View from the sidelines by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy
Imagine a band playing at Dublin (a bar in Chennai) on a Saturday night clad in veshti (dhoti) and chanting slokas in contemporary fashion when party owls are busy socializing, and gaining acceptance! Yodhakaa, a band of five, led by Darbuka Siva, and Pradeep Vijay in male and Susha (Subiksha Rangarajan) in female lead, has found it easygoing in a kutcheri setting too. Contemporary music that synchs both Western and Indian classical music in various adaptations is a new style that Yodhakaa has followed to win an impressive follower base. A chance opportunity to perform won Yodhakaa the contact of PurpleNotes, a Satyam Cinema group company, which encourages independent bands to gain acceptance in various fora. Priya Krishnan, the marketing head of PurpleNotes, engaged Shiva, Pradeep, and Susha in an interesting conversation at the Weekend Media Workout organized by Access Atlantech Edutainment (a media company headed by Rathish Babu).
Shiva narrated their experience of recording at Yash Chopra Studios for their first ever album. The setting was new and it took one month of hard work from the band members to get the album out. You can download Yodhakaa’s songs from their mini-store at their website. Apps are also available for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android phones. Listen to their soul-stirring music in this YouTube video:
Pradeep highlighted the appreciation that they receive while playing both to traditional classical music audience as well as Western music audience. That shows the success of their experiment of blending traditional theme and contemporary music. Yodhakaa means warriors in Sanskrit and that has nothing to do with their vision of taking their music to an international audience, Shiva emphasizes. Like their female lead has adapted her name Subiksha Rangarajan to become Susha, which looks a bit Jewish and Western, Yodhakaa has blended the sacred slokas with contemporary music played using Western instruments. This new breed of youth are breaking new grounds that gives a different experience to our ears, if not souls.
PurpleNotes, their angel, which has funded their first album and encouraging their venture, deserves special appreciation. But for these angels, Shiva and team would not have found a wider reach. They need to scale more heights and this is only a start. YourStory wishes Yodhakaa greater success.