Contraband is an Indian band based out of New Delhi that creates music best described as white collar rock. Their songs speak to the white collar career professional (a breed that is the same whether in Mumbai or New York) about how work life can be raised beyond the desperate quest for the next premium car, or that EMI repayment – to actually living a holistic life with happiness as the end goal.
The musicians in Contraband are themselves senior professionals covering fields like Marketing, Technology, Finance and Entertainment and their music straddles growing up and work life issues like alienation, work-life balance, the criticality of purpose and the importance of maintaining a true north in life. In the band’s music – true north is seen to lie in human self-expression, the desire and ability in career professionals to invest time and effort in areas where their true passion and talent lie, whether it be music, photography, film, literature or any form of the performing arts.
Contraband’s earnest desire is to create a conversation around this subject so that working professionals across the world can come together in a discussion with like-minded people that helps them find their true form of self-expression – where individuals invest in original creation.
Contraband has already triggered this conversation at a global level through the launch of their first single , “The Fisherman and the Banker”. This song is based on a (digital?) parable covering the meeting between an investment banker and a Mexican fisherman – where the banker tempts the fisherman with wealth creation from his fishing talent, only to discover that all the fisherman desires is already with him. The parable is already mentioned and commented upon in over 1000 blogs and online posts (a Google search on “the fisherman and the investment banker” throws up 1.6 million results).
Contraband believes that this conversation is valid and relevant for a global mainstream audience and understands that this is a strong strategy for the world-wide launch of its music on the global mainstream.
â€‹Musically the Contraband line up has some of India’s top musicians – including Chintan Kalra (Bass), Dilip Ramachandran (Drums), Raja (Guitars), Krishnan (Vocals/Guitar), Avik (Keys)along with the amazing Nitin George(Vocals/Guitar)and the ever energetic KK (Percussions).
Â Avik -Â Keys and Keys
The word lazy was first coined to define him; an Engineer who dabbles with all kinds of keyboards on and off work. True Bong (loves his phish and phootball). After scraping through his B.Tech, working currently as a project lead on embedded apps for a leading Indian IT major. Plays two keyboards just because he thinks it looks cooler on stage. He has been an active musician for the last 10 years.
Â Chintan -Â Bass , Flute, Blue Harp, etc., etc., etc.,
“A prolific bassist and a natural sense of humour, with a dash of the classic touch, he stands apart. On the road with Parikrama for more than 15 years, he would rather look at life beyond the haze. A professional musician, a producer, studio builder, etc., Chintan has been instrumental in performing and producing shows for numerous tribute concerts in the country along with promoting new bands with original material. His favourite word “Chill” fits the bill.
Dilip -Â DrumsÂ
“Walks with a 4/4 demeanor, talks with a 7/8 bent of mind and usually laughs at 120 bpm. Is very suspicious of stringed instruments and prefers to hang out with the lower notes.Played his first gig at 4 and went on to an18 years stint with Parikrama whilst simultaneously eking out a living as creative head with leading television channels such as CNN-IBN, UTVetc . Currently learning the guitar after repeatedly failing to impress anybody at the new year camp fire and reading up on ‘stand-up comic’ as a viable career option. Also, known to go into a trance whenever he hears Neil Peart.
KK -Â PercussionÂ
“Energising Huddler, Risk taker, Presenter, Dreaming Globe Trotter, drifted into Forces and Currently the Chief Technologist for a Leading IT Services Firm. Experimental Percussions Movers n Shakers across the rhythm section with crazy stuff like Thumba, Claves, timbales, Various Shakers, Tamborines, Cajon, Elektronik or anything which can be beaten up.
Â Krishnan -Â Guitars & VocalsÂ
“Stumbled his way through IIM-A into the corporate jungle. Became the Head of Marketing for a large IT Company-a journey in which he used his voice in keynote speeches and such like. Came to his senses in the late noughties with the realization that your identity lies in what you create – and not in position, possession or power. Tried his hand at blogging and realized he was too lazy to write long pieces. Discovered songs don’t need much writing, and promptly adopted white collar rock to blow off creative steam. Currently schizoing between the fisherman and the banker.
Â Nitin -Â Guitars & VocalsÂ
“Musician by night, heavy sleeper by day. That is the dream. But till that happens, he’ll be dreaming of the next viral ad and learning Japanese while strumming a guitar on a sunset beach. On Mars. If you meet him, say hi but avoid direct eye contact.
Â Raja -Â Guitars & VocalsÂ
“A 24 year-old vagabond ragamuffin rocker at heart, but is a 40 something finance headman playing out his youthful fantasy in real life. As much at home crunching numbers as moulding melodies, he seamlessly drifts in and out of office meetings and rehearsals. Sometimes a general barking out orders, and sometimes a lotus-eating musician, he is a bundle of contradictions, but then who isn’t. An avid reader, film buff, cook , foodie and family man, he also trots out to do his usual 9 to 6 with a leading IT corporation. Look beyond his ‘outstanding’ paunch, he can pack a punch or two with his guitar when the music begins.