Releasing singles is a stepping stone for most upcoming musicians. But for renowned artists, it’s always an eager welcome by fans. We, at The Indian Music Diaries scout for the latest single releases by upcoming, and known artists when we curate each compilation. We are open to all genres, styles, languages for our compilation. The only rule? Make good music and we aim to recognise as much talent as possible and give a push forward to the musicians in the independent music scene of India.
1. Energy by 7 Bantai’Z
Mumbai-based seven crew multi-lingual hip-hop outfit, 7 Bantai’Z released their latest single Energy. They are known for singing in more than five languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, English, Marwadi, Telugu and more. This upbeat, drill track is not only full of enthusiasm but also brings forth the unapologetic and hardworking attitude the crew has towards work and all aspects of life.
2. Individual by That Boy Roby & Sutej Singh
Chandigarh-based three-piece experimental rock band That Boy Roby in collaboration with Solan-based guitarist and composer Sutej Singh released their latest single Individual. This seven-minute instrumental track with multiple crescendos is sure to keep the listener hooked right till the end. The subtle whispering towards the last minute of the track adds to the alluring and experimental style the band is known for. The single attempts to take its listeners on a chaotic yet concurrently harmonic musical voyage. The collaboration for this song took shape out of the eclectic creative intensity arising from the ashes of a global pandemic. Singh, with his clean guitar riffs, shows his prowess as a guitarist who is ready to experiment.
3. December by Postcard17
Postcard17 is Kerala-based singer-songwriter Ananthu Balakrishnan’s alternative-indie act. He released his third single December which is about a longing for a long-gone winter time spent with someone special. The music video, directed by an award-winning filmmaker Balaram J follows the story of a teenager finding a mysterious sweater in which another human being lives. This mythical being appears only when he wears the sweater. The rest of the story is about how their relationship takes different twists and turns. This indie-rock track is comforting with a sense of longing which you can’t help but keep going back to.
4. Sad Reel by Rishaad
Gurgaon-based singer-songwriter and rapper Rishaad released his sophomore single Sad Reel. This melodic rap is an honest and heartfelt account of this 20-year-old rapper’s coming of age realisations. The track revolves around the theme of self-doubt and the ingenuity of modern-day early 20s relationships complicated by the duality of social media.
5. Hot Summer by Clifr x Tintin
Bengaluru-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Clifr and hip-hop artist Tintin got together for their sophomore single Hot Summer. This song is part of their upcoming collaborative album Meet Me Halfway. This energetic rap song is paired with melodic horns and catchy punchlines.
6. Only If You Care by Begum
Delhi/Goa-based three-piece alternative post-punk band Begum released their sophomore single Only If You Care from their upcoming album Are you ok? The music video for this song comprises live snippets by people around the world where they captured the exact moment of 3 pm IST on July 7 2021. The idea behind this was to capture a singular moment through several perspectives, whether grand or mundane. While the five-minute song is not lyrically heavy, it does have an alluring and dramatic feel to it with a constant paced rhythm. This song, along with their previous release, both have a similar vibe where they keep the listener engaged.
7. Tum Ho Meri Jaan by Dhruv Kapoor
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Dhruv Kapoor released his latest Hindi single Tum Ho Meri Jaan. This track is also the first single of his upcoming debut album. Kapoor sticks to his style of acoustic guitars and soothing soft vocals with this track as well. The song is about two people finding it hard to express their love for each other. As the song progresses, they fall deeper in love with each other and eventually tell each other how they feel.
8. Nistar by Rajneesh & Arnav
Pune-based student Arnav Deshmukh who goes by his first name collaborated with Rajneesh for his sophomore single Nistar. This Hindi pop song has a catchy melody, which a listener would end up humming after listening to it a couple of times. He is also one of the first artists to mint tracks as NFTs and owns the rights to them.
9. Manzil by Tanzeel Khan ft Mr. MNV
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Tanzeel Khan collaborated with long-time friend, actor and content creator Manav Chhabra who goes by the alias Mr. MNV for their latest single Manzil. It is the fifth single from their debut album Dastaan. This Punjabi-Hindi song is the realisation of a much-cherished dream for both of them as they have been singing and rapping together for a long time. The song sees the progression of Khan as a singer-songwriter who is at ease with shifting genre styles from romantic ballads to hip-hop.
10. Can’t Breathe by WARDEN feat. My My Sugar
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and frontman of ONEmpire Zarir Warden who goes by his last name WARDEN released his fifth single Can’t Breathe in collaboration with Toronto-based alternative-rock band My My Sugar (MMS). This pop-rock song which comes off as a rock ballad is a seamless blend of the styles of both artists individually. WARDEN’S music can be classified as old-school meets new-age with a hint of gospel and that is exactly what this single is.
11. Fly (Higher) by Stenfer
Delhi-based multi-genre artist Adarsh Yadav who goes by the moniker Stenfer released his latest single Fly (Higher) as an NFT with Arjun Singh Puri on vocals. The journey of this song was like a road taking Yadav to the mountains and the energy of the song is meant to make one feel the existence of simplicity in this complex world. This electronic track has glitches and effects blended with a slow piano melody.
12. Tshirt from Every Lover by Jade
Independent musician Jade released her debut single Tshirt from Every Lover. This song is about the feeling of longing. She composed this song in 2019 but later realised that the meaning changed for her because she had grown. However, it does remind her of her good old childhood days when she would listen to country rock artists all day. The country-rock influences can be seen in the song with her singing style, making it an ear candy.
13. Hamdard by Derain
Brooklyn/Delhi-based producer and DJ Ankit Chugh who goes by the alias Derain released his latest single Hamdard after a long hiatus. The Urdu word Hamdard translates to somebody who sympathises with someone. In this context, this song is celebrating the end of the year-long farmers protest after the government repelled the farm laws. Farmers, according to him, are the hamdards. Chugh aims to bring the sounds of the South Asian heritage to the world and this song is also a blend of such elements where the track starts off as slow, eventually reaches its crescendo and then starts again; keeping the listener hooked.
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14. Straight Through by The Revisit Project
Delhi-based funk/ jazz-fusion band The Revisit Project released their 25th single Straight Through. The band is known for their funky, groovy tracks. However, someone who has been following their music can easily notice the shift in their music sonically. With this track, they don’t stick to their funky groovy tunes, but instead, have a more neo-soul approach. Vocalist Vrnda Dhar once again shows her prowess as a jazz vocalist. This song is written from the perspective of a self-absorbed and manipulative control freak, trying to save a dying relationship.
15. In My Skin by Shashaa Tirupati ft. Keba Jeremiah
National award-winning vocalist, songwriter, singer and performer Shashaa Tirupati, who is raised in Vancouver released her debut single In My Skin in collaboration with Keba Jeremiah. The single talks about how even the masked intensity of sheer musing towards someone clueless, has the capacity to stir up what had grown dormant, immeasurably jolting the senses to life, embracing that moment. The song has acoustic guitars and Tirupati’s melodious vocals, exactly what one could expect from an award-winning vocalist.