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Meet Nexa Music Top 24 Artist: Mocaine

The New Delhi blues-grunge outfit will drop their full length LP in early 2020

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Jessica Xalxo Dec 16, 2019

Amrit Mohan leads New Delhi blues-grunge project Mocaine. Photo: Courtesy of artist

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Amrit Mohan leads Mocaine, the New Delhi blues-grunge project, where the singer-songwriter brings musicians from across the Indian indie scene on-board with every new session. In 2017, the collective released their debut EP The Remainder, which was an emotionally cohesive collection of slow-tempo tracks with experimental instrumentation. They released their second EP Portrait of Dali in 2018, a departure from their debut EP with its heavy Nirvana-informed sound, while also dropping accompanying music videos for every track, featuring chalk-drawn animated landscapes, VHS-esque life visuals, slow-mo B&W memories and more. Shortlisted as Nexa Music’s Top 24 artists — a countrywide search for emerging English-language acts — the band is gearing up to drop their full length EP in early 2020.

Over the last two years, the band has been told an annoying number of times that their music is dated and passé, and Mohan finds it to be encouraging to learn that Nexa Music mentor A.R. Rahman doesn’t think so. About being a part of Nexa Music’s Top 24 cohort, Mohan says, “It’s encouraging, given the kind of music that Mocaine makes.” 

Mohan observes a dominance of other languages in mainstream music leading to the waning discovery of English-language original music in the country. “It’s always hard for an indie act made up of working class people to get across to a large audience, given our modest marketing budgets and promotional naïvete,” he says. Mocaine looks forward to working with Nexa Music in this respect too, in order to amplify their sound and hone the nitty-gritty of the trade that are vital learnings for new artists. 

The bandleader is intrigued by all the possibilities of working with Nexa mentors Rahman and Clinton Cerejo. Mohan says, “We feel we would be able to learn a lot about the optimal presentation of an idea from them, even if there isn’t much overlap in our sounds at the moment.” In the meantime, Mocaine has three more singles slated for release. 

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