When Urdu speaks the language of rock

Sep 02, 2018, 09:34 IST | Nasrin Modak Siddiqi

Four-member band Joshish is looking at Urdu beyond poetry and shayari

When Urdu speaks the language of rock

Long after you have finished listening to their songs, the lyrics continue to linger in your head. When you hear words like khurdure (rough) and nashedi (addict) blended with post-progressive rock music, you’re in for a lyrical treat anyway. While the music moves you, the lyrics soothe you. It’s little wonder when you get to know that Sameer Rahat, who writes the lyrics for the band Joshish, hails from a family of poets. He grew up surrounded by Urdu literature, looking up to his parents’ — Rahat Indori and Anjum Rehbar — writings, and so, all his songs are heavily Urdu-poetry driven, making each one, phonetically unique.

Songs by Joshish, especially from their debut album Ird-gird like Subah, Maujood, Nashedi and Riha, "derive inspiration from the topics in life that make us question our existence, in terms of survival, resistance and faith. We’ve always aimed at writing songs that can ignite thoughts in the listener’s head. Someone usually comes up with a melody or a basic idea of a song and then we take it to the jam room and spend time with it until it reaches its faith," says Rahat.

Joshish was formed in 2016 by Sameer Rahat in Bhopal with a few of his school friends. For almost a decade, they had performed in and around Bhopal before shifting base to Mumbai with a new line-up. It’s an eclectic bunch that includes Lucknow boy Aryaman Chatterji (drums) who hails from a family of musicians including film composer, Vinod Chatterji and ghazal singer, Shumona Roy Biswas. Shardul Donde (rhythm guitars) is a computer science graduate and guitar prodigy. Sanju Aguiar (lead guitar) is one of the most sought after session guitarists in the music industry now and he regularly plays with Bollywood musicians like Pritam, Mickey Mccleary, Ankit Tiwari to name a few — Joshish is his passion project. Sameer Rahat (bass and lead vocals) studied film making from Mumbai while already pursuing music from the age of 17. He is a full-time film composer too.

The band plays post-progressive rock, which is a rare space to be. "Sometimes it doesn’t work in our favour, because it’s very difficult to categorise our music or even understand what post-prog rock is, which is simply, progressive rock music but with simpler and more singalong songwriting," explains Rahat. At the Hard Rock gig, they’ll play songs from Ird gird and some new stuff as well.

When: 8:30 pm, September 6
Where: Hard Rock Café, Andheri
Entry: Rs 500 onwards
To Book: in.bookmyshow.com

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