Catch them young

Five Delhi-based musicians to watch out for.

music Updated: Jun 22, 2012 16:40 IST
Surabhi Chauhan
Surabhi Chauhan
Hindustan Times

Most of us can’t get through the day without a bit of music. But, for these five artists music is a natural extension of their lives. These are the Capital’s young musicians who, at an early age, have been able to make a mark for themselves and stand out for their exceptional skills.

They sing, compose music and play instruments with a lot of passion. Often, they compose original sounds inspired from their personal experiences and upbringing. Most industry insiders feel these names will be the next generation of musicians to make it big.

Kunal Datta (Photo Credit: Simran Jagdev)

Kunal Datta, 20
A musical prodigy, Kunal not only sings and writes music, but also plays all the instruments himself on his debut EP, Runaway. The guitar, harmonica, saxophone, violin, piano, drums and the flute are featured and played by this young artist.

He has even dedicated a song to the city, called Dilli Bulaye. “Dilli Bulaye is not only a reflection of the city. The music and beauty beyond the noise, dirt and dust of the city, reflect a place so beautiful that can only be found in the place that one calls home,” he says.

Kunal was born in Los Angeles and later moved to Delhi, where he attended Vasant Valley School. He is now at Stanford University pursuing a double major in engineering and music.

Must hear: Dilli Bulaye
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Prateek Kuhad, 22
This singer and songwriter graduated this year from New York University. Prateek grew up playing the guitar, and training vocally in Indian classical music. His self-titled debut EP released on July 15 last year. A multi-talented artist, Prateek plays guitar, ukulele, drums, bass and harmonica, and his musical style is a blend of pop rock and poetic folk.

He has also performed in New York and Prague, but wants to now focus on Delhi.“The music scene is fresh and interesting here. Lots of independent artists are coming up and getting a lot of support. I’m also interested in writing more Hindi music,” he says.

Must hear: Be At Ease
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Catch him live: June 19 at Blue Frog, Mehrauli at 9:30PM (free entry)

Dhruv Visvanath, 20
Dhruv is a self-taught guitarist, singer and songwriter who has been making music since the age of 13. At 8 years of age, he started playing the piano until he came across a humble Hobner guitar. The make of the instrument did not stop him from honing his skills as a percussive guitarist — the art of using the body of the guitar and the strings simultaneously.

“I came across musician Andy Mckee on YouTube and was stunned by his ability to simultaneously use the body of the guitar along with the strings to create this astounding sound,” he says.

Must hear: Father, from his EP, Chronicles
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Catch him live: June 19 at Bluefrog, Mehrauli at 9:30PM (free entry)

Abhishek Mangla, 23
Abhishek Mangla is a five- strings electric bass player, studying and playing music since the age of 18.

“There are very few people who work as hard at their music and put in so much practice as Abhishek. It’s a tough career and he could easily join a more commercial set up but he chooses to play music he believes in,” says Abhishek Mathur, guitarist for the band Advaita.

Mangla has played with industry heavyweights including Parikrama, sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri Khan and gospel choir Artistes Unlimited.

Must hear: Bad Monkey
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Catch him live: June 24 at The Lalit, CP at 9PM (free entry)

Subhadra Kamath (Photo Credit: Mahima Bhatia)

Subhadra Kamath, 23

Subhadra Kamath is one of the leading female vocalists in the independent music circuit in India. She is the lead vocalist and a song-writer for Delhi-based progressive alternative rock band, Fire Exit. Music experts pit her as the new star on the block.

She recently won the prestigious Jack Daniels’ Rock Award for the Best Female Vocalist category in 2011.

She has also worked with bands such as Advaita, Them Clones and Cyanide. Subhadra’s influence ranges from artists such as Norah Jones, Imogen Heap, Coldplay, Porcupine Tree, Corinne Bailey Rae and even old Bollywood songs.

“She is a versatile artist and sings with a lot of genuine feel. Her sense of melody and harmony are very strong too,” feels Anindo Bose from the band Advaita.

Must hear: Heroes by Fire Exit.

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First Published: Jun 17, 2012 15:30 IST