Tag Archives: Hamza Kazi

Coshish Launches Two Music Videos in A Day

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Mumbai-based progressive rock band Coshish has released videos for the songs ‘Hum Hai Yahin’ and ‘Bhula Do Unhey’. The first of the two, ‘Bhula Do Unhey’, doubles up as a lyric video as well as a music video, picking up from where Coshish’s previous video ‘Raastey’ left off. Coshish’s drummer Hamza Kazi says, “Since Firdous was a concept album with two stories weaved in, we thought that it would be a great idea to use an additional medium to convey the stories. With ‘Raastey,’ we showcased the photo finding bit and with ‘Bhula Do Unhey,’ we’re giving out the most critical element of the main story – revealing to the audience the mysterious figure who’s written the lyrics behind the photos that you can find in the album packaging.”

The band has associated with Nokia for the second music video, ‘Hum Hai Yahin.’ This song showcases Coshish’s alt-rock side and is the first ever music video to be shot entirely on a Nokia Lumia 1520 phone. Additional phone camera lenses and camera equipment to mount the phones were used, but every shot has been filmed on the Nokia 1520. Says Kazi about the video for ‘Hum Hai Yahin,’ “We were fortunate enough to partner with Nokia to release yet another video, which isn’t exactly in line with the story but is certainly laced with subtle hints. The focus of the Nokia video was to make Indie bands aware of the fact that you can now shoot music videos with a Nokia Lumia and still make it good enough for TV! This will definitely be a game changer that will revolutionize our rock scene.”

Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director, Universal Music and EMI Music, South Asia says “Coshish is one of my favourite Indie bands simply because of their innate ability to go beyond the brief. Their songwriting is solid, their sound unique and their ability to tell a story through music is unparalleled. For a young band to weave a complex story into song is something no one has ever done here in the subcontinent. And going forward with that very direction now comes the next two videos, which again have a huge spin. The first videos ever to be shot entirely on a smartphone. All in all this is a band to watch out for and one from who I have huge expectations. I am personally excited to see where Coshish ends up in the next few months and years.”

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JD Rock Awards 2014 at Mehboob Studios, Mumbai

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Firdous by Coshish

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Hindi Rock already enjoys a lot of popularity and it is particularly hard not to feel queasy when a band proclaims itself to be ‘Hindi Progressive Rock’. The long-haired, Lamb of God loving dudes when made aware of their earthly ‘Indian’ roots, can yield results that can be quite a mess. Stereotypes are a plenty and this is what Coshish shuns through their concept album Firdous. How successfully, remains a contentious question! Coshish is a four-piece band from Mumbai with Hamza Kazi on drums, Anish Nair on bass, Mangesh Gandhi on guitar and vocals and Shrikant Sreenivasan on lead guitars. Coshish, with their debut Firdous makes a dexterous attempt to fuse their eastern and western influences, encompassing everything from Meshuggah and Tool to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Coshish had their PR act sorted way before the much anticipated release of Firdous and a ‘Hitler Reacts’ video gets a worthy mention. This was perhaps just the precursor to how well thought-out their album would be and Coshish has not disappointed on that front. The very concept of Firdous and its artwork is as much laudable as unprecedented it is in the independent circuit. This ten-track album is bound by a unifying theme which is not all that apparent as one may think. The listener is expected to stitch the clues hidden in its artwork and rearrange the tracks to turn it into one seamless track. For the spoilers though, Coshish is the story of a man who denounces this mundane world full of pain and attachments. Anyone thought of Siddhartha or Kurt Cobain there?

Song-writing and the composition does more than a fair job but it’s the vocals that are unfashionably mediocre. The harkatein (nuances) have plenty of sharp edges and the voice overall is barely sonorous to effectively communicate the darker feel of the album. The title track ‘Firdous’ and ‘Bhula do Unhey’ stand out while the radio pop rock ‘Coshish’ is the perhaps the biggest dampener in the entire album. Though, it’s the finale ‘Mukti- an instrumental’ – the grandest of all that truly enriches the flavour of ‘Progressive Rock’. The track, in its entirety, traverses through mellow overtures which are subsequently taken over by heavy riffs and some impressive solos by Shrikant. Having said that, the production deserves credit and you have none other than the ever-impressive Zorran Mendonsa to thank for that.

The underlying darker theme, the album artwork and the music may have struck a few discordant notes, but Firdous still remains a remarkable debut. It is in every sense an unprecedented and indeed a very brave foot forward by Coshish. The very idea of a theme or a story to the entire album is a refreshing one and we can just hope for a domino-effect!

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Made Love To The Dragon by Workshop

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After almost a four-year long break, the Demonstealer is back with his funny hard rock outfit – Workshop, with their second studio release Made Love To The Dragon. Post the release of their first studio album – Khooni Murga in 2009, the Bombay band has witnessed a couple of line-up changes with Devesh Dayal and Aditya Kadam replacing Rajshri Battacharya and Riju Dasgupta, on guitars and bass respectively. Much like their previous album, the band mostly uses comical, lyrical themes to tickle your funny bone; however the guitar tracks through the album, song compositions and the production quality in general have gone up several notches. My only real concern with the album is that Sahil Makhija sounds like every man but himself in most of the songs, from sounding like Eric Cartman in ‘Down to Dahisar’ to impersonating a constipated middle eastern man in the ‘Bunty aur Mallika (Habibi Mix)’ the demon, has truly discovered his vocal depth with this album.

The album kicks off with the title track, ‘Made Love to the Dragon’ which slowly eases you into Workshop’s scheme of things with hard rock/pop composition, flipped out lyrics, and sweetened guitar work. The second song, ‘Down to Dahisar’ mirthfully captures the essence of living in suburban Bombay, and is a hostile reminder of the skyrocketing real estate rates in the city. ‘Bhoot Bungla’, with its evocative riffs, haunting vocals, reggae ghost narrator, and other random spooky elements makes it a really fascinating track. The fourth song of the album, ‘Munni Jawan vs Sheila Badnaam’ is probably the only song in the album I didn’t get hooked onto despite playing it on loop several times. The next track, ‘Gajanad Dhige’ is a hilarious portrayal of the stereotypical small town Indian man in quintessential workshop style, and is perhaps my favourite track of the album along with ‘She Came’ which is a beautifully composed satirical narrative on arranged marriages in India and the adverse effects it has on women and their needs. The seventh track of the album, ‘Naagin Ki Nazaar’ is an outrageously funny song to the say the least, the parallels drawn between the ‘Naagin’ and a certain part of the male anatomy is hysterical, and the lyrics will surely make any first time listener laugh out loud. The next song, ‘Blues Motion’ has a ‘metal meets the blues’, ‘demon sings the jazz’ feel to it, with the signature chorus melody associated with bluesy songs (if I may call them so). A re-mastered version (habibi mix) of that epic track from Khooni Murga – ‘Bunty aur Mallika’ feels like a last minute add-on to this 9-track album, however I must add that the obscure vocals will in all likelihood, make you chuckle.

In a nutshell, Workshop’s second coming – Made Love To The Dragon is a more than worthy successor to their rib-tickling debut effort Khooni Murga. Hamza ‘Hamzoid’ Kazi, carries on the good work from the previous album and provides the band a sturdy foundation to work with. Aditya Kadam fills in the void created by Riju with consummate ease, while Devesh Dayal is in top form through the album and it’s really not hard to decipher why he’s tipped as the most exciting young guitarist in the Indian music scene.

Musically, the album is way superior to its predecessor and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. Thanks to Sahil’s marketing genius, there are plenty of ways you can get hold of the album, there’s a cash on delivery option for the physical copy, you can download the digital copy online, apple users can buy the album from i-tunes and fellow Nokia users like myself can download the entire album absolutely free from the Nokia music store. Yes, you heard it right.

Since, I didn’t pay for the album I can’t say it was worth my money, but it was definitely worth my time and it was definitely worth deleting Path of Totality to accommodate Made Love to The Dragon in my phone.

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