It was, in fact, this runaway success that happened to them while they were barely born into the musical world that spurred them on to aspire for the heights that they have reached. Very shortly after, they followed through with their second album – ‘Pehchan’ – in the summer of April 2000. Which leads one to question this whole summer factor in their musical lives. "Morni"- a great folk number from the same album has a great indian classical and western acoustic touch with the unique style of lyrics. The band comprises Mohit Chauhan on the lead vocals, Kem Trivedi on keyboards and sometimes playing the recorder – a unique 17th century European folk wind instrument that lends that distinct touch to Silk Route’s music, and Kenny Puri on percussions and drums.
They also use a motley crew of generally about seven or eight other musicians for their stage and album performances. The band was joined by manager Subir Malik, founding member of the band ‘Parikrama’ - one of the pioneers of rock in India. The music of Silk Route, they would insist, is very much their own, even as they are constantly reinventing their sound and adding to its repertoire. “We come from fairly different backgrounds and what comes together in our music is this confluence of sounds,” explains Kem. He himself comes from a Western classical music background, having won a scholarship at the age of 13 to study music at Edinborough.
Soon after he also won the Inlaks scholarship to study piano and Western composition at the Purcell School of Music in London. Lead singer Mohit however comes from Himachal Pradesh and brings with him the influence of the music from the hills, which adds that folk colour to their music that has made it so distinctive on the ‘Indipop’ scene. Kenny meanwhile is an accomplished percussionist and drummer who had previously played in a jazz band. Together they confess to such diverse influences as Sting, Simon and Garfunkel and Dire Straits, all of which find their way into the Silk Route sound.
“Our music,” says Kem, “unlike contemporary forms, is not very electronic or synthesised but has got more of an acoustic feel to it.” To evoke this sound they use such instruments as the acoustic guitar, harmonica and talking drums. But in order to add colour to their music, they are always experimenting with fresh sounds. For instance, at times they would introduce an electric rock guitar, while at others they use the tabla and Indian percussions. Some of the folk numbers have also shown a Qawwali strain, something that has quite caught the band’s fancy.
Thus, while they insist their music cannot really be characterised, the unswerving forces of the music industry have clubbed it under the category of ‘Indipop’. However, so long as their music continues to be appreciated, they are quite willing to play along with it. The band always added a distinct touch to their music by using acoustic guitars, talking drums and harmonica and primarily by of the use of Recorder, a 17th century European folk musical instrument played by Kem Trivedi. The band's music was influenced by Simon and Garfunkel and Dire Straits. Read more on Last.fm.
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