Arjun S Ravi has been writing about music for over a decade and he’s particularly keen on independent bands in India. The genesis of the six-part web documentary, Standing By, perhaps began there, taking shape with Red Bull Media House and OML (Only Much Louder), who are also the co-producers of this film. “Western music has been part of Indian culture since before the 1930s. And Standing By is about discovering the roots of the various forms of non-Indian music in the country. From rock and metal to electronica, jazz and even beat music - none of these genres were born here. Yet we have made it our own in a very unique way,” says Ravi, who has directed it.
The documentary features over 120 individuals who are part of the music industry. “We didn’t just talk to musicians, but people who have been part of record companies, event managers, even government officials (from the arts and culture department) - anyone who’s involved in the music movement,” he adds. The documentary has been shot across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Shillong, and uncovers the most unique stories. “Do you know there used to a Filipino jazz band in the ’40s that played in the Munger district of Bihar or that, in 1988, one of India’s earlier bands, Rock Machine, along with Gary Lawyer, Leslie Lewis and Louis Banks went to the USSR to play rock music in the Festival of India?” he asks.
Ravi says he wants to interest people in these musicians. “If this series can pique someone’s interest to look up these independent musicians or be a little curious, our job is done,” he says, adding, “The website will also have a digital timeline that documents all these stories we’ve collected. Click on the link and you can read everything that’s been included in the documentary.”
From October 14. Details: standingby.in