BENGALURU: Jazz-hop outfit Fakeer and the Arc’s debut three-track EP – Ikigai – comes across as a boisterous record, one that revolves around relating between the external and internal world and self-realisation. The city-based band consists of frontman and vocalist Oran “Fakeer” Brahma along with the jazz trio “The Arc” led by guitarist Aniket Roy Chowdhury alongside drummer Shubham Bhardwaj and bassist Lalsang Donnie Phaipi. The sound of the recently-released EP was envisioned by Fakeer and Aniket, and with all members having learnt jazz and various other genres, each brings a unique style to the table.
“All the songs are an internal monologue of the state of mind where one tries to find their purpose and the experiences that come with it,” says Fakeer. The sound reflects nostalgia, heartbreak and a longing for meaning, with an effort to combine their love for jazz, psychedelic rock and hip-hop to create a distinct sound.
The three track EP consists of two originals and one being a contemporary take on the legendary jazz tune Mr. Sandman, with Fakeer rapping over the melody, re-imagined by The Arc using sugary melodies and groovy flows to counterpoint the darker themes that the lyrics touch upon – substance abuse, depression, loneliness and coping with reality.
On the other hand, Burn talks about a tragic but inevitable end of love and the emotions which are left behind, while Feel The Fire is more upbeat and showcases a confident person who is slightly free of his misery. “The song is based on the groovy jazz/funk riff that Aniket was messing around with, which acted as an anchor to the whole tune. The lyrics celebrate the feeling of losing everything, which therefore frees the mind and makes one feel invincible,” says Fakeer.
Although the band was formed in January 2020 after bringing on board Phaipi, Chowdhury asserts that the relationship between the members dates back to last year when they met at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, Chennai, while pursuing their diplomas in music performance. He adds, “We got back together in Bengaluru last year to start writing the EP with bassist Donald Lalsang Phaipi .”
Ask him about the brains behind the songwriting and he says, “Most of the time, Fakeer and I write the rough song and then the band joins in to add their parts to it. Sometimes Fakeer writes the hook and brings it to the jams and then the band builds over that. In the coming months, we have a single coming out soon, and we are also working on a second EP, for which we are going to hit the studio soon.”