In January 2015, the band Saarang will complete three years. Over two-and-a-half years ago, PES College of Engineering, Bangalore, had held an audition for singers, to form a group of musicians for Hindustani classical music. It was during these auditions that five students, Manasa Rao, Durga R, Roshni Ravindran, Shashank Ashar and Silky Chandra, met each other and instantly formed a bond. With the help of one of their seniors, Vaqaar Ameen, they gradually started their journey as a musical band they called Saarang. Recalls Silky, “We gelled well together because we all had the zeal within us to do something new and special.”
The band first performed at the Visvesvaraya Technological University cultural fest in 2012, and since then have performed at various events at the intra and inter-college level. As the band’s popularity started soaring, so did the number of members. Starting with just five members, presently they have over 17 students in the fray. “It is more like a musical club now,” laughs Manasa. Quite a talented Bunch, Saarang has vocalists who can sing in different languages as well as play varied instrumentalists. “Guitarists, and tabla, violin, keyboard and mridangam players, composers and vocalists, the synergy is what differentiates us from others” says Silky.
Their music comprises Hindustani classical music, and sometimes has classical notes blended with Bollywood music and Indian fusion. “We love mixing different sounds. It creates an interesting blend,” says Manasa.
When asked about the story behind the name, Silky responds, “After a lot of brainstorming, we came to the consensus that we should name our band ‘Saarang’, taking inspiration from Raag Brindavani Saarang because all of us were fond of this classical raag.”
A few of the band members are on the threshold of completing their graduation as engineers. But they say in unity, “The spirit of Saarang will always stay alive wherever we go, whatever we become. We want to be part of something big, perhaps like Coke Studio.”