Feb 14, 2014

Posted by in Music Festivals, Travel Reviews | 0 Comments

Ragasthan music festival with Run It’s the Kid

Ragasthan music festival with Run It’s the Kid

When was the last time you heard someone sing and it gave you goosebumps? For me, it was at Ragasthan, the three-day camp out music festival on the Khuri dunes in Jaislamer.

Sunny day, camel rides, people lazing around on the dunes with music in the background all the time — this made for a perfect setting for some soulful music.I was walking past the Birakha stage towards the food stalls to silence my stomach, when calm vocals accompanied by acoustic folk/indie music caught my attention, and I decided to stop and listen a little more. “Some more sad, emotional stuff for you guys. Yeah! I’ve had my heart broken too,” says Shantanu Pandit on vocals, his voice almost mirroring Bob Dylan’s. On the keyboard is Dhruv Bhola, Bhairav Gupta on drums and Dainik Ghosh with bass guitar.

Ragasthan music festival 2014 (Image courtesy: Ragasthan)

The next half an hour was as if a melodious web of unpretentious songs were spun by the 21-year-old Shantanu. He left the crowd asking for more. I couldn’t help but congratulate Shantanu on his performance after the gig, and that’s when he told me, “We’re called Run! It’s the Kid.” I decided to catch up with his band that evening to find out more.

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Run! It’s the Kid (Image courtesy: Ragasthan music festival)

All I knew before this meeting was that Shantanu Pandit hails from Delhi and that he has been a part of the Delhi music scene for some time now. I was also told that the band was the find at last year’s Ragasthan and the organisers decided to bring them back this year too.
Shantanu Pandit playing

Shantanu Pandit performing at Ragasthan (Image courtesy: Ragasthan music festival)

Talk to him about how difficult it is for genuine talent to get recognition and bring about monetary benefits in the current music scene, he’s quick to put the recent trend of music festivals in context for me. He says they’re not just fun but an important part of the music scene today because of the sheer number of artistes and music lovers they bring together. It’s a big platform for upcoming artistes because they get to play in front of a live and unusual audience that may have never heard them before. Also, the turn out of people at successful festivals is much higher than at the usual gigs.

After a fun session, we wind up with the band speaking about some of their upcoming gigs — including the Big Gig and Escape in May. This kid definitely gets a thumbs up from music lovers. And the band’s music can be followed on their official Facebook page and YouTube.He shared that his inspiration for learning the guitar was his brother, who he used to follow very closely since the age of 10. He picked it up by the time he was 18 (which is not too long ago, considering this ‘kid’ is only 21 years old). He was glued to Bob Dylan on YouTube and no one else for the next one-and-a-half years. This was also the time he started writing his own songs.

He then met Dhruv at the Delhi University and they started jamming together for the next year, after which they started their own music project. After two years of experimenting together, they found their sound and Run! It’s the Kid — an indie/folk band with acoustic-driven melodies and minimal set-up, was formed.

A little short of a year ago is when the band started writing their own songs and this was also the time when Bhairav, who has studied music at the London College of Music, joined them as their drummer/ percussionist. For Bhairav, it was his second band, Gravy Train and Roadside Radio being the bands he was a part of before. With talent in place already, they got to a friend’s studio and started recording two minutes later. Less than 10 gigs old, Run! It’s the Kid has performed at various places like The Great Indian October fest in Bengaluru, The Gig Week and Escape (2012), Ragasthan (2013) and so on.

A guitar and harmonica feels almost natural in Shantanu’s hands. The raw feel to his music with a fusion of folk, as he says, has been effortless and a default outcome of his way of writing and the influence of old American folk music on him at the time. While Dylan’s influence is easiest to spot in his music, that isn’t his only one. His liking in music is diverse, ranging from The Doors, Blind Pilot, Arctic Monkeys, but the artistes who influence his writing include Dylan, The Tallest Man on Earth, Dispatch etc. He listens to a lot of Blues from the 1930’s and 1960’s, and psychedelic rock apart from enjoying indie music.

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