Jazz-hop band Fakeer & the Arc talk about the music and upcoming gig

Bengaluru-based band Fakeer & The Arc play a unique blend of jazz, hip-hop and soul. Composed of vocalist Oran “Fakeer” Brahma, guitarist Aniket Roy Chowdhury, drummer Shubham Bhardwaj and bassist Lalsang “Donnie” Phaipi, the outfit debuted at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Chennai. We talk to the band as they play a digital concert, Vh1 All this jazz concert:

Tell us a bit about your band and how it started?

Aniket, Oran and Shubham met at the Swarnabhoomi Music Academy, where we were study jazz, hence the strong influence of the genre on our music. After our musical studies, we got together a few years later to form the group Fakeer and the Arc, that’s when our bassist Donnie joined us. The four of us bring different elements to our sound and our compositions.

The group is actually a collaboration between the jazz trio The Arc which means Aniket Roy Chowdhury and rapper Fakeer. The word Fakeer means our philosophy of making art and music for love and not for achieving material wealth.

How would you define your music?
This is our take on merging genres like contemporary jazz and hip-hop, but still keep the essence alive for both and merge them with more styles of music. As we like to call it jazz hop.

What other artists are you inspired by?
Our influences come from a wide variety of genres, from psychedelic rock, folk to jazz. and hip hop. Some of the artists we admire are John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Anderson Paak, Common and many more.

Tell us a bit more about your previous EP, Ikigai.
Ikigai was our first outing last year. It is a collection of three pieces that speaks of the heartbreak, drug abuse, finding a better meaning or a better way to live. This is why it seemed appropriate to name the EP Ikigai. The word comes from the Japanese language and means to find a purpose in life.

What are the themes and what are some of the songs?
All of our music reflects and talks about the environment we are in, and as a new album was written during the lockout, it talks about isolation, distance and the political situation we find ourselves in. Through this album, we are trying to heal and survive these times of peril.

What are you working on now?
We hit the studio for our second EP, which is in preparation. We have a few guest features in this EP. It’s a great experience for us to record it. We don’t have a fixed release date yet, but we expect it to be released next year.

What are you going to play at the virtual concert Vh1 All That Jazz on World Jazz Day?
For the special of the day Vh1 Jazz, we perform an unreleased song from our next EP. The name of the song is Flying Away which is about escaping reality and finding peace. The tune was written in collaboration with T.ill Apes drummer Sange Wangchuk and has an upbeat and carefree vibe.

Vh1 All That Jazz Concert will be LIVE on the Vh1 India Facebook page on April 30 at 5 p.m.


About Dawn Valle

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