The world is calling for social distancing with the pandemic virus and music bands are grappling with the harsh realities of quarantine. Gigs and live concerts appear to be a thing of the past (or future), but certainly not of the present.
Music fans are mourning at this; their favourite bands cancelling the much-awaited world tours and gigs they had booked for ages ago.
But fans are not the only ones who are upset. Musicians too are desperate for their busy, loud, and dynamic old schedules that kept them alive. They too are upset over the fact that there won’t be any throat-screeching noise or head banging or sweaty dances of the audience which were the most rewarding forms of approval.
A bunch of music bands of Kerala realise this heavy toll on the music industry which is also financial and has taken it upon themselves to prove that the world needs music.
Budding and popular alike, these music bands decided to adapt to the social distancing challenge using technology. They made new music while quarantining in their own separate homes. How cool is that? Certainly not effortless.
Here we list the Malayali Music Bands which fought against the tide of Corona.
We found three bands that came up with their original songs, entirely produced while being apart. The rest are the bands that did cover songs, meaning that they recreated old-established songs.
1000CC is an experimental/alternative rock band from Thrissur that hit the charts with their Pooram song back in 2016. A band built on close friendship, the members wished to keep afresh their bond on the stage in lockdown. Thus they released many cover songs with videos of them performing while social distancing.
The original composition of 1000CC, “Thaaye” was released on International Mother’s Day as a tribute to all mothers and motherly figures. “Thaaye” is a Tamil song composed and performed by four band members, vocalist Helvin K.S, drummer Nithin Joseph, keyboardist Sanjay Arakkal and guitarists Abhijith and Kiran.
During their live performances, 1000CC blend their Western rock music with Indian percussion of idakka and chenda. The unique band name is based on the power-packed performances they always promise their audience.
1000CC is now cooking up another cover song of the Dappankoothu song “Madhurakkupokaathedi” which will again be shot separately while in quarantine.
The six-member band from Thrissur, Oorali is famous for its revolutionary folk song performances mixed with theatre, that are raw, radical, and relatable. They are accustomed to performing not just on the stage, but also in their tour bus cum living space that can open up on the side, like a stage.
Thus Oorali always stands out to give unique experiences to their fans. This band from Thrissur composing of theatre artists turned band members live-streamed many of their gigs and jammings on social media.
They have posted IG TV videos on Instagram titled ‘Lockdown sessions’ which are the recordings of live performances while in quarantine. For over 55 days they have been live-streaming their performances. During the sessions, they perform what is called ‘song speak’, where their views on current scenarios are openly voiced out with the song.
One of the most popular Malayali bands on this list, Thaikkudam Bridge was born on the local bridge of Thaikkudam in the year 2013. Since then, social media, TV music shows, and YouTube have popularised them to be one of the most famous bands of Kerala.
During the lockdown, the band came up with a fusion song for YouTube One Nation and premiered it on May 15, 2020. Their Malayalam song ‘Kadalaadum’ coupled with the nostalgic song of Doordarshan ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ invokes a sense of belongingness in the listeners. The song’s lyrics were composed by Dhanya Suresh.
The band was featured on YouTube One Nation’s cause to perform a live e-concert and raise funds for the fights against Covid19.
The song does give goosebumps of nostalgia and a Malayali can easily relate with its rawness.
The next section of the article is about the bands that came up with the recreation of old songs, namely cover songs. A cover song comparatively requires less effort, nonetheless, it is highly essential for a music maker.
Music bands release cover songs for various other reasons than mere recreation: In its inception, a band releases a cover song to establish its genre and introduce their sounding to the future audience. It is also a strategy to stay in touch with their fans while on break, as a note saying, we’re still here, making music for you. An occasional release of a cover song is essential for the band to get more reach while maintaining their fans.
Let us look at the bands that released cover songs this quarantine.
Another band from Thrissur, Metalfolks released their version of “Earth Song” by the legendary Michael Jackson on June 5th, World Environment Day. They used the medium of this song to “hope, pray and seek a transformed world where everything is finally perfect”. They call the song their message, their prayer and a tribute to planet Earth.
The hard rock and stoner band, of three brothers and their friends, considers Michael Jackson as a source of inspiration. Yet the medium of language for all the compositions in their famous album “Karutha Daivangal” is Malayalam.
When Chai Met Toast
The band from Kochi recreated their previous composition titled ‘Beautiful World’, under the hashtag #sociallydistanced on March 26.
Although the band did not create the song during quarantine, it must be mentioned that the recreation of their song sounds more relevant to the times when re-released. The song thrives with hope for a beautiful world out there after the pandemic settles down. The video also shows the musicians performing in their separate homes, as one of them wash hands and takes a run around the house.
Chill Kaapi Samosa
The progressive alternative rock band from Kochi that has over 10 own compositions to their credit, released a new version of Mohit Chauhan’s song “Masakali” with a twist, that is refreshingly welcome to the sober minds locked in quarantine.
The popular band of the actor-cum singer-sisters, Abhirami and Amruta Suresh came up with the idea of making e-concerts for private parties. They just might be one of the first musicians to introduce to Malayalis, the idea of using Zoom Video Conference platform to host electronic live concerts. The band promises to continue entertaining their folks in quarantine with the customized private ‘AG E-concert’ featuring keyboardist Anoop.
Thus we conclude the list of the bands that created music in quarantine. These are based on our limited findings which might not be all-inclusive. But the music of the bands listed here has hit the audience with the message that, no matter what the world brings, all of us need music in life.