India is witnessing a paradigm shift in music: The Yellow Diary
Back on tour and in the city after a year, The Yellow Diary talks to us about indie music, live gigs and more!
The Yellow Diary performed in Bengaluru on Friday evening and had only praise for the city. “The city is special to us, and it always ends up surprising us,” shares lead vocalist Rajan Batra, further adding, “Our audience in the city has continued to grow over the years.”
The band, comprising singer and keyboardist Himonshu Parikh, drummer Sahil Shah, bassist Stuart DaCosta, guitarist Harshvardhan Gadhvi and Batra, played some of their hits like Buniyaad, Mann, Rab Raakha and more, in the city.
“We have a ritual every time we land in Bengaluru. We head to Windmills Brewery for a pint and we did it this time too the morning we landed here again,” says Parikh.
Currently on their Mann Tour, the band is taking an eco-friendly approach. “Everyone we follow and look up to is spreading awareness about or working on being more environmentally conscious. So, we thought, ‘Why can’t we?’ With this tour, we have just started out. Our goal is to create sustainable concerts and essentially reach carbon neutrality. For now, we are giving out sustainable hampers, which feature eco-friendly merchandise, reusable items, and a selection of earth-conscious products, all designed to reduce waste and promote sustainability,” Batra tells us.
The Roz Roz musicians talk about the evolution of indie music and live gigs, especially in India.
“During the pandemic, online consumption of music increased and a lot of artistes learnt how to put out their own songs as well,” Parikh says, and Shah adds to it, “We are witnessing a paradigm shift as well, where we see international acts coming to the country. It’s not just about how big the act is, but also about how shows are being produced due to it today. Organisers are seeing a lot of value in hosting festivals, and a culture of sorts has been created for the audience too.”
With the increasing number of live gigs in the country, the dark side of it comes out too. Multiple recent incidents, from the tragedy at singer Nikhita Gandhi’s college gig in Kochi to the overcrowded chaos at AR Rahman’s concert in Chennai, mishaps in concerts are becoming a problem.
“I feel that there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you’re ready to correct them. But, of course, better organisation will help curb unfortunate situations. We need more experienced people handling the crowds. If that is something that can be standardised, it will help because you don’t know how big an audience would be or what kind of chaos that can turn out to be,” shares Batra and DaCosta adds, “I feel like venues are also very important. Finding a venue in cities like Mumbai or Delhi, that can fit about a 1,000 people is very difficult. With increase in the number of gigs, the infrastructure in the country also needs to expand a bit. Performance arts need infrastructure, and it’s going to be a while before we get there.”
Ask the band what’s next and Gadhvi quips, “Bigger shows, bigger venues and bigger audiences!” To this, Batra adds, “We also have new music lined up, which is set to be released next year.”