In Conversation With Naalayak, A Hindi ‘Indie Rock’ Act Climbing Fast Up The Ranks

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Naalayak is a four piece band that was formed back in October of 2015. A band that has been making noise in the independent music circuit through their energetic live performances, wish to take their “desi-ness” offshore someday. They recently have released four singles off of their upcoming album ‘Hindi Gaane’. We caught up with them for a chat and spoke about the significance of the monkeys in their logo, what goal they plan to accomplish with the upcoming record and more. Read the entire interview to find out.

The 4 singles are now available for purchase on OK Listen and will be available on streaming platforms on 5th of June.

1. How was Naalayak conceived? What’s the story? What’s the significance of the monkey’s in your logo?

Naalayak is the most cliche word which is used in every Indian school by the teachers for the most annoying and naughty kid in the class and that fascinated Sahil and right from the second standard he thought of forming a band with this name. Then a few years down the line he met Akshat in a club and then got introduced to Garry and Aashish and right after two months the band was formed and each one of us had the same vision of creating an original sound and sharing the music with our audience. The people who have attended our gigs, they know how reckless and extravagant we are on stage. They love us because of our madness and monkeys are exactly like that and those four monkeys in the logo are Sahil, Akshat, Gary and Aashish. We are the actual Naalayak, on stage and behind the stage as well.

2. Which Artists or bands have had the biggest influence on you?

The basic idea of this band is to create our own music, our own essence and own sound as mentioned above but there are certain acts which definitely inspires us. They are; Junoon, Led Zeppelin, Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Lucky Ali, Raghu Dixit Project to be precise.

3. You have a new album coming up called ‘Hindi Gaane’, and you just released four singles of it. Tell us a bit about the album.

To be very honest none of us in the band has proper english vocabulary skills (sarcastically) but jokes apart, when the two word “Hindi Gaane” comes to our mind it automatically take us back to that era where cassettes and CDs were in trend and we think the most raw feeling in the music scene comes from the 90s phase hence this album is an amalgamation of that rawness and the deep down feelings of each one of us. We have experimented with the music and the innate sound of Naalayak. At the end of the day we just wanted to put out directly to our fans the “Indianess” that reflects directly from our band’s name and it’s members.

4. Given the current situation at hand and no live gigs happening in the foreseeable future, what’s your plan ahead?

Looking at the current situation the foremost plan is to be alive so that we can make more music and be there with our lovely audience but unfortunately that is one thing that we aren’t sure of in the present scenario but definitely we have got ample amount of time to work on ourselves and our music and record more songs however it is possible with limited equipments and interact more with our people and keep entertaining them however it is possible.

5. What was your idea behind releasing four singles together?

The album has 9 songs but at this point of time we wanted to stay connected to our fans and release a positive energy through our music. It has worked like a therapy for us, we want our fans to use it like a therapy as well, to overcome this phase. With that we have monetized it so that we get some financial help from the supporters as we don’t have any other source of income.

6. The album artwork looks interesting. Can you please tell us about the concept briefly.

The album art basically promotes Hindi Music. It depicts from the time The Mughals started the promotion of Hindi Music in their Durbar. And we wanted to showcase the fusion of then and now. It’s also a video concept for one of our songs from the album, so yeah we also have a surprise element here for our fans.

7. One Indian independent artist you would like to collaborate with?

Raghu Dixit is one of the most talented artists that our country has witnessed and it’s our dream to collaborate with him.

8. What is the goal that you are looking to achieve or fulfill as a band with this upcoming album?

This answer is basically a story for us. To start with, we released our first album Main Ka Bukhar, our second album is Hindi Gaane and we have already planned of releasing our third album i.e Sexy Bhaiji. The entire discography of Naalayak is planned because we have certain dreams. We want to make a proper independent scene in our country as well as take this “Desi-ness” to the international level as well. We want everybody in the world to have an idea about this specific sound of ours and we just don’t want to vanish from the hearts of our fans after performing for years, we want to create our own legacy. And as a whole the goal is to be there for our fans and create a space for those upcomers who are planning to be a part of this scene and this way “Naalayak” shall live forever.