A popular college band in the city, Urjah, has taken its audience by storm. Quite often when someone goes to college, their campus transforms into their own little world. They have their own leaders, artists, activists and musicians. In the world of Maturi Venkata Subba Rao Engineering College (MVSR) in Hyderabad, Urjah is the obsession of the students and pride of the teachers. Urjah means energy. Music gives them an overwhelming sensation of energy and spirit, hence the name, the band members explain.
Though it was formed only a couple of years ago, there is a sense of history associated with it. “It was the first band formed in our campus. As soon as we started, it became a rage with all the students. The entire college showed up at our first performance and we haven’t looked back since then,” says Ashwin Athrey, lead guitarist of the band.
Apart from Ashwin, the band comprises Archit Sonty (lead vocals-male), Malathi Kambhampati (lead vocals-female) — Surendra Adithe, Apoorva, Snighda (vocals); Abhishek Sangavarapu and Srujan Abraham (percussion), Praneeth Taragam (bass guitar) . They have performed at their college fest, Samavarthan aur Sangamam, and at Vignana Jyothi Institute’s cultural fest.
“We normally play contemporary Indian music but we also like to play western music from time-time. Though we like to improvise, we usually go by what the audience wants,” he continues. They mostly perform popular hindi songs by AR Rahman and Shankar Ehsaan Loy from movies like Rock on, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Rang De Basanti and Dil Se, to name a few. In English, they perform popular hits like Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69, Coldplay’s Fix You and The Cranberries’ Zombie.
However, with several seniors graduating from college and leaving the band, the new batch of musicians have their task cut out. “They (seniors) were amazing and guided us through. We have some big shoes to fill to sustain the standards of Urjah,” says Ashwin, signing off.