Folk music has been an integral part of our culture for many years. There was a time when its popularity took a dip, but in the recent times, efforts have been made to revive the art, especially by music bands. Meet The Sancharis, who are on a mission to rejuvenate folk songs, with a twist.
They present a colourful medley of talents that spreads positivity. The unconventional band is famous for their style of rendering great folk songs, adding a flavour of progressive rock. They have become one of the prominent indie folk-rock bands in South India. They have performed to jam-packed audience, leaving the crowd in euphoria. They believe in creating music from the scratch, and do not get ‘inspired’. Their music has a freshness that gives the listener a feeling of energy. Their unique combination of traditional Indian sounds mixed with western influences has brought them into the spotlight. The four-member band features Sunil Mathayi (vocals), Rohith LT(drums), Rony George (guitar) and Balu(bass guitar).
While lead vocalist Sunil, who has been singing and promoting folk art for years, gives their performances the traditional folk touch. Rohith adds rock flavour with fast but superlative rhythm. “The basic principle behind the formation of the band was bringing two different genres together to make a new sound. We realised that there is space for folk music,” says Rohith.
Folk music is a reflection of our culture and diversity. Every region has different folk traditions. Every tribe has its own tales of adapting to the environment, their struggles and evolution. However, some of these folklores and folk songs are on the verge of extinction. When asked how the band’s efforts to revive the folk songs by bringing together two distinctive genres – rock and folk – are working, he says, “It’s not too late to help out these symbols of our legacy. By mixing them with fast but controlled rock tunes, we are trying to make them more appealing. Since our first live gig, we have been getting massive response from the public, especially the youth, who may not have even heard many of the folk songs that we sing. With a twist of rock, we could create a buzz among the youth.”
Rohith says that though the band is young, all the artists have been in the indie music scene for many years and their experience has played a big role in the quick success of the band.
The band is noted for their live gigs and their way of performing. The unique voice of Sunil plays a pivotal role in registering their space in the indie music scene.
Raasayyaro, Puzhupulikal and Thannanam are some of their most listened songs from the lot. “Sunil has been active in the industry for a long time. His voice is perfect for the genre and it has helped us a lot to get an identity. That uniqueness is very important in folk-inspired rock music. If you look at any band that is successful in folk music, they have someone with a unique voice. Avial, the band, has also inspired us a lot.”
The Sancharis are working on adding more folk content to their band, and are planning to conduct an all-India tour soon....