Band of boys ready to rock - Music show finalist Northeast Breeze mixes folk with Bollywood beats

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 10.12.09
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Guwahati, Dec. 9: A gentle breeze blowing across Assam’s music scene could soon take the nation by storm.

Meet Northeast Breeze, a band of six Assamese youths, which has become the first group from the region to enter the finals of a music reality show.

But that is only half the story. Northeast Breeze, which is mixing Assamese folk tunes with Bollywood hits, is taking up issues which contemporary music has ignored.

“We may or may not win the show,” said the group’s lead singer Rupam Bhuyan today, adding, “What is more important for us is to highlight practical issues. And while doing so we want to take different elements of Assamese folk music to the national scene.”

Their two final opponents in the musical reality show, Idea Rocks India, being shown on Colors, are Jashn from Mumbai and Lambada from Pune. The finals will be aired on December 20.

The show has already made the band a household name in the state and the region with a huge fan following. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has also lent its support to the band’s search for glory in the reality show.

After the finals, the band is planning a tour the country to highlight the issues faced by Assam as well as the world. All the six band-members are mutual friends but decided to work seriously as a group only in July this year.

The other members of the band include lead guitarist Priyanku Bordoloi, drummer Biraj Baishya, keyboardist Anowar Hussain, bassist Anupam Nath and percussionist Bidyut Bikash Bordoloi.

“The reality show happened just after we came together and we have suddenly found ourselves in the spotlight. We make music out of love and not just to win contests. But surely, any win in a competition as big as this will be a big boost to our confidence and careers,” said Priyanku, the lead guitarist of the band, a quintessential rocker with a big tattoo on his back.

What are the issues the band is singing about?

“We have a composition which speaks about the erosion in Majuli. We don’t think musicians and singers are highlighting the issue. But the threat to the river island is very grave,” said Rupam, 28, with a post-graduate and law degree.

Rupam, incidentally, began his journey to fame when he came second in College Icon, a music talent hunt organised as part of Utsav 2006, a shopping carnival in the city.

“The subject of peace is unavoidable no matter how cliched it is. We have a new composition on peace as well,” he added.

The band’s USP is the manner in which it is experimenting successfully by mixing folk tunes like Bihu and Borgeet with Bollywood numbers, giving birth to a new genre.

“We also have a music album in the pipeline which will have music of the Bodos and Karbis,” Priyanku said.

The lead guitarist also said that since the finals of the music show would also be judged on public votes, the band was seeking the support of the people of the region.