Arogya was formed when Rainjong Lepcha, Noel Karthak and Rui Xing, all passionate travellers and well known artistes in the regional rock music circuit, met in the July of 2013. It started as a Nepali music project to make an impact and connect with the Nepali masses. According to the members, Arogya is driven by a dream to achieve a kind of immortality by presenting good Nepali songs which will remain in the memory of the music loving community.
Arogya has been active in the Nepali music scene for nearly four years now. With regards to Nepali music, the band has imposed itself as a reference in its genre with deep, powerful and genuine music, high energy shows and unbreakable will. They have also developed a distinct visual identity through powerful stage presence.
The band recently released their second album titled ‘Arogya II’. The five track album has a distinct groove and each song is a treat for the ears. All the songs are in Nepali and their themes delve around interesting concepts about life. In a conversation with the band members, we find out more about the new album and their take on the current independent music scene.
When did you start working on the album?
We started working on our second album in early 2017. It was recorded at Classic Audio Workstation (Darjeeling).
Tell us about the song-writing process? What is the inspiration behind the songs?
We have been experimenting with new material and new sounds, creating different types of original songs for a new sensory experience. We try to fuse in a lot of modern rock elements and mix various genres like electronic, pop, metal, industrial, folk, etc and create a sound of our own which is very different from what you can find in the local music scene.
Our writing is inspired by personal experiences and social issues we face daily, about reality, humanity, love and war. The lyrics are meant to spread messages and awareness, and to reach out to the masses.
Has the album been fully produced by the band?
Signed under Live and Loud Records, we released a self-titled full length album, which was well received by the audience country wide. With the first album cycle completed, we released AROGYA II independently on 7th May, 2018. Through constant evolution and ever-growing motivation, we intend to continue our ascension, aim for new heights and spread our music as much as possible.
Are all the members full-time musicians?
Yes, all the members of the band are dedicated and passionate full-time musicians.
Now that the album is launched, is there a tour happening soon?
We are working on it; we will be disclosing dates real soon.
How do you work out your tours? Do you do it yourself or have a team handling it?
Being an independent band, we organise and manage tours ourselves.
What is your take on the state of the independent music scene in India and its neighbouring nations?
The independent music scene is quite happening these days, but many good bands are not hired because most organizers can’t afford to bear the cost of their travel, food, lodging and payment. This is because of fewer people turning up to watch them and venues having to promote free entrance to attract crowds. It’s hard to land gigs in big cities, especially for bands from the Northeast due to the distance. Only a handful of independent bands are doing well, without the sponsorship of a record label.
In the Northeast, the scene is good but it’s sometimes hard for a band playing original music to grow, as cover songs are mandatory in most pubs and almost always a requirement for show performances.
Your message to fans and aspiring artistes
With hard work, nothing is impossible! If you can think of it, take the next step and do it! Set your eyes on your goal and reach for your dreams. Lastly, please support independent musicians.
This interview was first published in Eclectic Northeast Magazine in the August 2018 issue.