There is a reason why music is referred to as a universal language. It transcends all boundaries and limitations of communication. When a chord is struck, it is meant to feel the same to all the people in this world. It has the mighty power that can evoke tranquillity at times of stress but can also fuel rage and bring forth oceans of tears. I know the power of music; I have seen it change lives. Moreover, it is the bridge that connects people of different cultures, heritage and languages. It erases all the lines and boundaries between two people and can make them communicate even the most complex emotions.
The fact that there is so much undiscovered music out there makes me feel so excited to explore them all. Similarly, there are multiple artists creating music that might resonate with you but are still hidden under plain sight. This World Music Day, we have for you this small effort to shine a light on some of such underrated artists. Let’s dive in!
The Khalnayak is an underrated band from Delhi. I had come across one song, ‘Marne Ki Aadatein’ while scrolling through YouTube in 2019. I remember it was a very low phase in my life, and the lyrics of the songs connected with me on a deeper level. But then gradually, every aspect of the song – the singers, the music, the beats, everything just hit the right chords. I searched for them, and I realized that this indie-rock band is really unnoticed, and every song of theirs reciprocated with my situation. I even have one of my Instagram pictures captioned with the lyrics of their song mentioned above. The band members – Neelkanth Pathak, Shivansh Sethi, Divyansh Katyal, and Tajinder Singh – have composed soothing renditions like ‘Khushnaseebi‘, ‘Nasamajh‘, ‘Ho Rubaroo‘, ‘Kya Tum Bata Do‘ and have performed at various college fests. However, I feel they deserve much more recognition and fame as I feel there is a spark of rawness in their compositions that sets them apart from the artists who trend in the mainstream music industry. So yes, do check out their YouTube channel if you wish to indulge in a soulful connection with yourself with a cup of tea or coffee!
Usually, I don’t like to talk about my favourite artists because I am way too possessive about them. Weird? No, just a new emotion that I have discovered. Although today, I will take this opportunity to introduce you to this ethereal artist, Swati Bhatt. I have been following her music since early 2020, and I wonder why she is so obscure. The Delhi artist, originally from Raipur, is a singer & composer who has a gleaming charisma and makes sure that it is reflected well in her music. Her songs are usually sparse and mellow, which never fail to mesmerize you. My favourite track has to be ‘Dare‘ which is a perfect culmination of jazz and pop, galvanized by the message of erasing all traces of self-doubt. Another track that I absolutely adore is ‘Veiled‘. The hauntingly beautiful song talks about a woman’s journey of self-conflict after a failed marriage. Lyrically too, the song is very precisely written. After putting all the hard work in, her debut EP ‘Rebuild‘ was finally out very recently. As I expected, she did not disappoint me with her creation and checks all the boxes of a beautiful voice, tranquil music and gently carved lyrics!
Ayushya Dhar (F8L)
My friend randomly had sent a YouTube link last year in April, and trust me, it is one of the finest things on YouTube. The Franky Tape by F8L, aka Ayushya Dhar, is a masterpiece created by a musical genius. And when I heard it for the first time, I was speechless and wondering why people do not know him. If you like Taylor Swift because of the mysterious and connective way she makes her music videos, I am telling you this boy is one step ahead in this department. He combines elements of storytelling, dialogues, space, and sci-fi into his music and creates an entire journey that requires you to calm down and listen to it one more time, and perhaps then your mind will wrap around the magnificent piece of art he creates. A self-made artist who writes, performs, mixes, masters and creates his own artwork, his lyrics are something the world is sleeping on. There are just so many things I could gush about this favourite underrated artist of mine, but I will suggest something better. Switch off your lights, plug in your earphones and listen to The Franky Tape followed by This Lockdown Sucks and you will be mad at yourself for not knowing him before. Oh, and you’re welcome.
When Chai Met Toast
Well, I mostly prefer songs that give me a groove, like some fun drum beats that make me dance and some riffs of electric guitar that force me to shake my head no matter where I am. But when I heard the songs by ‘When Chai Met Toast’, I literally couldn’t stop shaking my head to their mesmerizing tunes! This Kerala based indie-pop acoustic band is pretty much as whimsical as their name sounds. The four-member boy band makes heart-warming, beautiful, cheerful music that will never fail to put a smile on your face early in the morning. With fun, lively sets and four charming musicians, their chores hit you like the musical equivalent of a pinball game. They take inspiration from the lighter side of life, which has the power to make you irresistibly happy and cheerful, which is why they call their music ‘happy’. Khoj (‘Passing By’) was the first song that I heard which totally advocated their music. Listen to it once, and you’ll know why.
There isn’t just one word to describe the multitude of feelings I experience when listening to music. I have always loved listening to all kinds of music – the kind of music I listen to mostly depends on my mood. There have been times when music has helped me release some heavy emotions, and on other days, certain beats have lifted my spirits like nothing else could have. I have always loved listening to music, and there are some days when I just sit down to do my work while soft music plays in the background – sometimes it has lyrics, or on other days, a soothing tune also works for me. Honestly, it will be tough to pick just one of my favourite artists or a band, but more recently, I have been listening to a lot of Vivart, a multi-genre artist. The first time I heard his music, I was in awe. It is so soothing to listen to, especially when you just wish to unwind; the beats are soft yet groovy at the same time. I believe he’s an artist every youngster is likely to love, and I am sure he will gain more popularity in the coming years. Now, who can refuse good soulful music? My favourite song till now is ‘Arzoo‘, so you must also go ahead and listen to it. One tip: listen to him during one of those casual walks in the evenings.
Sri Bhakti Das
Tired of listening to the same tunes? Well, now you can skip Honey Singh and give this musician named Sri Bhakti Das a listen because I’m sure his melodic and soothing tunes will definitely put your mind and heart at ease. Sri Bhakti Das has managed to create a unique style of his own by blending different forms. Best listened to in an intimate space that’ll allow you to zone into nothing but the music, he definitely warrants a place in your playlist. The way he plays his instrument is so wholesome to listen to. His forte is groove-worthy rhythm, with a no-holds-barred policy when it comes to style and genre. Just listen to him; lose yourself in the swirls of your own imagination. He gives a more intimate and personal look into the world of Indian classical music. In short, he brings the rhythms alive for every person who’s listening! He has a YouTube channel, too, and I really think that artists such as him need exposure!
I wish all you music lovers a good time. Jam all of your favourite tunes and discover our picks for you! If you have your own favourite underrated artist, feel free to let us know in the comment box! As Lana Del Rey once said, ‘You’ve got the music in you‘; find your music and groove to the beats of life!