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Ex Advaita and Faridkot Members Perform With New Collective

Desi Roots will perform at Blue Frog, Delhi tonight, plan to release their debut album this year

Rolling Stone India Aug 01, 2013
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Desi Roots

Desi Roots

Twenty nine-year-old guitarist Arpan Guhathakurta has been a part of several bands including Advaita, Nakshatra, Bandish and also toured with Pakistani rock band Junoon’s former guitarist Salman Ahmed, when he was in India to promote his solo album in 2006.  In 2012, Guhathakurta went on to form his own band Desi Roots, with ex-Faridkot bassist Gavin Pacheco, Palash Bedi on drums and classically-trained Sumit Pratihast on vocals as core members, with guest flautist, Kartikeya Vashisht being roped in for their gigs. Their sound comes across as an amalgamation of Advaita’s folk fusion style and Salman Ahmed’s sufi rock leanings, but oddly enough, Guhathakurta tells us that covers of Hindi film tracks have a bigger draw than originals. Says Guhathakurta, “I’m glad we haven’t played so much of our original music. We play covers so people can know us and our music. It’s not like we play the same song. We keep the melody but restructure and rearrange it completely.”

So far the plan has worked for the band in Delhi at least. In less than a year, the group has managed to average 14 gigs [mostly corporate shows] a month. In May, they played five shows at the popular South Delhi venue, Zorba. “We don’t call ourselves a niche band. We play for everyone, for the masses,” adds Guhathakurta. It’s premature to pin down their sound, adds the guitarist. The band, which hopes to release their eight-track debut album this year, is working on adding electronica to the mix. “Contemporary Indian sound doesn’t come with an Advaita or Indian Ocean ownership. It’s there for every Indian band in the performance space. For now, we have to add more production elements to our songs. We are working with a German producer on adding electronica elements, but that is something we are still discovering as a band,” he adds. 

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At Blue Frog tonight, the band will be joined by Vashisht  on flute and will perform a mix of covers and originals. The band last performed at the venue as part of LeapFROG To Coke Studio, a competition that brought Mumbai artist Winit Tikoo on the popular television jam show. “I think we underperformed at that show. We got to know about it at short notice and didn’t have enough time to practise and thus our performance didn’t work out too well.” This time the quartet has had ample time at their jam pad in Delhi. On their setlist tonight are Desi Root’s renditions of Amit Trivedi’s “Pardesi”  from the movie Dev.D, “Kashmakash” by Alms For Shanti as well as a “jazzed-out” version of “Kinna Sohna Tenu Rab Ne Banaya.”  They will also play their six original tracks that include the bilingual “More Mann,” which they played as part of LeapFROG To Coke Studio as well as their upbeat original “Pal Do Pal,” which is likely to make it to their upcoming album. 

Desi Roots performs at Blue Frog, Delhi tonight. Entry Rs 300. 








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