Storytellers of a new generation
Stop Everything And Check Out These Young And Incredible Under 26-Year-Olds

Stop Everything And Check Out These Young And Incredible Under-26-Year-Olds

 

1.  ESANI DEY (15)

Guitarist from Mumbai
Genre: Jazz, funk, fusion

ESANI DEY (15) Guitarist from Mumbai Genre: Jazz, funk, fusion
Photo: Facebook/Esani Dey

This teenaged guitar-wielding rock star has ticked off things on her music checklist that even the most seasoned artistes can only dream of. She’s played, toured and recorded with biggies from the jazz, rock and Bollywood scenes -- from Louiz Banks to AR Rahman. “I love to perform all music genres; it’s good to be versatile,” says Esani, who is currently awaiting the results of her 10th Board exams. Having been on the circuit for a few years now, the promising guitarist has learnt to juggle studies with her hectic music schedule. And unlike her peers, she is in no dilemma as to which career to choose. “My big goal is to be one of best musicians around, just like my inspirations,” she says. While it is not uncommon for young artistes her age to start dabbling in electronic music, Esani prefers to keep her music ‘live’. “Nowadays, songs, jingles and recordings are all digitally programmed. I feel all instruments should be recorded live.”

 

2. THE F16s

Band from Chennai
Genre: Alt-rock, electro-indie

THE F16s Band from Chennai Genre: Alt-rock, electro-indie
 

The young band, all of whose members are between 22 and 25, first made heads turn at Live From The Console in 2013. Since that gig they’ve only gone from strength to strength. They have an EP to their name, called Kaleidoscope, and quite a big fan following, not to mention the Jack Daniel's Award 2013 for the Best Emerging Act.  “We are working on our album right now; we hope to go on a tour abroad, it would be great,” says bassist Shashank Manohar, who, along with his bandmates, Josh Fernandez (vocals/guitar), Harshan Radhakrishnan (keyboard/sampler) Vikram Yesudas (drums) and  Abhinav Krishnaswamy (guitar), is pursuing music full-time. Ask Shashank if there’s any positive change he’d like to see in the scene and he says, “I think the crowds should come out in support of bands. Instead of going to the movies, why don’t people try catching a concert!”
 

3. AAYUSHI KARNIK (19)

Guitarist/singer from Surat
Genre: Blues

AAYUSHI KARNIK (19) Guitarist/singer from Surat Genre: Blues
Photo: YouTube/Aayushi Karnik

When Aayushi Karnik was ‘discovered’ last year after a video of hers went viral, the question that boggled most fans was ‘Where was she all this while!?’. The young artiste is a natural with the guitar and given her virtuosity, she is already on her way to becoming one of India’s best blues musicians. In the past one year, she has already shared the stage with top bluesmen like Warren Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani, and even played at the Mahindra Blues Festival.
 

4. TEJAS (25)

Singer-songwriter from Mumbai
Genre: Acoustic, folk-pop

TEJAS (25) Singer-songwriter from Mumbai Genre: Acoustic, folk-pop

Armed with his acoustic guitar and a collection of ballads, Tejas has been mesmerizing crowds everywhere – from an intimate gig at a suburban café to a big music festival. “I realize that the kind of music I play is simple, and emotional, and I can connect with a lot of people which is the ultimate goal. But I don’t think I’ll be like a trendsetter like David Bowie or Michael Jackson or something, and that’s okay!

 

5. MOHINI DEY (18)

Bassist from Mumbai
Genre: Rock, jazz, funk, fusion


MOHINI DEY (18) Bassist from Mumbai Genre: Rock, jazz, funk, fusion
Photo: Facebook/Mohini Dey

In the tight community of India’s superlative bassists, Mohini shines like a star. And not just because she is a teenager among middle-aged musicians, or like some would say, a girl among the boys. Mohini’s biggest USP is her exceptional prowess on the instrument. She learnt music from her dad, also a bassist, and is now one of the most sought after recording artistes on the circuit. It takes me a few days and constant gentle reminders to get her to answer a few questions I’ve been itching to ask her. The list of top musicians she has played with and currently performs with is quite endless: Ranjit Barot, Zakir Husain, Taufiq Quereshi et al.

 

6. PRATEEK KUHAD (25)

Singer-songwriter from Delhi
Genre: Acoustic, folk-pop

 PRATEEK KUHAD (25) Singer-songwriter from Delhi Genre: Acoustic, folk-pop
 

If there’s one thing that stands out about Prateek’s mellifluous music, it is its honesty. He has a way with words and happens to be one of the very few 20-something artistes that write in both Hindi and English. The singer, who recently released his debut album titled In Tokens & Charms, says that he wishes the people stopping labeling music. “I there are too many tags floating around right now. People are constantly tagging music under mainstream, or indie, or Bollywood etc. Good music can come from anywhere, and shouldn’t be judged based on preconceived notions about its source,” he says. Ask him where he sees himself five years from now and he says, “I can’t say for sure. But, at the least, still writing and releasing songs, which are hopefully a lot better than the ones I write now.”

 

Words: NS