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Inaugural Edition of The Indies Awards Announce Winners

Swadesi, Sid Sriram, Lifafa and Parvaaz and more are clinching the top spot

Rolling Stone India Dec 27, 2020

Swadesi, Sid Sriram and Parvaaz (from left to right) are amongst top winners at The Indies 2020. Photos: Jacky Nayak (Swadesi), Agniprava Nath/Courtesy of Bacardi NH7 Weekender (Sid Sriram), Courtesy of the artist (Parvaaz)

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The likes of Mumbai hip-hop crew Swadesi, Indo-American singer-producer Sid Sriram and rock band Parvaaz have been awarded the top honors at the first edition of The Indies, instated earlier this year for independent music.

Across 18 categories, artists with releases in 2019 were in the running for The Indies. While electronic artist Lifafa‘s Jaago was given Album of the Year, Swadesi copped Artist of the Year and Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, while Parvaaz clinched Song of the Year for “Soyeja” and Best Rock Artist for their 2019 album Kun. For his mellifluous croon that oscillates between Carnatic and R&B/pop, Sid Sriram took home Best Pop Artist for his album Entropy as well as Best Male Vocalist. While Best Electronic Artist went to producer Pulpy Shilpy aka Gowri Jayakumar, post-hardcore band Pacifist won Best Metal Artist.

The rest of the categories spread the winnings in a diverse manner, with Kerala fusion band Thaikkudam Bridge’s Ruthin Thej awarded Best Keyboardist, and Warren Mendonsa picking up Best Guitarist as Blackstratblues. An additional win for the Swadesi camp came with Producer of the Year going to Bandish Projekt aka Mayur Narvekar for their collaborative record Khulle Naagde.

The jury featured everyone from Texan trio Khruangbin to guitar ace Ron ‘Bumblefoot‘ Thal and U.K. bassist Anthony Crawford to music journalist Alexander Milas, Los Angeles drummer-producer Madame Gandhi and Billboard Indonesia’s Adib Hidayat. Indian music veterans such as Louiz Banks, Indian Ocean’s Rahul Ram, guitarist Ehsaan Noorani, rock band Indus Creed’s Uday Benegal, singer-actor Luke Kenny, vocalists like Vasundhara Das, Vivienne Pocha and Arati Rao and Britain-bred MC PAV4N were also scoring the nominees. Rolling Stone India executive editor Nirmika Singh was also part of the jury. Check out the full list of winners below.

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The Indies Winners 2020

Song of the Year 
“Soyeja” by Parvaaz

Album/EP of the Year 
Jaago by Lifafa

Artist of the Year 

Best Rock Artist
Parvaaz, for Kun

Best Pop Artist
Sid Sriram, for Entropy

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist
Swadesi, for Khulle Naagde

Best Electronic Artist
Pulpy Shilpy, for Slough

Best Metal Artist
Pacifist, for Greyscale Dreams

Best Emerging Artist

Best Keyboardist
Ruthin Thej from Thaikkudam Bridge, for Namah

Best Bassist
Leslie Charles from Thermal And A Quarter, for “Leaders of Men”

Best Drummer
Aniketh Ashok from Haiku-Like Imagination, for Eat Lead, Motherbuzzer!

Best Guitarist
Warren Mendonsa, from Blackstratblues, for When It’s Time

Best Female Vocalist
Meera Desai, for I’ve Never Been Happier to Be Lost

Best Male Vocalist
Sid Sriram, for Entropy

Producer of the Year
Mayur Narvekar, for Khulle Naagde by Swadesi and Bandish Projekt

Best Album Art
Karsh Kale, for “Disappear,” art by Archan Nair

Music Video of the Year 
“Hit By the Gravity” by Marshall Sachin


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