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Full Volume: Here’s A Lowdown on Releases, Events and More on World Music Day

Musicians and music fans can pick from livesteam concerts, education and mentorship opportunities

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Jun 21, 2020

This World Music Day, choose between a host of new music as well as events and new initiatives. Photo: Pixabay

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Despite a global pandemic, the music hasn’t stopped, which proves testament to just how resilient it can get when push comes to shove. This World Music Day, more releases and iniatives than ever have sprung up to mark the occasion. We take a look at just a few of the new videos and songs as well as platforms and brands making their mark for musicians.

Sona Mohapatra – “Tori Surat” (Unplugged)

Singer-composer Sona Mohapatra has been spending time in quarantine with different projects – her documentary Shut Up Sona had a song release with the highly artistic music video for “Nit Khair Manga,” she’s shared the spotlight with collaborative, guitar-centric video performances on Guitar Wale Gaane and now there’s an unplugged version of “Tori Surat.” With this iteration (which even includes a short, closing Konnakol jam), Mohapatra reassures listeners not just about their self-worth but also salutes those who make others feel valued through all times.

Paraj – “Continue”

Bengaluru-based guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Paraj Kumar Singh (previously of prog band Rainburn and part of instrumental band Flaw & Order) provides balm for the worried mind on his debut solo release “Continue.” He asks, “What if your time has only just begun?” over soaring prog rock arrangements that sheds light on mental health struggles.

Nikhita– “Recreational Love”

Mumbai-based songstress Nikhita Gandhi turns on the charm with her latest single “Recreational Love,” featuring hip-hop leaning production from ZIA aka Zafar Iqubal Ansari. The cozy song talks about a new kind of feeling for the artist, as she sings hazily in a soul croon that’s reminiscent of artists like Sade.

Viveick Rajagopalan – “Nayya”

Ace percussionist, Konnakol artist and producer Viveick Rajagopalan teams up with Indian classical voice Sveta Kilpady and Kolkata bassist Shovon Mukherjee for a song that’s especially composed for the current times. The dramatic, well-paced and plucky “Nayya” alludes to devotion and faith in the times of crises.

Carolina Norbu and Kabir Jamatia – “HIM”

Marking not just World Music Day but also Pride Month, Arunachalese singer-songwriter Carolina Norbu and producer Kabir Jamatia (from indie rock band Yesterdrive) have created “HIM,” a dreamy, lo-fi electronic love song. In the track, Norbu sings wistfully about a situation in which a girl fears losing a man to another man.

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Sasi the Don – “Daddy Don”

To celebrate Father’s Day – which coincides with World Music Day – reggae and dancehall artist Sasi the Don creates “Daddy Don,” a surefire club banger. He salutes all the fathers putting in the work and “keeping it real” around the world. The quick-paced, electro-leaning song also features a Carnatic vocal hook added in for diversity.

Sounds of Society

In May, collaborative music series Sounds of Society released their second season’s new video, a wavy, saxophone-infused dub collaboration between British artists Mr. Woodnote and Bellatrix called “Sugar On My Sweets.” Episode three will release later this month.

Soundscape by HCL Concerts

Kicking off earlier this week as a new live performance series by HCL Concerts, the organizers had the upper hand when it came to digital concerts much before the pandemic struck and forced everyone indoors. Now, their HCL Concerts digital reach expands scope to include fusion, folk and pop artists for Soundscape. While Rajasthani folk powerhouse Mame Khan kicked things off on June 19th and Sufi vocalist Kavita Seth took over on June 20th, folk-fusion rock band Euphoria’s frontman Palash Sen will mark World Music Day with a performance today. Tune in here.

Musicians Guild NL’s 5th World Music Day

From 6 pm to 8 pm today, a virtual concert streamed on YouTube will mark the 5th annual World Music Day celebrations by Musicians Guild NL in Nagaland. Performances across two hours include bands such as Street Stories, Polar Lights, Paper Sky and Ethnic Future, plus the Tetseo Sisters, pop artist Alobo Naga with seasoned bassist-composer Among Jamir, vocalist Virie and many more.

Indie Music Allies

A new initiative that aims to create a formalized sense of community by offering membership, Indie Music Allies wants to “bring together like-minded musicians and professionals to create a platform where they can share ideas and opportunities, contacts and resources, issues and solutions.” Indie Music Allies is founded by PR professional Schubert Fernandes, music journalist Amit Gurbaxani, podcast show Maed in India’s creators Mae Mariyam Thomas and Shaun Fanthome, music education company Offset’s founder and harpist Nush Lewis and digital music platform OK Listen’s founder Vijay Basrur. Musicians can register via a survey form here.

Furtados School of Music

Music schools and educators have not been too fettered by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, switching over to video calls and virtual classes. Amongst several of them are Furtados School of Music offering video-based peer to peer learning as well as changing their curriculum to adapt it to children who are currently home-schooled as well as adult (students as well as teachers) who are learning virtually. Tune in to their virtual concert featuring teachers and students celebrating World Music Day.

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Fete de la Musique 2020

Usually hosted across cities by Alliance Francaise India, World Music Day celebrations go fully digital this year with about six hours of livestreamed performances on Facebook. Everything from Western and Indian classical to fusion is up for viewing. Tune in on the Alliance Francaise Hyderabad Facebook page.

Ricky Kej and Lonnie Park’s ‘My Earth Songs’

Presented by Vivendi and in support of UNICEF, Grammy-winning New Age artist Ricky Kej teams up with composer-vocalsit Lonnie Park for My Earth Songs, which is a livestream concert featuring equally well acclaimed guests such as flautist Wouter Kellerman, Sengalese singer-guitarist Baaba Maal and more.

Dolby On

Two livestream gig series – Lockdown Gigs and JioSaavn’s Live Anywhere – have been boosted by recording app Dolby On. The free to use app for music and video recording allows musicians to livestream to audiences with refined sound quality. Everyone from singer-songwriter Dhruv Visvanath to Ankur Tewari, Hanita Bhambri and more have got on board to use the app.

Gaana

Music streaming giant Gaana offer a deep dive into a mapped out digital realm of music to celebrate World Music Day. The platform currently features a look at music from around the globe, with an interactive map that allows you to navigate to different countries and tune in to music that’s current but also typified to the region.

Bumble – Levelling the Charts

Networking app Bumble’s new campaign has called on hip-hop artist Raja Kumari, singer-producer Anushka Manchanda aka NUKA and pop artist Dhvani Bhanushali for ‘Levelling the Charts.’ Targeted towards woman musicians who are up-and-coming, the campaign will offer Bumble app users a window between June 19th and July 1st to match with the Levelling the Charts profile, with the winners receiving an “hour-long mentorship opportunity” with one of the three artists.

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