“The world's most famous and popular language is music.” – Psy. Ours is a country blessed with the numerous dialects and crazy diversity. So, when it comes to the regional music scene we have over 15 languages to celebrate rhythm with. Avial, a band formed back in 2003 decided to express their music in the language they first learned to speak.We got in touch with one of the first bands from India to make regional rock music a sensation, and got chatty with them about their journey, struggles, fans and future plans.
Music truly breaks the barriers of language, and your band has proven that. How has this revolutionary journey been?
Avial: Thanks for the kind words. The journey has been fantastic. To be frank, we never imagined we could go this far. We always wanted to sing and make music in our own language. That is how it all started. In fact a lot of regional acts emerged from all over the country and not just Kerala (Malayalam rock music), after our release. So if our music has influenced others, we are glad.
A lot of your fans don’t speak Malayalam. How do you react to the fan love, when they don’t exactly understand the meaning of your songs?
Avial: That’s the beauty of music. Our major fan base is outside Kerala, and it feels amazing to be loved by fans irrespective of them understanding the meaning of our songs, it feels good to be associated to a band that bleeds the fact that music has got no language.
You survived the indie music space when social media wasn’t such a big driver for independent musicians. Tell us everything about the struggles your band faced in the first few years.
Avial: We were lucky enough that our music was promoted more by ‘word of mouth’ than other means of promotion. Our first video Nada Nada went viral on Youtube in those days (2006). And during early years of social media we had an Orkut fan page and a micro site where we shared and uploaded our demos. That really helped us in reaching out to many new fans. But the major struggles were quality recording, renting a professional studio and raising funds for various equipments required by the band. Today access to almost everything has become so much simpler.
A word of advice for upcoming indie artists who sing in regional dialects?
Aditya: Be unique! It’s essential to have something different and special about your band. Every artist should pursue only what they are naturally good at, rather than being influenced or trying to prove a point. Having originality in your music is of paramount importance. And also, spend less time on social media and more with your music. That applies to all ;)
Lastly, crazy collaborations, an Avial cook-off with all band members or a complete new album - what should your fans look forward to in 2016?
Aditya: Haha! An Avial cook-off is something we’ll definitely fail at. But hey, we might actually try it. We’ve been working on new material since a long time now, though it still is too early to disclose anything. And, speaking of collaborations we did do an Italian-Malayalam track with a band called 'A67 back in 2008. We’re hoping to try out some more interesting collaborations in the coming times!