Living the dreams of a nation-in-turmoil is a daunting task. But with cherubic smiles and sharp riffs, these three lads are giving it an earnest shot.
With weapons of mass entertainment (read musical instruments) in tow, vocalist/guitarist Sulyman Qardash, bassist Siddique Ahmed and drummer Mujtaba Habibi of the indie rock act, Kabul Dreams, are on a mission to rock Afghanistan… by introducing their countrymen to ballads of love, peace and brotherhood. Kabul, they say, isn’t ready to embrace ‘their’ genre just as yet. “Afghans don’t get to witness gigs often. And indie rock as a genre doesn’t find enough takers. Ours is a relatively new band, but we hope to change the scenario in a few years,” says Ahmed.
Having performed at four concerts till date, the trio that came together in this February, wishes to inspire youth with its music. “A few solo pop artistes in Kabul have carved a niche for themselves. But we wish to ignite young minds by performing in Afghan universities and colleges. Some private TV channels have also shown interest in our music,” says Habibi.
The newbies have recorded three of the 10 original tracks they have to their credit. “We’re also planning a music festival in Afghanistan next year that’ll feature musicians from other countries. But for now, we’re looking forward to a great time in India. We may travel to Jaipur during our stay there,” says Ahmed, who performed at the SAARC fest in 2007 with a pop/rock band, The Aryan Band.
Cyndi (Lauper) was right. Girls ought to have fun.
And this particular foursome from the pristine quarter of Shillong, took those words to heart. Theirs is a group that swears by living in the moment. And with divinity seeped within their band name, there’s hardly anything they lack.
Meet Afflatus (meaning The Nature of the Gods), a four-member all-girl rock ‘n’ roll collective that talks of emotions that make life worthwhile. “Our music’s laden with emotions and personal experiences. The lovey-dovey girly things trickle in sometime, too,” giggles lead guitarist Karen Donoghue.
Together since 2004, the girls only put their act in place last year. And being friends since school only helped them turn chatty tidbits into refined rhythm. “We don’t want to make a statement by writing about socio-political issues. That’s not us. We like venting the desires and dreams of people our age,” she says.
With Sharon Zadeng on bass and sister Mercy on drums, the band’s vocalist, Grace Miller doesn’t talk as much. “I’ve got the gift of the gab,” asserts Donoghue. “Flow, the first song we wrote together, has a funky feel to it. Wake Up on the other hand is alternative. We like dabbling in other genres too,” says Miller.
The rockers may cut an album soon. “We’ve picked nine songs for the album. Gigging, however, is what we thrive on,” concludes Donoghue.