Born and brought up in difficult and violent years of the past two decades, four boys have come together in Kashmir for first Rock band to sing philosophical Sufi poetry and hum people's day to day sufferings.
Named ‘Dying Breed’, the valley-based band had people on toes on Sunday evening at Srinagar’s Sangarmaal shopping complex. The band sung from famous poetic verses of Sheikh-ul- Aalam on Blues with on-stage improvisation.
“It was not easy to form a band in place like Kashmir. From social to economic pressures, we braved it all,” said 23-year-old guitarist Muiz.
Though the final shape of the band took place in the middle of 2011, it was during schooldays of 2005-2006 that three friends Muiz, Zohaib and Maajid would hum and jig secretly in their rooms and dreamt of making it big in music.
“I used to play guitar and sing psychedelic music all day long in my room. My parents sent me to an engineering college outside the state,” said Muiz.
The three friends, however, met again in Srinagar after pursuing different courses for three years only to come up with the valley’s first Rock compact disc album with four songs, which was released on Sunday evening. John Khankashi, a drummer, joined the trio last year to complete the band to produce new music.
‘Dying Breed’ is passionate about Psychedelic, Blues and Rock. “The band believes in experimentation which may or may not fall into a specific genre,” said Maajid.
Influenced by bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane and Nirvana, the lead vocalist said Maajid he wants sing about everyday life of the valley.
“Our music will have nature and love in it. From traffic jams to day to day issues to Sufi poetry, we will sing for people’s hearts,” said Maajid.
The band is aiming at connecting youth with their roots. “This kind of Sufi music will help new generation to identity with the past and its literature,” said Kashmir’s known playwright Aarshad Mushtaq, who is among rare supporters to the initiative.
All early twenties, the band members are deeply influenced by verses of spirituality-driven poetry of Wahab Khar, Sheikh-ul-Alam and Lal Ded.
Maajid said he will not run away from here just because there is bedlam or the opportunities are fewer. “We may not have had a political stance but we were always clear that our first album will come out from here. We have done our work. Now, we are waiting,” said Maajid.
The band has decided not to preach any ideology. “We are not missionaries. We want to feel normal. We should not be expected to be a political band because we are from Kashmir,” they said.