India’s contribution to the world of music is that of immense proportion. From Pandit Ravi Shankar to Zakir Hussain, A.R. Rahman, Lata Mangeshkar, R.D Burman, and western icons like Freddie Mercury, Norah Jones, etc. Music has been an integrated part of the Indian culture, and to imagine a world without Indian music, is impossible, to say the least. In the last few decades, we have become a much more culturally-integrated society than we have ever been. While music has existed for many centuries, it is in the last 100 years that we’ve seen it travel from one part of the world to another, and this cross-culture exploration of music has given rise to a plethora of fusion genres that reflect the world as it is today.
Today, India is one of the top countries in music production. From Hindustani Classical to Bollywood, Rock, Indie, Fusion, etc., Indian musicians are the next to look out for. Metropolitans like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata is where the young generation is experimenting with different genres, and creating a sound of their own. Bangalore especially, has one of the most thriving underground music scenes in the country. It is also one of the major centres of Hindustani Classical and Carnatic music in the country. One of the main reasons for this is the abundance of large and open event venues in Bangalore. Being a prominent hub of IT and other businesses in the country, Bangalore accommodates a young, diverse crowd from around the country and the world. Numerous local and known bands perform in the many cafes scattered in and around the city. Entertainment hubs like Indiranagar, Koramangala, MG Road, Whitefield are places where one can expect to see a live performance in almost one in three cafes. Most hotels in Whitefield host events on 2-3 days a week that have a band performing live. Bangalore also has its own sub genre known as ‘Bangalore Rock’. It’s an amalgamation of classic rock, hard rock, metal, with hints of blues and jazz in it. And many artists/bands such as The Raghu Dixit Project, Swarathma, etc., call the city their home.
All in all, Bangalore’s openness towards new music pushes artists to compose and perform music that would otherwise be considered too experimental for social listening. And this attitude is what’s opening up new avenues for artists, organisers, and audience alike. As Friedrich Nietzsche once famously said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” And Bangalore is definitely one of the places in India that is proving this statement right.