INDIAN WOMEN BANDS-SMASHING STEREOTYPES 10
Continuing the series of blogs by IWRM on Indian women who have smashed stereotypes and have entered male bastions, here is the tenth piece on Indian Women Bands.
Below are Indian women bands who have been defying the stereotypical thought process and building faith in women empowerment with their music and team spirit.
- Tetseo Sisters (Nagaland)
Mütsevelü, Mercy, Alune and Kuvelu, the Tetseo Sisters began their journey in 1994 and haven’t looked back since! Keeping their love for music and the flames of their Chakhesang tribe burning, the Tetseo Sisters are loved by all. Their genres include folk, fusion and western along with ‘Li’, the Naga folk genre. What stands out for them along with their barrier breaking music is their love for traditional attire. Upholding the values of their tribe comes naturally to them The Tetseo Sisters are the true cultural ambassadors of the North East performing the traditional folk music of Nagaland vocally as a band in many popular live shows across the country and abroad. They have been featured in numerous cultural events and are regulars at Music Festivals around the country including Hornbill Music Festival, Storm Festival, North East Festival, Kalakshetra Foundation, Cultures of Peace series, Folk Nations and more recently at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2014.
- Afflatus (Meghalaya)
Hailing from Shillong, Afflatu (Uh-flay-tus) is a four-member rock band that let’s the music do the talking for them. With Grace Miller at the vocals, Karen Donoghue strumming some amazing tunes with the guitar, Sharon Zadeng going bassy and Mercy Millers keeping the beats going with drums, the Afflatus have been rocking the musical stage all around India with spunk and quirkiness.There is an enigmatic spirit within their rock and reggae mix music that’s highlighted by a more than strange female bravado. According to the band members, their journey was “inspirational” that never lost sight of the one thread, one passion, one love that binds them together; the love of creating music. Afflatus is said to be the emergence of a truly international sound, having the record label with India. Although the band is influenced simply by life itself, but the band can’t deny the fact that they are also influenced by the sounds of the Beatles, RHCP, Flux Pavillion and Bruno Mars. Their debut performance as Afflatus in 2004 won them an award and that too at the national level. Since then, Afflatus, have come a long way with a debut album in the making, numerous high profile concerts under their belt and the emergence of a truly international sound.
- The Vinyl Records (Arunachal Pradesh)
Taking inspiration from The Runaways, The Strokes and B-52’s among others, The Vinyl Records are not a band to mess with! This four member band consists of Cheryyrian Bark, who is the lead vocalist, Banu Jini on the guitars, Minam on the bass and Mithy on the drums. Their genre reflects much of their inspirations – indie rock, post punk and new wave. They are the poster children of new waves from the 70s and 80s with a touch of glam and oozing of rock star confidence! Formed in February 2010, The Vinyl Records is considered as one of the most happening bands in the Indian rock music circuit, the band got featured on MTV F1 Rocks 2011, and since then they have regularly appeared in many countless top journals including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Tehelka. They have performed in well known festivals and events like the Ziro Festival of Music, Puma Loves Vinyl, The LOUDEST Gig in Delhi, etc. The band members are Banu Jini, Minam Tekseng, Mithy Tatak and Cheyyrian Bark.
- Apples (Mizoram)
Apples is a three piece Rock ‘N’ Roll all girl band from Aizawl. The three girls began their music journey in october, 2007. The Apples is fronted by Zodingliani with her retro rock style and smirking off high energy guitar wizardy. The band includes of Jojo(Vocalist), ZoZoi(Drummer), Afaki (Bassist) and DingDingi(Guitarist). They have also covered the Mizo version of the 50’s hit “Stupid Cupid” which helped them increase their popularity and fan base. The band’s main principle is to produce commercial and semi-commercial music taste of their community.
- Minute of Decay (Manipur)
Worshon Muivah is the lead vocalist and guitarist, Singchon Muivah is going the bass route and Thotyaphy Muivah is beating those drums. Coming from a family that loves music, it’s no surprise their influences (Janis Joplin, CCR, Led Zeppelin) reflect in their genre. Funk rock, indie pop and indie folk are backdrop of their music. The three sisters wish to continue their love for music for generations to come through their music.The band mainly plays classic rock punctuated by a stylized pinch of contemporary vocals and alternative riffs – an obsession with sweet medleys.Minute of Decay’s preparatory is laced with a fine example of foresight and discipline from their parents. Their own love affair with music, they ensured, would survive into the next generation through their children, even if it means an all-girls situation.
- The Chosen (Mizoram)
This girl band can teach you a thing or two about praising god musically. Originating from Aizawl, The Chosen are a Christian band that believe music is the gateway to the soul and to find god in your heart. The outfit consists of Moitei and Fiona on the vocals, Seni on guitars, Xoey with her bass, Malsomi on keys, Afeli on drums and Parema, who is the song-writer and manager. They praise the Lord in pop, pop-rock and indie, and man, are they good. Although most of their songs are in their native language,Mizo, a sense of serenity is felt regardless!The band had risen up to the Mizo music scene with their first single “Broken Wings”, later followed by “Kan fak a che (We praise you)”. The lead vocalist Fiona Lalmalsawmi Pachuau won Special Award at MoonLight Awards 2011. Essentially a Pop, Pop-rock, Indie band, the band, started jamming out in the first half of 2009 and got together as a Gospel band (All-Girl band) by the end of that year.
7.Genesis of Pink (Sikkim)
Genesis of Pink is a new generation band from Sikkim. They draw inspiration from groups like Led Zeppelin, John Mayer, Norah Jones and The Doors, and believe in versatility. Beginning their journey in 2013, the girls have taken the nation by storm with their music, good looks and confidence. They convey the message of everyday struggles of societal living and delicate issues like rape and violence.Formed in April 2013, Genesis of Pink is a Gangtok based four member punk-rock band comprises of Mahima Apchunna Rai (Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist), Dechen Gyurmi Zangmu (Lead Guitarist), Annies Pamo Lucksom (Bassist) and Shrishti Rai (Keyboardist). The band released two music videos “Who are you” and “Ka Bata” in 2016.
- Blue Corn (Mizoram)
Blue Corn is a pop trio and one of the most popular girl groups of Mizoram. The group consists of Felicia Singson, Kim Kimi and Tlingi. In 2006, they released their music video “Lung Lawm A kim” from their debut album – Lunglawn Akim. The album enjoyed a lime-light success in Mizoram, Manipur and other parts of Northeast states. They popularity hits not only in Mizoram but neighbouring states of Manipur and Nagaland as well.
- Hurricane Girls (Assam)
In 2011, Assam’s first all-girl band was formed in a small village of Nahira, about 30 km off Guwahati. The lead vocalist, composer and director Mamani Kalita along with her drummer friend Arju Begum took the initiative. Apart from headlining various festivals in their home state, this fusion-folk rock band has played an array of gigs hitting Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. The band’s musical journey began in 2011 performing at a cultural function organised by a coaching institute at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati. The band uses some traditional Assamese musical instruments like dhol, nagara, dotara with keyboard, guitar, drums and modern percussion instruments to create a musical illusion. Band members as on 2016 – Mamani, Mumpy, Maina kaberi, Jenny, Luku and Pragya.
- Vivance – Naga Girls (Nagaland)
This four member Naga group is fairly new, but they are already creating waves in the indie circuit. They’re a coming-of-age pop band, and the amalgamation of the serenity of their voices and orchestrated musical talent make them a standout group!This four piece pop band from Dimapur is an offspring of collective efforts punched by Mhonyamo Kikon and Meyi to introduce a catchy flavor of girl power into the Nagaland music scene. Formed on November 25, 2013, the band’s style of playing is considered to have a blend of pop rock, and Indie, so they call themselves an experimental Pop/Indie rock band, the joy and to uplift and empower women in the state. In 2014, the band has released their Debut EP Dream Out Loud.
- Pais and The PetticoatsThis Mumbai based group is a powerhouse of talent! With Alisha Pais leading the way with her husky voice, Naama killing it at the drums, Snehala strumming away her love for music, Pia sharing Alisha’s interest in breaking into a song and Samay joining them now and then, this band sure knows how to transport their life experiences and dreams in the most musical way possible. Their genres are folk, alternative and soul-pop and boy, do they know how to keep a crowd swooning to their orchestrated love for music!
- Colour Chaos
With love, fusion acoustics and the virtuous display of freedom, the Colour Chaos’s music echoes all the way from Chennai. With Shalini on guitars and Shema on the djembe and a paired effort of vocals, they relate to the crowd with music as a form of expression! Their style of music is a fusion of Indian and western acoustics. With strings to pluck on, voices to raise and beats to thump to on the djembe, the Colour Chaos can fill your soul with music!
- Tritha Sinha and Ritika Singh – SPACE
Two extremely talented and acknowledged women of our time, they bring women empowerment to the fore with a bang! While Tritha is more rooted to her Bengali musical lineage, Ritika brings the contemporary side to music. Their collaboration SPACE talks about women expressing their rights and emotions through performance and music. Bengali, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, their electro-fusion feat has all the languages and elements of power house trip with a little help from Paul Schnieter!
- The Void
Kickstarting with the name ‘Maiden Raga’ in early 2014, these girls know how to rock and roll! Ritika, Vinaya and Anagha were basektball buddies who came up with the idea of forming a band and Suvarna came thumpthumping with her drumming skills in August 2014. They draw their inspiration from bands such as Switchfoot, Nirvana and Aerosmith among other and it reflects perfectly well in their genres too – soft rock, punk rock and classic rock.
15 Stree Shakti-World’s First All-Female Indian Classical Band
Formed in 1996 by Anuradha Pal, Stree Shakti band has been enthralling audiences with its flawless presentation of engaging combinations from both, Hindustani & Carnatic systems of music. A unique combination of melody, poetry & rhythm fusing the traditional with the contemporary, with power packed World Percussion, is what gives Anuradha Pal’s Stree Shakti band, a discernible edge & explains its popularity for over 20 years. Anuradha Pal’s Stree Shakti performed at the world famous WOMAD Festival (U.K-1999) for 150,000 fans. This performance won great appreciation from the Rock star Sting, who ‘was blown away by their show’ & even hailed them as the ‘Indian Spice Girls’. The band also collaborated with the Pan African Orchestra for a concert tour of England, Ireland & Scotland in 2002. The bands performances at Prestigious International Music Festivals include the Rhythm Sticks Festival, Oldham Mela, BBC Music Live, Common Wealth Games Festival, City of London Festival, Cardiff Jazz Festival, Asian Music Festival, Bangkok International Music Festival and in India for ICCR, SAARC & CHOGM Summit, SRA – ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Spirit of Unity Concerts, Nehru Centre, NCPA, Malleshwaram Sangeetha Sabha, Hyderabad Hydourite Festival, Pracheen Kala Kendra, Bangalore Percussive Arts, World Music festival, Bharat Bhawan, M.P. Kala Parishad, Lilavati Hospital amongst numerous others.
These innovative & path-breaking bands challenges gender stereotypes & biases, celebrating the emergence of woman power in the ‘male-bastion of Indian Bands, thus promoting female empowerment, inclusion, opportunity, equality & dignity.