It was around 2006 when Bengaluru-based band Swarathma started capturing the mindspace of Indie followers. Five years later, they’re still gigging with that spark of freshness and respectable consistency.
Right from well-received ‘phoren’ tours, to a record deal with a big Indian label, they seem to know just how to do it right. Now, they’ve become the first Indian band to have with an iPhone application to their credit.
It’s almost like Guitar Hero with a desi twist. Only that here the user will play along with their I phone (using the motion sensor technology) for a shaker. There’s more to the application, which is developed by Mumbai based Only Much Louder’s digital arm. Those using the app will get a google map to guide them to the next Swarathma gig among other things.
The members of this folk rock band have from always been involved with several causes. Just this week they premiered their first video Pyaasi, online, that talks of water crists. This version features the very talented Shubha Mudgal. The song is written by the band’s vocalist Vasu Dixit and is inspired by the river Kaveri. It tells the tale of the river in her words, narrating its pain of being caught in a dispute between her children —the two neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The song was chosen by a US based NGO Global Water Challenge and the Gibson Foundation to highlight the problem of water scarcity in India. Well-known director Shekhar Kapoor was a creative consultant to the project. It was his suggestion to add female vocals to the song.
The video juxtaposes two sides of India, one with easy access water and another far from it. “We’ve always heard stories about scarcity but we still treat water callously... just because it’s available to us easily. The video shows the two very different yet, very real, sides that depict the desperation for water in one shot and the indifferent towards it in the other,” explains bassist Jishnu Dasgupta.