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Drummer SambitC speaks about his latest line of T-shirts launched recently, and more

The Calcutta boy who has been making music for the last 16 years and is a member of multiple outfits

Saionee Chakraborty | Published 06.04.24, 07:21 AM


Picture: Jishnu Sengupta

A prolific drummer, you are most likely to bump into SambitC at the airport, at any given point of time, with headphones on, immersed in music. The Calcutta boy who has been making music for the last 16 years and is a member of multiple outfits like as we keep searching, Karma - Bandish Fusion, FireWillReign (with Bishwadeep Sikder) and Amyt Datta Electric Power Quartet, is a powerhouse who can be best described as “restless” in creativity, travelling and performing incessantly and making memories. With dreams writ large, he has the boundless enthusiasm to grow and take the city of Calcutta along with him. A stupendous 2023 has seen Sambit set new goals. He chats with t2 about the T-shirt line (priced at Rs 799) that he has just launched and his dreams.

Congratulations! How did your clothing line come about?


I have been slowly building myself as a brand. My artiste name is SambitC and I wanted to take ‘SambitC’ to the next level. I want to build a brand around which I want to have recording studios, products which help musicians and drummers.... I had spoken to a lot of people to design the logo for me, but I wasn’t convinced. So, one day I decided to try my hands at it. The idea was to keep it simple. I designed a circle with a plant inside it and loved it. The circle signifies everything percussion, like tabla, dhol, dhak, madol. And it also signifies the planet we live on. The plant stands for growth. The logo resonated with me a lot — complete as well as growing.

I slowly started inserting it in the content that I make. Then I was brainstorming what else I could do with the logo. A clothing line came to mind. I decided to start with a T-shirt range which everyone could wear and was suitable for all seasons.

I stumbled upon Oneway that is owned by Arnav Jain. First I ordered all their T-shirts and found them to be both comfortable and affordable. Then I got in touch with him and explained the idea to him and he liked it. There was a bit of to-and-fro for a few months and then I locked this design. The final product felt premium. It is 100 per cent cotton.

A lot of people have bought it, more than I had expected. I have started with one colour and that’s the colour of my logo. My (maternal) great-grandfather Jahar Ganguly, who was also an actor, had a car called Austin of England and that car was this colour. A large part of my childhood was inseparable from that car and I wanted to retain that memory in my life.

I like everything to have a story, a personal element, which makes it more meaningful.

Did you choose a clothing line to begin with, because it’s easiest to connect with people?

Hundred per cent, it’s the closest way for my brand to reach every household. If they like the T-shirt, they are going to wear it and spread the word.

Did Chitrangada (Satarupa, multidisciplinary artist, actor and wife) have inputs?

I take her opinion on everything and it matters the most to me. She is the only one who will tell me the things I don’t want to hear, which I think is very important. She is honest in her feedback and was the one who suggested why don’t I try oversized. I myself love wearing oversized clothing.

What did this process teach you?

I started reading about colours and the role it plays. I had no clue as I had mostly worn black all my life. When I started appreciating colour, I started wearing more of it. It’s helped me understand how important it is to generally know about what you wear, what your vibe is, what you like and don’t like. I started appreciating what Chitra would wear more because she wears a lot of colours. Even the role of colours in your decor.... then we started discussing that our wall would be in this shade.... (laughs).

Also, I realised that I shouldn’t box myself. If Taylor Swift or Post Malone can have merchandise, so can I. It will definitely be smaller, but that’s the way everyone starts.

I am not here to make profit from what I am doing at the moment. I am just trying to spread the word. I am working on a summer line now.

On the music front, 2023 was amazing, right?

Last year was incredibly important for aswekeepsearching (band). We played at Lollapalooza (music festival) and it was amazing. Then we played at Singapore Grand Prix, the only Indian band there, alongside Post Malone and Kings of Leon. Then we played at Bandland, Bangalore, where we opened for Deep Purple.
Personally, it was also amazing. I played with Amyt (Datta; guitar guru) for Steve Vai, when he was in Calcutta. Amyt Datta Electric Power Quartet is my newest project, which is doing great. We played at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre. I am getting to experience a mixed bag of events.

My first solo single released with Ritabhari Chakraborty and Nikhita Gandhi called Time. My dad (tabla pro and ace percussionist Subhen Chatterjee) and I did the Kolkata International Drum Festival, the first of its kind in Bengal. We’ll do it this year as well. I also was the only drummer in the history of Fossils to feature in Coke Studio Live performance. I played one song with them as a part of Fossils & Friends.

I also did a national OnePlus advertisement, which featured only me.

Do you want to try acting?

I am very excited to do it. Chitra and I keep discussing that I should explore that. That attempt will be in front of her. We have done a short film, a thriller, where I have acted and she has directed and shot by Rusha Bose.

You have been playing since you were in Class IX...

I am obsessed with collaborating with people to bring back the glory days of Calcutta’s independent music. I owe a lot to the city and its people. There is a lot of talent pool in Calcutta and I need the help from my city to help all of us dream bigger.

What is the independent music scene in India like now?

The independent music scene is improving, but it’s not facilitated to that extent because we don’t have venues. Those who are writing their own music, where will they play? And, the audience needs to grow beyond their friends. Young musicians are playing in Bollywood bands because it’s lucrative. My whole grooming has happened through original music. That culture is slowly changing.... I am just trying to understand what can be a bridge so that both can exist.

I think 2010 to 2016 was the best time for the Indian scene. We had indie pop before that. Ram Sampath made an album... Shaan, Euphoria....

Do you think the demise of television has played a part?

When you watched anything on the television, it wasn’t your choice and in most cases, you would discover new things. Now, it’s centrally focused on what you want.

What is your mantra to juggle so much?

I am extremely hyper as an individual and I want to make the most of my active years. It’s now that I am able to channelise that restless energy into things that I want to do. I am calm enough to understand what deserves my energy and what doesn’t. This is what I have learned from all the women in my life. I am still learning though.

Last updated on 06.04.24, 10:27 AM

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