Indian A Cappella groups: Fiery Beats from the Vocal Cords

Posted on 20 June, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Image Source: MTVstat.in

A Cappella, originally started as a replacement for instruments in churches, has been making waves across the globe. In India, it is an even newer entrant. But, just because it is new doesn’t mean it’s any less awesome. Indians are fast learners, and our A Cappella groups have been making waves with their vocal airwaves. Here are some of them for you to keep an eye on; well, rather, to keep your ears on.

Voctronica

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Voctronica is credited to be the first beatbox/A Cappella band in India. Consisting of Avinash Tewari, Clyde Fernandes, Warsha Easwar, Arjun Nair and Raj Verma, Voctronica have shown how good they are in the past couple of years. With a record label, Sony Music India on board, these guys are already in the big leagues. Voctronica’s immense talent is pretty evident in the much-loved and viral video  A Tribute to Classic Indian Ads with AIB. In 2015, their tribute to English Indie giants Alt-J with their A Cappella cover of Fitzpleasure ahead of the Brits’ trip to India, was widely received and loved. Earlier this year, they released a video, Evolution of A R Rahman, where they performed a medley of A R Rahman songs, which only earned them more fans, and deservingly so. Voctronica is currently the most popular Indian A Cappella band in the country. This talented bunch knows what they’re doing and are sure to blow your mind with their incredible skills.  

Raaga Trippin’

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Raaga Trippin’ was formed in 2012. The members of the group, Alan De Souza, Gary Misquitta, Gwen Dias, Keshia Braganza, Suzanne D'Mello and Thomson Andrews, are all playback singers across Bollywood and regional film industries. They came together in 2012 for the first time and Raaga Trippin’ worked on the background score of the film Mumbai Mirror. Their latest cover of Dugg Duggi Dugg from the film Jugni is a peek into how talented this group is. Their mashup of A R Rahman composed patriotic songs perfectly captures the essence of patriotism and Rahman’s music, especially as some of the members have worked with the Mozart of Madras. They also show their versatility with their cover of Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass. It is their efficient usage of the freedom that A Cappella offers, which has them in the league of the best A Cappella groups in the country.  

Vocal Rasta

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Vocal Rasta is a 15 member ensemble conducted by Antoine Redon. Although the group is fairly new on the scene, they’re pretty old-school in style, which is also something that sets them apart from the rest. Vocal Rasta functions on old-style A Cappella majorly, while making use of the fairly new beatboxing. Antoine Redon brings western classical influence to the group. Their cover of Jeena Jeena is just a glimpse of their talent, and their rendition of Mukkala Mukkabla will floor you. But, hey, they don’t stop at the covers. Take a look at these lovely original compositions called Love and Respect. For lovers of lovely, feel-good A Cappella, Vocal Rasta is the group you need to keep your ears tuned to.  

Aflatunes

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Aflatunes recently became a rage after their A Cappella medley of Nucleya’s latest album BassRani. They called it AflaRani. Aflatunes is an 8-piece A Cappella group from Mumbai, which has been around for just over a year. This fairly new band has been making rounds in the live concert circuit, and has managed to garner a very good fan following in such a short span of time. They have, on YouTube, given us a glimpse of their talent with various covers – ranging from a Mohd. Rafi medley of Aaja Aaja and Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche to a cover of Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive, and a crazy cover, which ranges across 4 genres, of Sar Jo Tera Chakraye. Their aflatunes will make you groove. They have promised a bunch of original compositions by the end of this year, so keep a watch.

Imported talent:

Penn Masala

Image Source: wikimedia.org

Penn Masala is the world’s first and premier South Asian A Cappella group. They are the most popular on this list, and one of the most popular A Cappella groups in the world. Penn Masala is a project which was started in 1996 by a group of South Asian students from the University of Pennsylvania. They passed the baton on to the following batches of worthy South Asian kids who joined the university. The group quickly became popular with their renditions of Hindi songs. They completed 20 years this year and released a tribute to mark the group’s 20th Anniversary, by covering Phir Le Aaya Dil. The group has so far released 9 albums. In May this year, they toured India for the 5th time. One of their more popular tracks is their mashup of Fix You/Ishq Bina. They also tracked the changes in Bollywood music style over the decades in the Evolution of Bollywood Music. 

There’s something extraordinary and fascinating about A Cappella - how these artistes produce all kinds of music with their vocal cords and still sound real! Which is your favourite group?

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