Going beyond 'Sufi Rock' with their soulful tracks - The New Indian Express

Going beyond 'Sufi Rock' with their soulful tracks

Published: 10th December 2013 08:20 AM

Last Updated: 10th December 2013 03:54 PM

Whether it's Kashif's blues/psychedelia drenched guitar tones or Khalid's powerfully seductive vocals that croon in Urdu and Hindi or Sachin and Fidel's inventive rhythm sections, Parvaaz is a band that'll have you hooked at first listen, be it live or otherwise. The band was formed in early 2010, when childhood friends Khalid Ahmed (vocals) and Kashif Iqbal (guitars), who both hail from Kashmir, reunited in Bangalore after a two year break. At the time, the duo mostly did acoustic gigs and jammed with a few musicians before finally settling down with Sachin Banandur (drums and percussion) and Fidel D'souza (bass) to make the current line-up.

The band is now working on its debut full-length album, its first single Khufiyan Dastaan is already available for streaming on their Bandcamp page. "We've penned about eight to ten new songs. We're constantly playing them live and checking which songs fit best with our sound and gauging the audience's reactions to them as well. So whatever fits best, goes into the album," says Kashif.

The band's EP Behosh that was released in 2012 has managed to earn itself some rave reviews. Take the title track Behosh that features some of the most explosive vocals heard in recent times or the nostalgic Itney Arse Ke Baad or the radiant Dil Khush that features some great, unrestrained guitar riffs and a catchy melody, the EP has something for everyone. "The EP has done a lot for us, and opened up a lot of avenues. It gave us a purpose because back then we had very few songs, and when we decided to put them together into an EP, we ended up with some great feedback, and some brilliant shows followed," explains Kashif, who is a mass communication student.

Parvaaz is now in talks with a music label for distributing their upcoming, yet untitled album. "How it'll work is that they'll distribute the music digitally, but the physical CDs will be sold by us at our gigs," informs Kashif. When asked about the debate between CDs and digital music, Kashif explains that they usually work hand in hand. "Even when it came to our EP, we had the CDs being sold out at our gigs. People usually want something tangible to take back with them after a gig. Whereas people who are sitting at home, and somehow come across the band, will immediately seek out our digital uploads. So yeah, I don't think CDs have died out completely yet," he says.

The band's influences vary from classic rock acts like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to newer indie acts from the US and the UK. "When it comes to Indian bands, Indian Ocean has been a huge inspiration. Watching them live has been a revelation for me, personally," says Kashif. He describes Parvaaz's music to be soulful, progressive with strong melodies. "We need our music to have a soulful base. The music or the melody comes first, and the lyrics and the rest of the elements fit into that framework," he explains.

Catch Khalid and Kashif performing an acoustic set at Humming Tree on December 12, at 8:30 pm. The whole band will perform on December 22 at Sunday Soul Sante.

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