Here’s a first for Indian music lovers. Nine, the country’s first writer-led band, is set to debut tonight. With lyricist Neelesh Misra, the creative director of the band and also a senior editor with Hindustan Times, at the helm of affairs, the band features composer Amartya Rahut (of Aage Se Right fame) and vocalists Shilpa Rao and Abhishek Nailwal (who has sung for Rann, Sarkar Raaj and Sorry Bhai).
According to Neelesh, the band’s music reflects the soul of modern India. “It’s contemporary in sound and thematically rooted. It is the story of everyday India, the story of love and longing. Being a writer-led band, the songs are conversational and involve experiences. As our tagline says, ‘our songs are just us, the way we are’. They combine our strengths as Bollywood artists and ‘our’ kind of music,” he said.
The band is named Nine simply because there will be nine people on stage at any given gig. “Plus, we wanted a name that is accessible to all languages. Though we are a Hindi band, we will be performing in all parts of the country,” said Misra, who has been credited as the lyricist of 25 songs in 14 films.
Misra spent a year getting the band in place — a dream he had nurtured for long. “After the band came together, a friend reminded how I used to talk about fronting a band in college,” he recalled.
About the band, vocalist Shilpa Rao said, “Everyone can relate to our songs because the lyrics aren’t over-the-top. They are anecdotal and speak about real experiences,” she said.
The band’s debut album, Nine Lost Memories, will be out by late 2010. The band debuts on stage at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai tonight.