘film’ music, they are nothing you’d have heard in a film.”
Sen cites the example of the band’s two tracks from the upcoming Anusha Rizvi film, Peepli Live, produced by Aamir Khan. While the band has composed Zindagi se darte ho on the lyrics and situation they were presented, ‘Des mera’ was a part of their earlier album, Jhini, and was given new lyrics, to fit the movie’s theme.
“We are a 21-year-old band, so we already have several half-baked numbers on different themes,” Sen says. “If any of them fit a particular situation, we work on it, or we may come up with a fresh composition. Ultimately, the situation differs, but the emotions are universal.”
The band is looking to showcase some of the other tracks from their album at their Mumbai gig tonight, which is a part of the band’s ongoing tour, sponsored by UTV World Movies. Sen says, “The channel has chosen us to be their brand ambassadors because they think our sound represents world cinema culture.”
‘The song is about how your imagination may keep you sane in the real world’
On their first free download, Chand
We composed the song for a 12-minute short film by Anurag Kashyap, which was one of the 10 films in the movie, Mumbai Cutting. The movie never got released but it was a beautiful story of a 12-year-old boy, Chand, in a remand home in Mumbai, who lives in his own world. The song is about the boy, and how your imagination may keep you sane in the real world.