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Meet NEXA Music Top 24 Artist: Psychic Magicians

This alt rock quintet credit their great rapport with each other to cosmic fate

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Riddhi Chakraborty Feb 27, 2020

Psychic Magicians photographed by Prashin Jagger for Rolling Stone India.

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Formed in 2013 in Bhubaneshwar by vocalist and frontman Anirban Das and bassist/rapper Mansingh Soren, alt rock band Psychic Magicians credit their great rapport with each other to cosmic fate. “Our bassist Mansingh was writing something on his phone and I loved it and we both started making it into a song,” recalls Das. “As the song was starting to come alive, we knew there was a beautiful thing happening, there was a true psychic connection!”

They played their debut show in Bhubaneshwar in 2014 and began building a steady fanbase over the next few years, finally making the big move to Mumbai together in 2017, adding keyboardist Mriganka Bhattacharjya, guitarist Raja Pradhan and drummer Shubham Vaidya to the lineup. According to Das, Psychic Magicians hope to be the kind of band that can stick with each other as well as their fans to create music that makes a difference. “For us music is how we can inspire a large amount of people in a positive way,” says Das. “We got inspired by bands like Green Day, Linkin Park and The Beatles to believe in ourselves no matter what people keep saying and one day the dreams will be fulfilled. We want our fans to feel the same.”

Last year, the quintet decided to audition for NEXA Music, a nationwide hunt for English-language artists led by celebrated music director A.R. Rahman and producer Clinton Cerejo. “NEXA Music is a huge platform for any budding musician doing English music out there,” says Das. “We always thought, ‘Why is no one nurturing [English-language] acts from India?’ and we are so happy finally one big brand thinks the same way. The amount of exposure, experience working with the best of this industry, will certainly give wings to fly.” Psychic Magicians secured a spot for themselves in the Top 24 acts, getting to work on a track with Cerejo as a producer and earning a place on the cover of Rolling Stone India’s December 2019 issue with Rahman. “Oh we were dancing literally,” Das says when asked about how the band reacted to all this success. “It took us a couple of hours to process this actually. Never in our wildest dreams we thought to share name and frame with Mr A.R. Rahman. It was surreal.”

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Das goes on to explain that the band’s motivation to participate in NEXA Music was further fueled by the fact that they weren’t forced to change who they were as artists. “Fact is, NEXA Music is currently the biggest platform for original music. Musicians of this country can dare to write new songs! And that obviously means new music for audience, in its unadulterated form.” He adds that while there were some things that they had to adjust to when it came to working with such big names, the knowledge from the experience was priceless. “Never in our dreams we thought that we would be working with music producers from Bollywood. We were absolutely delighted to be a part of the record-making process with the top of the game producers and engineers. Being mentored by them was an eye-opener. We didn’t agree on some things and changes in the song, but with time we realized how much in a bubble we were and how necessary it is for a fresh and experienced ear for a new perspective.’

As for their plans in 2020, Psychic Magicians hope to embark on an India-wide tour with various other bands and artists. “We are also cooking some exciting new material which might be a departure from our current sound but still haven’t decided if we want to do an album, or EP or just release singles every couple of months,” Das reveals. “We will figure out with time how to serve them in the table.”

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