Mumbai , Aug 19 : The Happiest Music Festival has just announced its much-awaited artist lineup for this year’s Meghalaya edition. The ninth edition of the festival features some prominent global artists, including Poets of the Fall, Switchfoot, Guthrie Govan and Tiny Fingers. The festival also features some of the best artists from India including Shankar Mahadevan, Pentagram, Zero, TM Krishna, Dualist Inquiry, Scribe, Mohini Dey, Sandunes Live, and LANDS.
This time the festival is also excited to feature a wealth of talent from the north-east including Tipriti Kharbangar and the Clansmen, Dewdrops, Summersalt, and Zubeen Garg, who will also be playing a tribute to Bhupen Hazarika.
The festival is headed to the hills of Meghalaya – its fourth appearance in the state – on 2-3 November , before it heads to its home city, Pune on 7-9 December. Since its inception, the BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has featured over 540 artists from India and around the world, across a variety of genres, to over 500,000 fans. The festival has evolved to become one of the country’s most beloved musical weekends as thousands of fans and discerning music lovers converge for an unforgettable experience.
Talking about the Meghalaya lineup, Supreet Kaur, Festival Director comments,”The core of our festival this year is variety and diversity, and the lineup is undoubtedly the most diverse it’s ever been. Over 83% of the artists performing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Meghalaya are making their Weekender debut this year. Listening to a thousand new artists each year is what keeps us excited, and we’re happy to now share our discoveries with the fans. It’s also key for us to celebrate local talent and 35% of this year’s festival lineup are from all over the North-East.”
Speaking about the Meghalaya edition, Anshuman Goenka, Bacardi India Marketing Head, says, “BACARDÍ has passionately strived to curate immersive music experiences over decades. Our partnership with OML to create BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender is an integral part of both our legacy in music and our endeavor to highlight local talent in the markets we play in. Bacardi’s belief is that music transcends geographies and language and the Meghalaya edition has proved to be a testament to this. We look forward to being back for the fourth year.”
Following a successful Meghalaya Pre-Sale in which tickets got sold out in a matter of hours, a limited number of Phase 1 tickets – Season and Under 21 – for Meghalaya are now on sale on www.insider.in/nh7-weekender
A quick glimpse into what’s in store this year:
POETS OF THE FALL
Poets of the Fall are a Finnish alt-rock band who have grown to become one of the most popular in the world, with a massive fan following in India. They have 7 successful albums since their formation in 2003. Recipients of several awards along the way, the band has played shows in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, United States, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, UK, Belarus, Netherlands, Italy… And now, return to India. They’re the most highly requested for band by Weekender fans and this November, they can be assured of a thrilled audience in Meghalaya.
This Grammy Award winning alt rock band from California has been around for 2 decades, and have gathered a massive fan following around the world. From having hits featured in Hollywood films to going multi-platinum, they’re continuing to push the boundaries of the music they create with their return to the indie-world with a thematically ambitious, sonically adventurous set after a major label run.
Tiny Fingers are one of the leading forces in the Israeli alternative music scene, and are considered the pioneers of the uprising new local psychedelic rock scene. They combine post-rock, live electronics, psychedelic, dubstep and math rock into one super-intense and truly unique musical melange. With broken beats, creative use of guitar effects and fat analogue and synthesized bass assaults, they manage to reconcile the rough intensity of rock with the clean ecstasy of electronic music. At Meghalaya, they’re all set to show you how they balance their technical proficiency with an ability to always stay fresh and catchy.
Guthrie Govan is arguably one of the most versatile guitarists on the international music scene today, and his 2006 solo album Erotic Cakes was widely recognized as an instant classic. His top-level touring experience (Steven Wilson, Hans Zimmer, G3) complements his busy schedule as one the most in-demand guitar clinician/educators in the world, and he was featured on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine in July of 2011. Guthrie was most recently on a World Tour with legendary composer Hans Zimmer, and has previously toured India as a solo artist and also as part of The Aristocrats.
SHANKAR MAHADEVAN: MY COUNTRY, MY MUSIC
Shankar Mahadevan is one of India’s most popular film singers, and is part of the Bollywood music composing trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Bursting into popular consciousness with the hit Indipop song, Breathless, he made his Bollywood debut with Rockford – going on to work on some chart-topping soundtracks including Dillagi, Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Lakshya, Rock On!, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and more. His project, My Country My Music, sees him collaborating with several musicians across the folk music industry and across the country, which aims to capture the rich musical heritage of India. The band performed in the Pune 2016 edition of the festival, and will now look to enthrall Meghalaya.
TIPRITI KHARBANGAR AND THE CLANSMEN
Tipriti Kharbangar is best known as the frontwoman of one of the country’s most popular blues-rock bands, Soulmate. Considered one of the finest vocalists to emerge from India, she joined Soulmate – which features ace blues guitarist Rudy Wallang – in 2003. The band became the only blues band to represent India in the 23rd International Blues Challenge, in Memphis, Tennessee. With this new project, the band integrated traditional Khasi beats and musical styles with the Blues. Meghalaya can get set for a unique take on a local flavour.
ZUBEEN GARG’S TRIBUTE TO BHUPEN HAZARIKA
Zubeen Garg, the versatile musician from Assam has redefined music in North East India. He’s sung more than 16,000 songs in more than 20 languages including Assamese, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Odisha, Nepali and almost all the North eastern languages. He has won the hearts of millions with his famous Bollywood songs and is a successful film-maker and national award-winning actor. He believes in empowering Regional Cinema and has played a very important role in transforming the Assamese film & music industry. He’s all set to take the stage at Meghalaya, with a unique tribute to Bhupen Hazarika.
One of the pioneers and torchbearers of the Indian independent music scene in India, Pentagram is a rock/electronica band that have been active since 1994. The band is fronted by Vishal Dadlani, and features Randolph Correia on guitars and electronics, Papal Mane on bass and Shiraz Bhattacharya on drums. One of the earliest bands to fuse electronica with traditional hard rock elements, Pentagram has built a cult following over the years, aided by four critically acclaimed studio releases, hard-hitting lyrics and an electric stage presence led by the talismanic, outspoken Dadlani. The band reunited during the last edition of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune, and will be looking to blow minds in the North-East now.
To thousands of Indian rock music fans, Zero is more than just a rock band, they’re the definition of an entire phase of life, and indeed, of the Indian rock music story itself. The Mumbai-based quartet is popularly considered the country’s greatest ever band, its 2004 album ‘Hook’ its greatest album, and its 4th track PSP 12″ its greatest rock anthem. Featuring guitar whiz Warren ‘Blackstratblues’ Mendonsa, Sidd Coutto (of Tough on Tobacco, Ghalat Family, Helga’s Fun Castle and several others), and brothers Bobby and Rajiv Talwar, the band that started out as a last-minute entrant into a college rock fest has ended up building a cult following. Though they formally disbanded a few years ago, they reunite occasionally to play the old hits and the gig is nothing short of a carnival, with now-grown metalheads indulging themselves in a mosh. Meghalaya is standing by, standing by…
T.M. Krishna is a Carnatic music vocalist, teacher and author. His music has always broken free of standard labels and analyses, ever since he began performing at the age of 12. Uncommon, original, and entirely unexpected, every performance is strong and subtle, extremely traditional yet stunningly innovative. After having performed at festivals and venues across the world, he takes the stage at Meghalaya this year.
Crowd favourite Sahej Bakshi returns to Meghalaya with his signature repertoire of sounds that have left quite the mark on the Indian electronica landscape. Subverting the genre as a whole, he’ll treat you to mellow electronica that’ll get you to relax before pumping you up with guitar licks and loud synths. You never know what to expect with Dualist Inquiry, except a big grin as you groove to his tunes.
Scribe is a modern metal, hardcore band that boasts of having a sound unique to themselves (known to their fans as Scribecore). They’ve shared the stage with some of the biggest international acts – Meshuggah, Textures, Megadeth, Lamb of God, and more. 4 successful albums, 1 in the world, 6 Rolling Stone Metal Awards, a cover on Rolling Stone India and many international festivals later, they’re giving every metalhead a reason to rejoice in Meghalaya.
She’s performed all over the world, with music stalwarts including Plini, Marco Minnemann, John Patitucci and Abraham Laboriel, Dave Weckl, Jordan Rudess, Steve Vai and AR Rahman. And she’s been making waves since she was 11. At the age of 22, India’s bass prodigy shows no signs of stopping and is about to take the Meghalaya stage for another powerful performance.
Ritviz is headed to Meghalaya after bursting onto the scene last year. This 21-year old Singer, DJ & Dance Music Producer’s music is bass heavy, and rich in eastern sounds owing to his training as a Hindustani classical musician since the age of 6. He was recently announced as the winner of Bacardi House Party Sessions India, where his latest single “Udd Gaye” was handpicked & released, along with a music video, by AIB & Nucleya.
Sandunes, sometimes known as Sanaya Ardeshir, is a keys player, composer and beatsmith. Hailing from Mumbai, her work has trodden a global footprint lately, seeing her perform at venues and festivals around the world. She’s known for her diverse blend of electronica which combines eclectic sensibilities with progressive electronic elements. Her upbringing as a pianist and keyboard player allows her to create emotive beds of sound, one that can be described as a fusion of globally inspired ingredients. A sound that will give Meghalaya audiences many reasons to groove.
It’s a fresh new perspective from the stalwarts of Indian electronica. LANDS is a dream pop duo featuring Nicholson and Rohan Ramanna. Their music is an amalgamation of the similarities and disparities in their individual tastes. Heavily influenced by jazz, folk, pop, electronica, soul, RnB, hip-hop, feature film scores, the environments and people around them, and not bound by genre, LANDS is set to get Meghalaya audiences up and moving.
Dewdrops is an independent Roots Reggae-Ska-Dub-Rocksteady-Dancehall band from Meghalaya. Formed in 2007 by a group of musicians who were all about promoting peace, love, togetherness, self confidence and truth though the medium of Reggae music. This local favourite plays to their home crowd at Meghalaya this November.
Summersalt fuses blues, rock, jazz and the energy of indigenous music from the lap of the Khasi hills. This Shillong band performs in both Khasi and English, and make music about challenging issues facing society today. They play with a mixture of standard instruments and lesser known tools of Meghalaya’s Khasi community. They’ve collaborated with the biggest names in Bollywood, Javed Akhtar, Usha Uthup, Farhan Akhtar, Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani, for Rock On! They’re currently working on music direction of another Bollywood film and look forward to playing at their home ground on the big stage.