The countdown to BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender – India’s happiest music festival has begun! The Meghalaya edition is around the corner, with the line up being released last month. True to its promise that there’s more to be announced, the happiest music festival has added Marty Friedman, TesseracT and Sarathy Korwar to the lineup. Previously announced artists include Karnivool, Intervals, Shubha Mudgal and Raja Kumari, as well as exceptional talent from the North-east like Soulmate: North East Blues Special, Imphal Talkies and Khazi Bloodz. The new additions make this a diverse lineup to look forward to on November 1 and 2 at Wenfield, The Festive Hills, Thadlaskein.
‘We’re thrilled to be back in Meghalaya for our fifth year in the state. Since our festival’s journey began in 2010, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has programmed extraordinary talent for an equally passionate and growing audience of music fans. The festival began as a home for indie musicians to connect with their fans like never before, and over 10 years, it’s been surreal to witness the festival grow in the most organic way – both sonically and as a community. With over 82% of our lineup making their festival debut this year, we hope to see fans, old and new to celebrate this decade of happiness with us’ said Supreet Kaur, Festival Director.
Conceptualized by OML, the festival will travel to Pune from November 29 – December 1, 2019 after the Meghalaya edition on November 1-2, 2019, where it will celebrate a glorious decade of bringing the best musical talent to music lovers. Since its inception in 2010, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has emerged as one of the biggest and most awaited music festivals in India. Over the last decade, it has featured over 600 artists from India and around the world across genres.
Details of the artists announced:
Critically acclaimed and widely followed, Karnivool are a progressive metal band from Australia. With their acclaimed 2005 debut, Themata, and 2009’s ground breaking follow-up, Sound Awake, Karnivool established themselves as one of the most vital forces in progressive modern music. Now a major international draw, appearing at festivals such as The Big Day Out, Sonisphere (France), Download (UK), SXSW (US) and Hurricane (Germany), and gaining high praise from international press titans such as Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Kerrang! And Rocksound, Karnivool have belied expectation again with album number three, the brazen and introspective, Asymmetry. This expansive new work was designed in the band’s Perth studio over two years, before in late 2012, the Karnivool caravan headed across the continent to bunker down with legendary producer, Nick DiDia (Rage against the Machine, Mastodon) at Byron Bay’s Studios 301. A new album is expected this year, with the band having teased it to its audience on social media. This will be the band’s 3rd time in India, and their first time in Meghalaya with BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender.
Intervals are a Canadian progressive metal band. Formed in Toronto, Ontario, the band has toured throughout Canada and the United States with bands such as Animals as Leaders, Protest The Hero, Between The Buried and Me and The Contortionist. Formerly featuring Mike Semesky, Lukas Guyader, Matt De Luca and Anup Sastry (the drummer from Skyharbor, a Delhi-based prog-metal act featuring artists from the world over), the band currently features Aaron Marshall with a host of guest musicians. Having made an instrumental release titled The Way Forward in 2017, the band is currently on tour across the world promoting its new, unique sound.
Shubha Mudgal is a Hindustani classical vocalist trained by some of the finest scholar musicians and gurus of the country. Awarded the Padmashri by the Government of India in 2000, she has received several accolades and awards and has also worked on several projects related to music education. She was also awarded the Nana Shirgaokar Chair for traditional music at the Goa University from 2013 to 2015. Along with her specialisation in Hindustani classical music, Shubha Mudgal is also well known for her work with popular music. She performs with a group of accomplished musicians and composers with whom she has had a long association such as Dr. Aneesh Pradhan, Sudhir Nayak, Aditya Balani, Gaurav Balani, Anil Chawla, Srijan Mahajan and Nitin Joshi. While she has performed multiple times at the happiest music festival, this is her first ever performance with BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender in Meghalaya.
Soulmate is a blues rock band from Shillong, Meghalaya, India. Often referred to as legends of the rock and roll and the blues scene in Shillong, the band is primarily made up of Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar, although they frequently team up with session musicians when on tour. Tipriti is considered one of the finest female singers to have emerged from North East India and Wallang remains one of the most respected blues guitarists of India.
Benny Dayal and Funktuation
Primarily inspired by the genres of Funk, Soul, R&B, Disco, and Pop, Funktuation is a rare combination of a live band playing dance music. The band with Benny Dayal on vocals, Carl Fernandes on bass, Alok Merwin on synth and keys, David Joseph on drums, Allwyn Jeya Paul on percussions, Joshua Satya on guitars, and Toby Joseph on sound, started out playing covers of funk music from the ’80s and ’90s, while their front-man, Benny Dayal, began to make his mark in the film music industry. Though Benny’s Bollywood career kept him supremely occupied, he, along with the band were determined to evolve into their own identity, and slowly started writing their original music. This mellifluous funk band has been making waves in the Indie music scene since its inception in the year 2011, also at the same time traveling all across the country and the world playing Benny’s Bollywood hits but with a funk-twist. They finally released their first Tamil-Funk EP ‘Funk Katcheri’ in January 2019 prior to which they dropped their first music video ‘Oora Paaru’ in November 2018. The band has a unique energy which started making waves ever since they came together. They have also collaborated with various other artists for gigs and generated some fantastic numbers to the delight of their audiences. Their biggest asset is their ability to adapt funk into regional languages such as Tamil, Hindi as well as English. They also love putting in a bit of R&B, Disco, and Soul which effortlessly blend with the genre.
When Chai Met Toast
When Chai Met Toast is a four-piece, neo-folk band from Cochin, Kerala formed in 2016. Their debut EP ‘The Joy of Little Things’ was released in 2017, followed by their second EP ‘Believe’ in 2018. They are constantly touring multiple cities and are a festival favorite across India. Their YouTube channel is going strong with over 3 million collective views. Apart from their releases, the band has also worked with the stand-up comedian Kenny Sebastian on the soundtrack of his Amazon Prime Show, ‘Die Trying’. They are known for their foot-tapping energy and unique brand of infectious happy music, which transcends age, genre and even language.
Marty’s first major impact in music was in the game-changing guitar duo Cacophony, which he founded with equally enigmatic and now legendary guitarist, Jason Becker. He then spent 10 years as lead guitarist in the genre-defining thrash metal icon Megadeth. His tenure in the band, considered the “golden era” by many, was indisputably the most successful era in the band’s history, by any criteria. As much as he loved Megadeth, its music and its fans, Marty`s overwhelming love of Japanese music and the Japanese language, found him leaving the band and moving to Tokyo. It is there where his career took off in much unexpected ways. Along with releasing his ever evolving solo albums, he also writes and performs with the top artists in Japanese music, racking up countless chart hits. His 14th solo album, ‘ONE BAD M.F. Live!!’ is an all out celebration of Marty’s music in its rawest form. With that album, the combination of his other worldly experiences culminate into an avalanche of emotion, in his immediately recognizable style.
Born in the US, Sarathy Korwar grew up in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India. He began playing tabla aged 10, but was also drawn to the American music that he heard on the radio and leaking through the doorway of his local jazz music shop. He trained in tabla and translated his skills to the western drum kit, focusing on the adaptation of Indian classical rhythmic material to non-Indian percussion instruments. Korwar has since established himself as one of the most original and compelling voices in the UK jazz scene, leading the UPAJ Collective-a loose band of South Asian jazz and Indian classical musicians brought together through a love of collaboration and improvisation who set up a residency at the Jazz Café in London. Korwar has collaborated with the likes of Shabaka Hutchings, clarinettist Arun Ghosh and producer Hieroglyphic Being,as well as groups Penya and Ill Considered. He has toured with Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal and Moses Boyd. Korwar released his second studio album, More Arriving, in July 2019 – a leap forward from his previous releases, incorporating rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi, spoken word and his own Indian classical and jazz performances.
The UK-based progressive metal pioneers, who were instrumental in paving a new wave of exciting and heavy sounds the world over, are returning to India. The quintet has arguably become one of the UK’s biggest metal propositions. From performing to sold-out crowds at landmark festivals to making history as the first band to play on top of an igloo village in the Arctic Circle –it seems no place is off-limits for the five members. Their fourth album – Sonder – was announced in 2018 and from the bending grooves of opener Luminary to The Arrow’s concluding reversed samples, clocking in at 37 minutes in total, here is a band that never sounded so honest and direct. Dan Tompkins, the band’s lead vocalist, is familiar with the festival, having collaborated with Keshav Dhar for his progressive metal and djent side-project Skyharbor on stage in Pune and Delhi at previous editions. However, this does mark the first time that Tesseract will be performing at BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender. Armed with a new album and a new sound, this promises to be a new journey for the band and the festival as it enters its 5th year in Meghalaya.