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Carving out a place for themselves in music

Drutaah, an all-woman band, is making inroads in an area dominated by male performers

Published: 01st March 2018 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2018 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

Members of ‘Drutaah All Women Vibrants’ a women music band  B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: City-based all-woman music band ‘Drutaah’ is finding a space of its own in an area dominated by male performers. Parvathy Ravikumar, an electronics engineer from Paravoor leads the band which has five members playing the instruments and four vocalists.

The band only chooses raga-based songs and delivers them without destroying the essence of the original. “Rendering old Malayalam songs in our own style without damaging the beauty of the originals is our specialty,” she said. Parvathy, who launched the band last year, has already found her venture winning the hearts of music buffs. “Our choice of music is a mixed genre. We play our own compositions and also raga-based songs with a classical touch. I am devoted to music and very particular that our band should not defile music,” she says.

A disciple of vocalist  K Omanakutty, Parvathy had tried to find artists from Kerala for her band. But finding professionals to play the instruments became a problem. “Most of the artists I met were either school-going students or those who had no interest in taking it up as a profession. So I had to extend my search to other states,” she said.

Larissa from Mumbai plays the keyboard. Neha Singh from Bhopal plays the bass guitar and Vagu from Chennai is the lead guitarist. Mevza Mohan and Bhadra Sandeep are on drums while  Ajina Surumi is the rhythm guitarist. Paravathy aside, the vocalists are Aiswarya  Samson, Aathira Murali and Adithi Nair.
Since the instrumentalists are from outside the state, the expenses go up. About the music buffs’ response to ‘Drutaah,’ she said in a male-dominated music world there had been some initial hiccups in gaining acceptance. “In some places, music bands dominated by male singers had misbehaved with us, exposing their intolerance.  However, the mindset is changing,” she said.

On the other hand, fans outside Kerala had no problem accepting an all-woman band, she adds. “They treat us on par with male performers. But in Kerala, there is a misconception that women can only render slow numbers. The discrimination reflects even in the remuneration,” she reveals. But, she said, the trend today in cinema is a growing preference for music bands rather than music directors. Parvathy says she would make more effort to provide a chance to talented girls.

Ever since the band was launched on August 28, 2017, they have performed in Visakhapatnam, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram. The other day, the Kerala police engaged ‘Drutaah’ to perform before students at ‘Aspiration,’ an anti-narcotics campaign held in Thiruvananthapuram. The all-woman band has been receiving support from the government. The Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation, I&PRD and other government agencies have come forward to engage  ‘Drutaah’ for their events.



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