Purple Penchant's new song '7 Special People' tribute to victims, survivors of 2020 North East Delhi riots

Musicians Avik Roy and Bhanu Sharma narrate stories of courage, empathy, and hope through their song, 7 Special People
Locals serve tea and food to the affected at Brijpuri area of Delhi | express
Locals serve tea and food to the affected at Brijpuri area of Delhi | express

Purple Penchant, an alternative indie rock band by drummer and composer Avik Roy and vocalist and bassist Bhanu Sharma, is out with a song titled 7 Special People as a tribute to the victims and survivors of 2020 North East Delhi riots.

“These riots have been the most under-reported ones so far. There was a lot of negative news that circulated. But we came across many stories of hope and positivity. People from both communities helped maintain communal harmony, tended to the victims and saved lives,” says Roy, the lyricist of the song.“We wanted to bring out these positive stories — of courage, empathy, and hope,” quips Sharma, who has delivered the political commentary in the song, and laid down a smooth bass line to give it a solid foundation.

“The CAA/NRC protest period was an emotional one for me. I witnessed police brutality up close. There were violent attempts to quash the right to protest and the deadly riots followed, wherein we saw the city’s worst side. But, so many individuals full of courage, passion and compassion came forward and determinedly helped control these riots. They are the inspiration behind 7 Special People,” adds Sharma.

This homage is also for the public who stood their ground against the rioters. “It is a reminder that we have not lost our sense of community. That despite the grim news, there still exist scores of people who give us the hope that we can stand strong as a country,” says Roy.

Roy is also coming out with short video interviews of these seven people on his YouTube channel, wherein these people will recount the incident in their own words. Talking about how they got in touch with the seven, Roy says, “Following the lockdown, we did some fund-raisers to help people with food and medicines. One of these was with an NGO Karwan-e-Mohabbat that was helping riot-affected families. This NGO connected us to these seven people.”

7 Special People is inspired by Porcupine Tree’s Sound of Muzak and Sting’s 7 Days; the influences are identifiable in the drum solo and vocals. The song’s structure follows a traditional verse, pre-chorus and chorus format, with two solo interludes between the first chorus and the second verse and at the beginning of the outro respectively.

“The entire song continues in 7/4 until the outro, where Roy shifts to playing in 4 but the band continues to play in 7, giving it a unique polyrhythmic finale. Unlike other songs that make a distinct attempt to sound odd when rhythmic oddities are involved, 7 Special People remains accessible to the listener throughout,” says Roy. 7 Special People and its music video is available on Spotify, YouTube and Apple, among other streaming services.

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The New Indian Express