Whether its losing ourselves in a Kuhad melody, only to find our way back from being a Cold/Mess, or whether its letting ourselves break the dance floor, dancing our hearts out to Nucleya’s Laung Gawacha and Ritviz’s Udd Gaye, the magic that Indie music carries is known to all. 

A melting pot of various genres, the independent music in India is only growing. 5X Press' Roshni Rakshit curated 5 Indian Indie artists, whose tunes will not only soothe your soul, but also bring a tinge of freshness to your playlists.

1. Swarathma

The Bangalore-based Indie folk rock band is described as the “sound of guitar, bass, drums and India”. The band specializes in socio-political themes and are currently one of the biggest folk rock bands in India, blending Indian folk and classical music with Blues Rock and Reggae. They have collaborated with artists like Shubha Mudgal and Rabbi Shergill, and have produced music with varied instruments and powerful lyrics. 
Roshni's pick : Pyaasi

2.The F16s

An alternative band, hailing from Chennai, India, The F16s have been around since 2012. The F16s describe themselves as “a pop band disguised in a rock and roll outfit”. Their tunes come with an unusual breeze of melancholy and the vocals are so dreamy, they hold the capacity to transport one to the land of nostalgia. Amidst their notable accolades are The Jack Daniel's Award 2013 for the Best Emerging Act, Radio City Freedom Awards Best Rock Artist and Best Young Indie Artist (Judge's Choice). 

You can listen to them on Spotify : The F16s | Spotify

Roshni’s picks : Moonchild and Jacuzzi

3. Dualist Inquiry

Rolling Stone described Sahej Bakshi, also known as Dualist Inquiry, as an artist “adding another dimension to the dance music scene.” He steers clear of the traditional Indian music scene and is often called the pioneer of the new wave of Indian electronica. Sahej is one of the leading producers and live performers of Electronic music in India and has performed extensively both nationally and internationally. “He has been the preferred supporting act for an impressive list of international producers and DJs touring India, including David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, KOAN Sound and Hexstatic.” says Insomniac.

You can listen to him on Spotify : Dualist Inquiry | Spotify

Roshni’s picks : Meraki, Echo Park, Life Forms, Trainwreck

4.Taba Chake

A multilingual singer-songwriter, hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Chake’s debut album had seen over 12.2 million streams across platforms. His music is inspired by tribal folklore, birds and nature and is loved by critics and audiences alike. He belongs to the tribal family  of Nyishi, and his songs have unique vocals, accompanied by a distinct percussive performance style. 

You can listen to him on Spotify : Taba Chake | Spotify

My picks : Shaayad, Meri Dastaan

5.The Local Train

At the end of this list is one of my most favourite Indian bands of all time: The Local Train. The band was formed in 2011 and stands as one of the most beloved bands in India, garnering massive commercial success and a grand fan following. Their songs are a mixture of Hindi and Urdu, and the lyrics are capable of making one’s heart skip a beat, being powerful yet subtle. Their song Aaoge Tum Kabhi was a major hit and was used in the movie Angry Indian Goddesses. With sold out shows every year, across various festivals and tours, they are one of the dominators of the Indian Indie music scene and very rightfully so. 

You can listen to them on Spotify : The Local Train | Spotify

Roshni's picks : Aaftaab, Khudi, Choo Lo

This list is by no means exhaustive as there are many more artists who are rocking the Indian independent music scene and presenting this genre internationally. Amongst the more popular ones are artists like Nucleya, Ritviz ,Prateek Kuhad and Divine. Other artists and bands with notable works include Parvaaz (Katyi Rov, Dasht-Ba-Dasht) , The Family Cheese (The Rap Medley) , Dhruv Vishvanath (Rain), Peter Cat Recording Co (Heera, Freezing ) and Komorebi (Little One)

Have fun exploring this genre!


About the author: Roshni is a self-proclaimed Comedy Queen who specializes in laughing at her own jokes. Her hobbies include making people smile, watching movies and analysing them, reading books, practicing yoga (occasionally), hogging on well-cooked biryani and scrolling through dog videos and memes on Instagram. Her love for writing stems from her love for art in general, which is fuelled by her background in theatre. Catch on her instagram at @roshni_rakshit daily, where she regularly shares her experience with movies and occasionally offends people with her political sense of humour. 

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