One year on, Moksha making strong waves in city’s music culture

Hyderabad: In Indian mythology, the word ‘moksha ‘ means freedom and liberation. And this is what the music band Moksha aims for each time they perform on stage. They want their audience to forget everything and immerse in their songs.

Moksha is a six-member all-boys band in Hyderabad. It consists of vocals, bass guitars, keyboard, guitar, flute and drums. Vinod Sharma is the lead singer or vocals, Pranay is on the keyboards, Sathvik Kondepogu strums the guitar, and Akhil Vishwanathan pats out sounding rhythms with his base, Swaroop swoons the crowd with his magical flute and Thiru’s majestic drums brings out the dancer in you .

Siasat.com spoke to Akhil and Pranay who spoke about how it all began, their process of understanding music, their challenges, and future plans for their one-year anniversary.

Moksha’s journey started during the pandemic back in 2020 when the world was engulfed with uncertainty. At that time, five of the band members were part of a corporate musical band called Adronaulix.

Pranay says, “For some reason, the band did not work. Also, I had enough of the corporate gigs and wanted my music to reach a larger audience. I wanted to perform on stage. It was during that time the world was struck by the COVID-19 virus. “

Akhil

While the COVID-19 pandemic was tough, for Pranay, Akhil, Sathvik, Swaroop, Vinod and Thiru it was a boon in disguise. In fact, the first lockdown created ample time for them to jam and understand each other.

Moksha, who had many common friends, met via Zoom. They discussed and studied music ranging from Carnatic to viral songs. A song will be broken down and decoded and every element and nuance would be discussed in detail.

“We take notes and observations from every discussion we make, even today. It helps us to understand the music better. It is a crucial part of our singing, ”echoed Akhil and Pranay.

Pranay

But apart from being passionate musicians, many of them still work in corporate companies. So how do they find time for jamming?

“Well, our weekends are sacrificed. But it really doesn’t concern us as we are driven by our passion, ”said Akhil, smiling.

Pranay adds, “In fact, on a show day, we do not jam the songs we are set to perform.”

Swaroop

Sensing our confusion, Pranay explains, “We have a database of 50 odd songs which we keep reshuffling for each performance. We have jammed so many times on these songs that it is ingrained in our memories. So on the show day, there is a warm-up practice and we are good to go. We jam on songs that we plan to use in the future, say a month after, or likewise. ”

According to Akhil and Pranay, the learning happens mostly off-stage during discussion. On the stage, their love for music takes over, allowing them to immerse completely and forget the world in those few hours.

Being a six-member team, it is natural that each one comes with their own thoughts, viewpoints and vibe. Disagreements are bound to happen. When asked about that, Pranay and Akhil burst into laughter. “Oh, we have tonnes of disagreements. In fact, there are fights. We are brutally honest with each other, ”says Akhil.

Sathvik

But they also agree that these disagreements teach them things they wouldn’t know. “I, as the keyboard artist, might not understand how a drummer looks at a particular song and vice versa. So we both learn together and see the song in a new light, ”says Pranay.

Moksha has many precious memories to cherish. On August 25 this year, they will celebrate their one-year anniversary. Reminiscing their first performance as Moksha on the same day last year, eyes sparkle.

Akhil and Pranay agree that though they had jammed a lot, the team was uncertain. “It was not the fear of stage as each one of us has performed individually or as a band in the past. It was Moksha performing for the public for the first time, ”says Pranay.

Thiru

However, their first performance was a huge hit. The crowd cheered and encored. Moksha felt goosebumps and happiness knew no bounds. This performance boosted their confidence largely and has been one of their treasured memories.

“Sometimes, we have other bands coming up to us saying they experience a roller coaster ride when they listen to us. That’s a big compliment. We try to sing songs of every genre, ”Pranay says.

Speaking about different genres, Moksha is popular for its KGF theme song. One of their signature songs, it is the favorite of the crowd.

“Once we were performing at Prism when the venue officials shared glimpses of the movie as we sang. It was such a high! The crowd went berserk, ”said Pranay.

Vinod

And as they approach their first year anniversary later this month, Moksha has come up with original compositions. “We have three original songs belonging to different genres – folk fusion, slow progressive fusion and Carnatic fusion,” said Akhil.

This has been one of their toughest challenges. Composing one’s own music requires a lot of hard work, dedication and passion. “This time we are not taking an already played song but composing our own. We cannot go beyond the seven swaras and that’s a challenge. And we love challenges, ”says Pranay.

Moksha plans to gift it to their audience on August 25 at The Moonshine Project, Jubilee Hills. You can follow them on Instagram here.

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