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New kids on the block have musical swag!

This bunch of students from Bhatkhandey Music Deemed University, including some alumni, is creating waves on the online platform. Led by Arijit Agarwal, this group is recreating songs, medleys, mash-ups and unplugged versions of film songs on their YouTube channel.

lucknow Updated: May 15, 2019 18:09 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
L-R: Arjit Agarwal, Diwakar Singh, Sarika Mishra, Sanjeev Singh and Abshar Ahmad(Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)

This bunch of students from Bhatkhandey Music Deemed University, including some alumni, is creating waves on the online platform. Led by Arijit Agarwal, this group is recreating songs, medleys, mash-ups and unplugged versions of film songs on their YouTube channel.

The channel, run by Arijit Agarwal, has nearly 30,000 subscribers and the group’s uploads grabbed many lakh eyeballs. Their ‘AR Rahman Mashup’ has clocked 2 million views.

“All our earlier songs have been either tribute AR Rahman sir, whom we are great fan of, or are of other sings. This time we thought of coming up with an original track so we produced his musical which is instrumental and is without vocals. It’s a fusion between traditional Indian and Western instruments,” says Arijit who composes music and does vocals.

They have a team of ranging from 15-20 members and their core team includes tabla player Lakpiya Abesinghe from Sri Lanka, music director-singer Arjit Agarwal, music arranger Diwaker Singh, violinist-singer Rupal Mishra, team manager-singer Sarika Mishra, singers Mansi Mishra, Chamindra Dinura and Sanjeev Singh. The only non-university member, part of the core team, is video director Abshaar Ahmad.

After 26 videos, they have come up with an original composition, ‘Musical Swag’.

“For the video, we have Bharatnatyam student Kirti Singh from our institute and on the sitar we have Naveen Mishra, who is an alumni of the institute and is now teaching there too,” Arijit said.

The video was shot in February. “We shot on the picturesque banks of River Ghaghra in Barabanki, some 70 km from the city. Not everyone in the team is a part of the video as it is an instrumental and does not have vocals. However, all of us were creatively involved in the composition,” said team manager Mansi.

Though the YouTube channel is in an individual’s name, remaining members are fine with it. “He is the music producer and handles the project. We are all members of Team Arijit Agarwal and that’s how we give live performances too, with floating members joining us on specific projects while the core team remains the same,” said Sanjeev, a vocalist.

A screen grab of the YouTube video.

Team Arijit has collaborated with Mumbai-based YouTuber Siddharth Slathia (with 1.5 million subscribers) and they have done ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ together, clocking 1.5 million views. They have also done four songs with Saregamapa fame singer Antara Nandy. They have also recorded audio with Indian Idol singer Ankush Bharadwaj and will be soon coming up with a video for it.

“We are just students and recording and shooting videos is a costly affair. We are shooting videos with our own fund and putting it on our channel. The views do bring in some revenue but it’s negligible and with more original tracks we hope it gets better. We have done eight live shows which gets revenue but music production does not leave much time for that too. Also, we all are learning from our gurus at the institute,” Arijit said.

The team is geared to produce more original tracks and quality videos. “With time, we are all evolving. The team can create good music, high-quality videos but we are still learning how to promote them and increase reach,” said Abshaar.

They plan to move together. “We want to ultimately do playback for films and big gigs. Our team has people proficient in more than one department. Like I compose, sing, arrange music and play multiple instruments. So, everyone can handle various things, and for the future, we will all grow as a team and make music together,” the confident team leader said. In two-days ‘Musical Swag’ has had 26,000 views.

First Published: May 15, 2019 18:09 IST