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City band is spreading compelling social messages

One-year-old Kizhakkuvaasi, a Tamil Indie band, is highlighting societal issues through folk and rock music.

City band is spreading compelling social messages


Ever since he was five, Chanderan loved singing and exploring newer genres of music. After witnessing the rise of independent musicians in Chennai, he was inspired to pursue music full-time — while also highlighting issues of societal concern that irked him. From environment to rural development, Chanderan touches upon several subjects through his folk and rock music.

“It was in February 2018 that I decided to start our band, Kizhakkuvaasi, which in Tamil means a person who lives facing Eastwards. As I hail from Cuddalore where our home faced the beach and the rising sun, I found the name to be fitting. Through the band, I have been writing and singing songs in Tamil on issues that have been bothering me,” says the 26-year-old singer, who goes by a mononym.

The disappearance of many birds like sparrows around us due to the climate change became the muse for one of his songs, Vellai Meghame. “The song is written from a bird’s perspective on how humans’ wants and greed have been killing several animal and bird species. It talks about how the lifespan of birds has been gradually becoming shorter and how several migratory birds are being disrupted due to radio waves,” Chanderan tells DT Next.

Some of his other songs include Kalaignan, which talks about an artiste who fights for the society and helps in developing a village through education, self-sustenance, etc and another one inspired by the late former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s words — “Dream is not that you see in sleep, dream is something that does not let you sleep.” “The song is based on the struggles I had to face while starting off in my independent music career and the dreams I had,” he adds. The song that won him many fans, was an oath song, that urged all the electorate to vote in the elections without accepting any bribe from the politicians. “I was approached by IAS officer U Sagayam’s Makkal Pathai group to create the song ahead of the elections, which I wrote and sang,” Chanderan recalls.

While Chanderan writes and sings all the band’s songs, his friend Sam plays the guitar, Vibhu Aravindan is on bass and Santosh plays the drums. “Being an independent band is not easy as people are under the impression that only the music in the films is worth paying for and listening to. The culture of street musicians and independent bands has still not picked up in Chennai as it has in the rest of the world, making it harder for independent musicians to survive,” laments Chanderan, who also freelances for an event planning firm alongside his music career.

With over 20 songs to their credit, the band now hopes to release an album and a few singles soon. “The sole reason we are making music is for the sake of people, and to connect with them. We want to provide the vibe of a live concert through each of our songs,” he adds. 

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