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Shadow in the limelight!

Delhi band Shadow has won an award in ‘Best Electro / Dance Act' category at the Asia Pacific VOICE Independent Music Awards

SHADOW PLAY Vineet (left) and Rajan

The Asia Pacific VOICE Independent Music Awards 2010 (AVIMA) in Malaysia, has emerged as a prominent platform for Indie musicians in the region. Interestingly, the Awards, beside conventional categories such as Best Rock Act, Best Rock Group (with equivalent categories in Pop and Hip Hop categories), also have ‘The Bliss Award or Best Song to Play at Campfire or to do away with Monday morning blues', ‘Feelgood song of the Year' and ‘moody-melancholy masterpiece'. This year, Delhi band Shadow has ranked third in the Best Electro / Dance Act (Asia) category, behind Bottlesmoker (Indonesia) and DjayPee (Malaysia).

A new genre

Vineet Malhotra and Rajan Adlakha, who make up Shadow, call their music world progressive sound. As Rajan says: “Our music borders on all genres.” Read a mix of new age, ambient, down tempo, world, fusion and electronica. The band's launchpad has been what is the most popular springboard for many an Indie act — MySpace. Eight of Shadow's tracks have made it to the Top 10 on the Indian electronic charts, attracting more than 7,000 song plays in three months. “If you read the comments, you'll see that 90 per cent are from renowned musicians and DJs around the world,” says Vineet.

That's just the tip of the playlist. “We have a bank of 35 to 40 songs, which we keep working on to bring to the level we desire,” says Rajan. So, by June an album might be ready. Here, again, the Indie spirit prevails. “If we don't get a label, we plan to release it independently,” he adds.

While Vineet is the chief melody-maker, Rajan is the band's sound engineer. And, that's only a part of what they do every day — Vineet is a TV anchor (with two shows on NEO Cricket), model and sportswriter, and Rajan is an architect.

It all, though, started with a school reunion. Last August, exactly 14 years after both passed out of DPS, R.K. Puram, they met at a school reunion, and became friends. “I listened to a song Vineet had posted on Facebook. I liked it, and called him up, and said: ‘Why don't you do it professionally?'” recalls Rajan. “We decided to meet, and I taught myself the basics of the software he was using.”

Indian sounds form an important component of their songs. “If you listen to our tracks such as ‘When she looks at me' and ‘Seduction', you'll hear the sarod and the sitar. We're doing it electronically now, but we'd like to use real musicians and instruments,” Rajan says. Vineet's classical piano training came in handy. “The piano is predominant in our songs, and my training gave me an insight into composing music,” Vineet says. With world progressive sound, Vineet says, they'd like to fill that space between genres. And, ‘Asian Underground' is the latest entry.

“‘Asian Underground' is Indian melodies fused with western beats. World progressive sound borrows a lot from all genres, even African, Japanese and Spanish music. We have varied components in our sounds — a Spanish guitar is fused with the table, or even a hardcore electronic guitar with table,” Vineet explains. “The lyrics are about life, philosophy and philanthropy… something that has a lesson at the end of it.”

Their plans for their future are as much for their band as the genre. “One day, when you walk into a music store, you must see the section ‘World Progressive Sound'. Anyone anywhere in the world should be able to pick up our CD, and know where it came from. That's our aim,” Vineet signs off.


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