Playing the devil's advocate

City band Swarathma will unveil its new single this Friday and this time it's the media they have taken on
For months, Cooke Town witnessed heavy noise, bursts of laughter in the middle the night and now a silence grips the area.

The jamming room of city-based folk rock band Swarathma has seen it all - arguments, fights, laughter and also the birth of their latest single Aaj Ki Taaza Fikar that their fans have already given a thumbs up to.

The new single will feature in their second studio album Topiwale, due for release next month. What makes this single unique is that for the first time an Indian band has collaborated with a fan to write the lyrics of a track.
The band was also guided by acclaimed composer/producer Loy Mendonca, who in their words has worked miracles for this album.

Says Loy about the band, "They are a great live band with a lot of colour and a nice Indian touch to the performances. I have always liked the kind of songs they write and the social messages their lyrics carry. I have tried to bring in the theatrical angle of their performance into the album."

For hard core Swarathma fans, this single was a new revelation as the track talks about the world of media and the sensationalism of news that has left the common man confused.

"Once we decided to write a song on this theme, we started speaking about different personal experieneces. As a viewer we have noticed that often issues are hyped up by the media.

We are aware that many channels are owned by corporates and politicians, with their secret agendas. This song is all about the dilemma a viewer goes through," states Vasu Dixit, Lead Vocalist, Swarathma.

Collaborating with Puneet Sharma, a fan from Pune, the band wrote this song. However it wasn't easy. "Each band has their own style and we were used to Vasu's lyrics. Before Puneet shared these lyrics, we had already written the music and had been jamming. Vasu used to hum in the background and I didn't like the lyrics till the final recording.
It is the common man's perception of the media today," says Varun, lead guitarist of the band adding that his connection to the song came from an interesting twist his life took when the media had hyped up the Swine Flu problem. "I was sick and had a stage show.

Doctors told me that I had all the symptoms of Swine Flu and people were saying that one could die. I got on stage thinking I'd die performing.

Within a week the media announced that a cure had been found and the problem was not so serious after all. It was the same with the Anna Hazare movement - the fire has died. It is all becoming boom boom bang and then fizzes out. News today is short lived and this is our version of the media saga," explains Varun.

The song was initially themed around the power of youth but eventually they changed it to something they never tried before.

"Media is a necessary evil. A viewer might crib and cry over the overdose of each story that is given through various news channels - but at the end of the day, you can't ignore it. Also we wrote this song way back in 2003 but it took shape now," reveals Vasu.

The single expresses a lot of rage and has taken on a darker tone. The band believes that while the single doesn't make a mockery of the media, it surely take a very obvious dig at the media. Musically, the song has drawn inspiration from a popular folk Kannada song Kooranne, sung in the interiors of Karnataka by tribal groups

Where Bedroom Jam, Counterculture
ON November 25
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