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Exclusive Premiere: Dastaan LIVE Return with Fiery Rock Anthem ‘Kaun Bataye?’

The New Delhi collective have released their second song, following 2019’s “Mat Ro Bachche”

Anurag Tagat Jul 30, 2021

New Delhi collective Dastaan LIVE.

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A staple song performed ever since they began gigging in 2018, New Delhi art-rock group Dastaan LIVE’s latest single “Kaun Bataye?” is adapted from an anonymous poem that is half lament and half hope in the face of adversity.

Recorded at New Delhi’s Ghar Ka Studios with multi-instrumentalist-producer Ritwik De and bassist Amar Pandey, Dastaan LIVE’s members had the probing Hindi rock song fully tracked before the pandemic hit.

However, the band had trouble follow them following a performance at an art festival in December 2019, which they’ve since managed to shake off. Co-founder and bassist Anirban Ghosh says, “That put a spanner in the works as far as performances were concerned for the collective in addition to jeopardizing our intended future releases. Then the pandemic hit, spreading members of the collective in different cities across India and further stymying our progress.”

Nevertheless, with “Kaun Bataye?” – the follow up to their 2019 debut single “Mat Ro Bachche” which adapted a Faiz Ahmed Faiz poem – is a rousing, psychedelic song that sees the band unfazed in their socially conscious themes. They sing about the loss of humanity and humaneness, the existential dread of every day being the same but also about how we can prevail. The song brings together lead vocalist Jagtinder Singh Sidhu, vocalist Sudheer Rikhari, guitarist-vocalist Sumant Balakrishnan, drummer Nikhil Vasudevan, guitarist Shubhanshu Singh, bassist Ghosh, percussionist Varun Gupta and backing vocals from Pinak Mokashi, who also edited the music video.

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The track is heightened by the crowdsourced music video featuring artists, performers and followers of Dastaan Live, some of whom the band didn’t even know directly. Co-founder and guitarist-vocalist Sumant Balakrishnan says, “When the videos started coming in, we were overwhelmed by the efforts and sheer creativity of people who didn’t really know us but believed in the project, and moreover the song. This forced us to up our game in terms of self-generated content and helped us see the entire video from a different perspective,”

Ghosh adds that there’s more coming up for the band now that they’ve got a handle on things. “Overcoming the challenges of physical distance and adapting to the new normal, Dastaan LIVE has managed to line up a large amount of original material for release in 2021 and 2022,” he says.

Watch the video for “Kaun Bataye?” below.

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