In The Spotlight

Samved

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Samved – a band that quite literally personifies the meaning of it’s name [‘knowledge of melodies and chants’] entered the music scene as a group back in 2013. They are an electronic music project that explores new possibilities in classical music by boldly fusing it with electronic dance music. Their first album ‘Rlung Ta’ released under Universal Music Ltd. won the award for Best Folk Fusion Artist at the Radio City Freedom Award in 2014, just a year after the formation of the band. Samved consists of 5 extremely talented guys- Ritvik Joe and KK, the electronic artists, Zeeshan Khan, the vocalist, Sangeet Mishra, the sarangi player and Kirti Das, the percussionist.

In conversation with Nupur Jaisinghani.

KK, Zeeshan, Ritvik, Sangeet and Kirti

KK, Zeeshan, Ritvik, Sangeet and Kirti

How exactly did the idea for the band come up?

Ritvik: It started off as a normal day with KK and I jamming in our studio in Mumbai and making some liquid drum and bass sets. Zeeshan, who is a family friend of KK’s dropped by to see him and since we’d been introduced before, we thought we would jam for half an hour or so. He started singing some classical Bandishs on the track we were working on and it sounded fabulous! The three of us got really excited and we met the next day and tracked down two songs. It was all sounding nice but it was still missing something. We wanted to include an Indian instrument in the tracks and after brain storming for about a week, when Zeeshan showed us a clipping from one of his earlier classical concerts where he was performing with Sangeet Mishra [Sarangi player], we just stopped the clip half-way through and fixed a meeting with Sangeet. The best thing was that it wasn’t hard to convince Sangeet to try out fusion with us with electronica. For the rhythm section, I had one person in mind and that’s Kirti Das, who is a childhood friend of mine and is a learned musician. He also plays with other electronic and folk artists, so he has that taste for electronica/ classical/folk fusion. After Kirti and Sangeet heard our tracks, they were equally excited about this experimental project and that’s how Samved came to be in 2013.

What is the creative process? How do you come up with the music compositions?
Ritvik: Sometimes it’s me and Zeeshan, or me and KK, or the three of us who lay the basic composition/structure of the song and then everyone gives their input. Then we all sit together and design everyone’s individual parts. Once that is done and everyone is on the same page- we hit the recording button! Simple!

Future plans? What do the next few years for samved look like?
We’re all geared up for our new release this year. The new album is already mid-way from release. We don’t have a name for it yet, but we are super excited as we’ve tried some acoustic songs and new sounds with this one, while of course, keeping Samved’s flavour intact. We’d like to be touring a lot more! And we definitely see ourselves winning a Grammy in 10 years!

Any particular artist that you would love to perform with?
Ritvik: A lot of them! The most beautiful thing about our band is that we all come from such different musical backgrounds. Zeeshan and Sangeet come from a lineage of the most respect Gharanas of Hindustani [Indian] classical music. Kirti has grown up listening to some of the greatest Assamese folk and reggae music. KK and I are the electronic freaks, inspired by the underground electronic scenes of the late 80’s and 90’s. So going by our sound, we’d love to perform and collaborate with musicians/bands/singers from all around the world from various genres and styles. To name a few would be very difficult!

Ritvik JoeRitvik-Joe

What was the last book you read?
The last book I ‘actually read’ was the atlas in school!

What does your mum call you?
Honestly, I don’t think you’ve heard of all the animal names she calls me!

What’s the lie you use most often?
I’m just leaving the house in like 5 seconds… I’ll actually be heading for a shower then.

What is your favourite possession?
Oh God, there are so many! My Hofner 1953 model 465s guitar, my 1965 Pentax Spotmatic camera to name a few. And most of all… my beard!

Describe yourself in one word.
Joe

Your biggest pet peeve?
Going on Google and starting a search with ‘meaning of…’, like for this question!

What’s your worst habit?
Being right all the time!

If you were a superhero, you’d be?
Actually, I’d prefer to be a villain like Hollow Man! Or any invisible character like Mr. India!

Zeeshan Khan

Zeeshan-KhanWhat does your mum call you?
Usually just by my name but when I’m travelling and I call her, she calls me ‘Chotu’ since I’m the younger one.

What’s the lie you use most often?
If I’m sleeping and someone calls me for a plan to go out or something I just say that I’m not well and I have a severe sinus issue going on… I guess, I need to change my lie now!

Describe yourself in one word.
Passionate

What’s your worst habit?
I’m super lazy!

Ever been whacked? By who?
I still get whacked by my mother for being lazy… let’s say everyday.

Complete ‘I am who I am…’
I am who I am… when I’m on stage performing. Because that’s what I was born to do.

Ever failed a subject?
Yes! Maths! I just hated that subject in school… I still hate it!

Complete ‘once upon a time…’
Once upon a time right in the middle of an ordinary life a miracle can happen. So have faith and keep believing.

KKkk

Who did you have your first crush on?
A girl

What’s the lie you use most often?
I’m stuck in traffic

When you say 5 minutes, how far away are you really?
20 minutes approximately4

If not Mumbai, where?
Iceland for sure.

What do you really want that you don’t have yet?
A beach house

Complete ‘I am who I am…’
I am who I am and I love surprises

One film dialogue that resonates the most with you
“Khaana nahi khaaoge, toh maar kaise khaoge”- Golmaal

What/who is the most dialled number on your phone?
My wife

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