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Big Surprises in the Sennheiser Top 50 2016 Ranking  

Barefaced Liar, Parvaaz and Daira, among others make it to the top of the second season of nationwide band hunt’s ranking

Anurag Tagat Sep 17, 2016
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Just in its second year, the Sennheiser Top 50 2016 national band hunt saw a record  370 entries in the online selection stage of the contest this month. The bands were vying to not only enter this much-vaunted listing of the best emerging rockers in the country, but also to make it to the shortlist of five bands that will be flown to Mumbai to participate in the grand finale at Hard Rock Café on September 22nd. Sennheiser Top 50 is powered by Johnnie Walker The Journey, and Rolling Stone India is the magazine partner.


The grand finale of Sennheiser Top 50 will be held on September 22nd at Hard Rock Cafe Worli

The 2016 ranking that was announced last week show a major reshuffle in the positions. The top-five list sees the entry of three new bands, New Delhi-based Barefaced Liar and Mumbai-based Symphony Novel, and Bengaluru rockers Parvaaz. They are joined by Peepal Tree from Bengaluru and Daira from Mumbai who were ranked ninth and 27th in last year’s  listing respectively.

These bands will now battle it out in front of a heavyweight jury consisting of Indus Creed frontman Uday Benegal,  singer Angaraag ”˜Papon’ Mahanta and recording engineer/music producer Ashish Manchanda at Mumbai’s Hard Rock Cafe Worli for the five top positions. The finalists will perform their best sets at the show, which will be headlined by last year’s winners The Local Train.

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The 370 bands who participated in the online selection process this year were shortlisted to a 100 by editors of  Rolling Stone India magazine. That list was then further whittled down  to 50 and ranked  through  combination of online polling and  jury  selection. Among the members of the jury were Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,  Raghu Dixit, Papon and Ashish Manchanda.

The Local Train won the maiden edition of Sennheiser Top 50. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

The Local Train won the maiden edition of Sennheiser Top 50. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Bands from across India”“both well-established as well as newbies make up this year’s ranking,  and the diverse selection shows the range of talent on the country’s alt music circuit. Progressive rock band Symphony Novel from Mumbai, acoustic band When Chai Met Toast from Bengaluru, rock band Echo from Guwahati/Gangtok, psychedelic rock band The Urban EarlyMen from New Delhi and many more are part of the Top 50. We recommend you check out the full list via the link below where you will sounds from a multitude of genres, funk,  folk, regional rock, pop, fusion and more.

The 2016 winner of Sennheiser Top 50 will earn not just a trophy, but also a two-year endorsement deal with the company, and top-of-the-line gear from the company including the Evolution wireless 500 G3 vocal microphones and HD 280 Pro headphones. The other four will also be honored with Sennheiser headphones and microphones. The second ranked band will also get a chance to record their own song with producer Ashish Manchanda at his Flying Carpet Productions studio, while the artist ranked third will receive a mentoring session from one of the judges.

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The Local Train, fusion duo Shadow and Light (both from New Delhi) and the hugely popular folk/fusion band Purple Fusion from Nagaland topped the ranking last year.

Find the full list of Sennheiser Top 50 here.


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