The 90s marked the rise of rock music in India. With bands such as Indus Creed and Euphoria ushering in a new revolution that would alter the future of independent music in India, there was a unique pop culture in the making, one that took influences from regional languages, culture, and tradition.
Kerala has been at the forefront of producing some of the most soulful, nuanced and layered music in the country for decades now. It was only natural that the inception of regional rock bands was first observed in this state. Dominating the masses in the wake of a new century, we take a look at some Kerala rock bands that have shaped Indian rock music over the years.
I. Motherjane (1996)
Considered as the earliest rock band to set the stage for the genre in the state, Motherjane’s beginnings in 1996 were subdued and mellow for a good part of a decade until their debut album release in 2008 which transformed the band’s trajectory. ‘Maktub’ won the ‘Album of the Year’ award from Rolling Stone Magazine India. The band’s infusion of classical music with rock instantly made them a crowd favourite and this set a very distinct precedent for subsequent bands that followed suit.
II. Agam (2003)
With its members originating from Kerala, Bengaluru-based Agam is a Carnatic-rock band that shot to fame almost instantly. With Bengaluru’s rock music scene picking up in the years of its inception, Agam found the perfect stage and audience to proliferate its sound. Headed by vocalist Harish Sivaramakrishnan, Agam has released over three successful albums before moving on and collaborating on larger, more commercial film projects.
III. Avial (2008)
Formed in 2003 in Trivandrum, Avial became the face of rock music in Kerala for the soulful Malayalam infusions in their lyrics. Having collaborated on several big banner Malayalam film projects, Avial is one of the best performing contemporary Malayalam bands on the block today.
IV. Thaikkudam Bridge (2013)
The newest entrant on the roster, Thaikkudam Bridge quickly caught up with its contemporaries in becoming one of the most popular Malayalam rock bands in the country today. Originally famous for their performances on regional Youtube show, Music Mojo, the band led by Siddharth Menon and Govind Vasantha has gone on to win numerous awards, having performed at 400 venues over the years.
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