Indie in India

By Akhila Shankar

Pioneers like Indian Ocean, Karsh Kale, Raghu Dixit, Indus Creed, Lucky Ali etc. laid the foundation for the burgeoning indie music scene in India. Today, a new wave of musicians is defining the pop culture of the country. Here is a pick of artists to watch out for:

Prateek Kuhad

This Delhi-based singer-songwriter has carved a niche for himself with his soulful and simple lyrics. A master of playing intimate gigs his shows are an immersive experience in themselves.

Songs you shouldn’t miss: Tum Jab Pass, Raat Raazi, Tune Kaha, 100 words


Ahmedabad-based progressive rock band AsWeKeepSearching have redefined modern rock. Intense and immersive are probably two words that best describe their music. While lyrically their songs are in Hindi, the music itself bares no Indian resemblance. In fact, their music probably has more in common with international prog rock acts like Explosions in the Sky or 65daysofstatic. This makes their music truly a new blend for the ages.

Songs you shouldn’t miss: Khwaab, Zia, What If_?

Parekh & Singh

The Guardian newspaper called them the ‘pop princes at the forefront of India’s New Wave’. Their whimsical and almost Wes Anderson like music video ‘I love you baby, I love you doll’ caught the attention of music fans in India and beyond. Their debut album is easily one of the most international sounding albums by any Indian artist in recent times.

Songs you shouldn’t miss: Philosophize, Ocean, I love you baby I love you doll


Desi Hip Hop is a global phenomenon with Indian diaspora artists (predominantly in the UK) being the flagbearers. In the last few years, an interesting transition happened, shifting focus to India’s ghettos. Divine’s brand of Hip Hop is one of the most resonating sounds to arise from this phenomenon. Rapping in Hindi, talking about what it means to grow up poor in India has evidently struck a chord with the millennials.

Songs you shouldn’t miss: Meri Gully Mein, Raja Baja, Jungli Sher


Just 18 years of age, Aditi (stage name ‘Dot) is a true blue YouTube product. In less than six months since she uploaded her song Everybody Dances to Techno, she has amassed fans all over the country, playing booked out shows on her debut tour earlier this August. Her soprano-like voice that echoes loud over the simplest tunes, is almost reminiscent of the early jazz years.

Songs you shouldn’t miss: Asymmetry, Everybody Dances to Techno


Some may argue that Nucleya can no longer be called ‘upcoming’ artist. The reason he features on this list is that he may have made his mark in India with sold out stadium shows but he is only just beginning his international innings as a global Indian artist. His inclusion of traditional Indian samples and lyrics in regional languages, like Tamil and Punjabi, makes him one of the most exciting artists this decade.

Songs you shouldn’t miss: Laung Gawacha, Bhayanak Atma, Bass Rani


Image sources:

  • Prateek Kuhad – Wikipedia
  • AsWeKeepSearching – Indianbandhub blog
  • Parekh & Singh –
  • Divine –
  • Aditi (Dot) –
  • Nucleya –

The Collective does not claim any right over images used. Rights belong to the respective original proprietors of images.

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