The group Peepal Tree has also announced making it to the prestigious Grammy Awards ballots for their album ‘Chetana’, which includes a Tamil song dedicated to superstar Rajinikanth.
Peepal Tree’s musicians, who have worked with renowned bands like The Raghu Dixit Project, Moksha, Thermal and A Quarter, and Sandeep Chowta Project, are known for their music which transcends genre descriptions — with a mix of rock, melody, funk, pop and electronica — sung in various Indian languages. The band members Sujay Harthi (vocals), Tony Das (guitar), Praveen Biligiri (bass), Willy Demoz (drums) and Siddhart Kamath (keyboard) share with us their process of making music and how it led to achieving the rare feat of getting their music to the Grammy ballots.
Their recently released song Cauvery, which celebrates the river and the many livelihoods it supports, came to being as the band’s ode to the river, they say. “We have a friend who is involved in Cauvery’s conservation efforts. She suggested a couple of years ago that we could write about the river. We thought it was a great idea. We did not want to sound like we were preaching. Instead, we thought we would make our song more like an ode to Cauvery herself — to convey the beauty and the life-giving nature of this beautiful resource of ours,” the band members share. The song features breathtaking expanse of the southern river. Even though the song is in Kannada, its message holds good for any life-sustaining body of water anywhere in the world, they add.
The band members, however, admit that they did not foresee Chetana (which includes songs in Kannada, Tamil and Hindi) being shortlisted for the Grammy ballots. “We definitely did not expect to make it onto the ballots. Not because we don’t believe in our music, but because there’s so much world-class competition out there. We are elated to have gotten this far,” they assert, adding that winning the award would help get their music out to many more people around the world.
Ahead of veteran actor Rajinikanth’s Kabali release, the music group, who calls themselves fans of the superstar, had released the song Magizhchi as a tribute to him. In the days ahead, they will be working on their second music album.