Meet Pune's "Indie-vidual" Rockstars – Mannfarid
Punekars are famous for their distinct taste of music. Music lovers, here, appreciate different genres of music. One of the music forms which is gripping attention of today’s youth is “rock music”. So, “amateurs de musique rock”, here is a treat for you – “Mannfarid”. This Pune-based band breaks the stereotype image of a “rock band”. The most exciting part of the band is that they create unconventional rock music in Hindi. Their constant energy and a free spirited music drive enveloped in their stage presence has absolutely redefined the meaning of rock music. They believe, in some way, Hindi is the language which is connected better with Indian people. Their lyrical concepts pan across various emotions like hope, pain, regret, overcoming, love, determination, sanctity etc. These emotions clay out their sound to create diverse tapestry for their songs.
They have been actively gigging in Pune, Mumbai and various other cities in Maharashtra. They have also performed at prestigious venues like Blue Frog, The Hard Rock Café, High Spirits as well as recorded at Nirvana Studios, Mumbai. Their debut single “Hoslo ke paro mein” has won at VIMA music awards for “Best Rock Song”- Silver. They have headlined and judged at local rock competitions that include Channel [V ]Launchpad, Sinhagad Karandak, Symbiosis Sympulse and many more.
Here is an exclusive interview we conducted with of Mannfarid and gained new insights on the music scene in the city.
1. What is the meaning of “Mannfarid”? How was the band formed?
Mannfarid, derived from Urdu word Munfarid, which means unique. The word “Mann” is Hindi word for soul, heart or thoughts. So, by virtue of uniqueness that we relate to our music, we named our band as “Mannfarid”. It’s our ongoing candid effort that we stand by our name and create original music and yet stay disparate on the alternative rock platter.
2. How would you define the character of your band?
We are a Hindi Alternative Rock Band. While we are still working on shaping the character, but the bottom-line is that we thrive to make original music typically in Hindi Alternate rock segment. Our sound is a blended combination of melody and heavy rock elements. We like to experiment with rock dynamics based on our lyrical. Along with our varied musical influences may it be Rock sub-genres or fusion, pop, Indian classical. We try to harness these elements to create our sound.
3. Normally, people associate rock music with English lyrics. But all your songs have Hindi lyrics with a touch of Urdu. Is there any specific reason behind it?
Although, we diversified from initial English lyrical themes to Hindi, while retaining and enhancing the sound of the band. We want to present rock music patronized in our own “Hindi” language. We want our music to make a mass appeal and not limit rock music to English language. While the English rock scene is much proliferated it’s our ongoing conviction that rock music can yet make a statement in Hindi too, subsequently widening the audience who relate more to our very own Hindi language.
4. Today, we see that lot of music bands play covers of the songs which are already popular, but you seem to focus on performing your original compositions. Did that fear of “not getting so popular” cross your mind?
We truly believe in going the roads less travelled and there are no short cuts to success. As far as “getting popular” thing, wish there was a formula to it. But on a serious note, writing our own music really gives us the kick. We never dug the idea of becoming known for the music that we did not write or create. Although covering is another good way to get attention and lot of bands do take that route, but we still like the idea of owing the music that we make. Making original music entices us and feeds our creative instincts to its core. Understandably, original music takes a little longer to win hearts, but we put lot of efforts to make it standout.
5. Are all band members full time music professionals?
We are a combination of band members who are IT and ex-IT professionals. But all of us intend to go full time in music in some point in time. While Onkar and Amit our already rowing. They gave up their jobs for their passion. Now, Onkar has his own studio named PRODIGI STUDIO and has been working as music producer, wherein he has produced for other notable bands and artists in the music circuit. Amit, being part of Mannfarid, is also freelancing his Bass talent for recordings and gigs with renowned musicians and singers and is also a Guitar Instructor along with Kirit. Lakshya Bhatnagar, winner of Sony Music voice of Pune continues to impress crowd, be it Mannfarid or solo extempore performances. Elvis is still pursuing education but can make some serious air move with his drumming talent. Rishabh Dyundi continues to contribute on vocals and creative support , along with his inevitable ideas on composition.
6. Any memorable reaction from a ‘fan’, which remained in your mind?
While we have been lucky enough to hear good words, it’s really difficult to tell a single memorable comment. The memorable reaction as a whole for us is the indulgence and energy that our fans show during our performance. It’s really encouraging to know how our fans/friends connect to the music that we make. Like we said, their indulgence is our true souvenir.
7. How can we listen to your songs? Are they available online?
We are working on our debut album and our currently under pre-production stage. Three of our songs are already out on the net and are receiving very encouraging reviews. Please feel free to check out below songs at https://soundcloud.com/mannfarid
1. Fateh Ho
2. Hoslo ke paro
8. Do you think that culture of “Pune” has influenced your music? Tell us about any special connect you have with this city.
We are very much “Punekars”. While Rock music takes a little beat when it comes down to culture aspects, while bridging comes along seldom as our cultural inheritance have complete different roots. But music is a free form and can definitely penetrate wherever it needs to. We would always love to fuse and create flavors to please our beloved Punekars’ hearts.
9. Where do you think Pune excels in and where does is lack when it comes down to acknowledging good music?
We think Pune has really matured to independent music scene, and there are good amount of rock listeners. Pune audience is quality listeners and is very receptive to good music. And understandably, quality has gained its own significance, as almost all of us are exposed to lot of music via different mediums, music which has international standards so on and so forth and the crowd is ever hard to impress if you really want to make statement through original music. But most of the people here are very appreciative. It’s a really good thing, because Bollywood music continues to dominate the music scene, especially nowadays, when Bollywood music is expanding to cross genres, in its own way. In Pune, it’s still conducive as there is audience who keep turning up for live shows and there are quite a few venues that are facilitating these live gigs, providing a new platform for bands and live entertainment for music lovers. We think more folks should consider live music as their party protocol because there is some serious talent in the city and all they need is audience. Also, we believe buying music is something that audience should consider as it definitely provides monetary encouragement to musicians. All in all, people are warming up the live culture and we find ourselves blessed to be a local here and it’s always fun playing in Pune, our very own home ground.
10. How can our readers get in touch with you?
Please visit our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/Mannfarid
You can also contact our band manager Mr. Yogesh Diddee – 9860123197.
11. Can you share details of your upcoming events/gigs?
There are quite a few gigs in pipeline and we would be updating the same on our Facebook page shortly, so stay tuned! 🙂
Members of Mannfarid: Lakshya Bhatnagar : Vocals. Kirit Mandavgane : Guitars, Backing Vocals. Onkar Tarkase : Guitars, Production. Elvis Massey : Drums. Amit Gadgil : Bass Guitar. Rishabh Dyundi : Creative Aid/ Ex – Vocalist