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Exclusive Release: No Hero’s Mellow Four-track EP ‘Un Own’

Stream Hyderabad-based musician Akhil Kodamanchili’s somber rock-rooted release

Nabeela Shaikh Jul 05, 2016
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Hyderabad-based composer Akhil Kodamanchili aka No Hero. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Hyderabad-based composer Akhil Kodamanchili aka No Hero. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Where does Akhil Kodamanchili derive his moniker No Hero from? “Apathy. A lot of apathy,” says the Hyderabad-based multi-instrumentalist. “I realized there’s a lot of shit in the world and while I do acknowledge it, I don’t really try to step out and try and to fix it, so what does that make me?”

Kodamanchili, 25, consciously shows a similar””albeit milder””indifference to any kind of genre distinction, even having described himself as “genre-agnostic” in previous interviews. “I’ve become obsessed with the concept of no genre,” he says. “I couldn’t understand how I could commit to any single genre or how I could pick one over another”¦Eventually I just accepted I’m not going to have a genre and make music””whatever  it is. So today I may be more alt-rock, but tomorrow may be pop.”

Sure enough, his solo debut album Bare Witness [which released last December] resists definition as it packs in elements of alternative rock, dream pop, electronica, jazz metal (!) and hip-hop. The improv-driven nine-track release, as Kodamanchili explains, was born out of an hour-long jam with drummer Peter Francis Joshua, with much of the impromptu session laying the foundation for the music: “I cut up [the jam recording] and tried to figure out ”˜Even though there’s no premeditated motif [to the music], how do I make it seem more than just banter?’”

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But Kodamanchili is doing the exact opposite on his new EP. He says, “I wanted to flex my mind and intended that songs are written, solos are fairly thought out rather than thinking ”˜Okay, here’s a progression I’m just going to improvise’.” With Un Own, Kodamanchili explains that he’s letting go of compositions he’s held on to for a while, in order to make way for new music. The four-track EP includes two rock-rooted tracks and their acoustic renditions ”” “Fragile” is a somber affair where the anti-hero indulges the “more human side of himself” [So into the wild I’m gonna walk with a smile on my face /As it hides all the love you’ve denied] while “Tomorrow Never Comes One Day” is about “how we tend to make decisions without considering the fact that one day we’re going to die. I feel like a lot of the times we choose partners and we associate with people for reasons that do not fit into the basic logic of ”˜I’m going to die one day, could be any day, so is this the best decision I can make today?’”

Kodamanchili for his part, has had his fair share of associations””right from his “first teenage metal band” Skrypt to an experimental act called Almost September around 2007. He says he was originally headed towards “the usual engineering bullshit” before he set off to Canada’s Selkirk College to study music composition between 2010 and 2012. After returning, Kodamanchili dabbled in several projects [folk, industrial metal, avant garde, blues rock and electronica] and also landed a teaching gig at Thermal and a Quarter’s Bengaluru-based music institution Taaqademy, before he returned to Hyderabad to work on No Hero material last year. He says, “I’ve been working on solo stuff ever since I knew recording was possible, but it’s changed names and forms quite a bit.”

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Listen to ”˜Un Own’ below.

Un Own EP



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