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Rocking it, Sufi style

Sufi rock bands in the city tell us more about their musical genre.

music Updated: May 08, 2012 01:52 IST
Vaishali Bhambri

Rock music has been the muse of city-based youngsters for a while now, but a musical style that is fast catching up with these bands is sufi rock.



Originating in Pakistan, the genre became popular in late 90s with the band Junoon, and their compositions that combined rock tunes, traditional lyrics and musical styles. It's believed that the term sufi rock was coined in 1993, when it was used by writer Nadeem F Paracha to describe Junoon's music.



Nasya

We now take a look at six bands in the city that have made a mark with this genre.



Lafz-e-Dilli


They wanted to play for the people, and that's how they chose sufi rock as their primary genre. "Delhi loves sufi music. The soothing quality of it makes it the choice of many," says Jayad Ahmad, lead guitarist of the band.


Formed in:

2010


Number of members:

Four


Sufi rock to them means: According to them, Sufi music is related to God, and they perform it in their unique style - combining classics with western beats.


Inspired by:

Pakistani band Junoon and Indian Ocean


Why the name:

No particular reason


Remembered for:

All their performances till date



Nasya


In an effort to set themselves apart from other bands, they decided to adopt sufi rock. "Sufi is one music form that is attached to the roots and everyone enjoys it. A fine blend of electronic instruments and Godly lyrics is our genre," says Chirayu, the manager of the band.


Formed in:

2008


Number of members:

Seven


Sufi Rock to them means:

A fine combination of slow and fast music


Inspired by:

No one in particular


Why the name:

The name comes from a Hebrew word which means a miracle of God


Remembered for:

Performing on MTV Rock On 2 and for their song - Rabba Mennu Maaf Kari



Astitva


The band is known for incorporating sufi rock elements in their music. They perform Multani poetry in Khari boli language. "It's the language of sufi saints. Sufi rock is beyond copying compositions," says Zaman Khan, lead guitarist of the band.


Formed in:

2007


Number of members:

Five


Sufi rock to them means:

Lyrics about God and love, blended with contemporary styles of music


Inspired by:

Late musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mekaal Hasan Band and singer Hans Raj Hans


Why the name:

As the band documents every member's distinct musical existence


Remembered for:

Bhakti music festival



Rishi Inc

The band describes themselves as a sufi fusion band. One would find a unique blend of sufi poet Bulleh Shah's verses with contemporary scores in their compositions. "Sufi music to us is divine! While performing, we make a unique connect with the God," says Rishi Dutta, the keyboardist.


Formed in:

2010


Number of members:

Six


Sufi Rock to them means:

Fusion of everything sufi


Inspired by:

Late musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan


Why the name:

Rishi's the name of the founder, who writes most of their songs


Remembered for:

Their performances at college fests like IIT Delhi and AIIMS



Kaash


Though the band prefers calling themselves a Hindi fusion act, they believe that sufi rock forms an important part of their


performances. "People often mistake Hindi bands to be of the sufi rock genre. There's a big difference between the genres," says Shivam Khare, keyboard player of the band.


Formed in:

2008


Number of members:

Five


Sufi Rock to them means:

Music with sufi poetry with a modern touch


Inspired by:

The band Junoon and musical artist AR Rahman


Why the name:

They say the name was adopted just by chance, no particular reason


Remembered for:

Their gig in Gandhinagar, Gujarat few years ago



Nasha


The band members got their big break when they opened for a performance by Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan. "We adopted this genre in an attempt to contemporise soulful melodies," says Akhil Sachdeva, lead vocalist.


Formed in:

2009


Number of members:

Six


Sufi Rock to them means:

Soulful music presented with modern techniques


Inspired by:

Coke Studio Pakistan


Why the name:

Nasha was the title of the band's first self-composed song. It eventually become the name of the band itself.


Remembered for:

Their rendition of the song, Mein Tenu Samjhawan Ki.



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