The name Shanka Tribe is Inspired by the nostalgic and spiritual element of the hankh (conch). It, in a way, symbolizes what this Kochi-based band represents – A form of connection through instruments that are derived from the sounds of nature. Their first single video – When Nature Calls – is a visual and musical representation of their band. By using tribal and indigenous instruments, Shanka Tribe has mastered the art of creating a unique style of tribal music that connects deep into the soul of the listener.
Just like many of us here, we’re excited to watch them perform live at IndieGaga in Kochi on the 21st of February. Get ready to bang your head since we had a chance to have a quick chat with Shanka Tribe and you might want to check this conversation out.
As the pioneers of ‘nature trance’ music in our indie scene, what do you think makes this genre click among the audience?
As we know, music serves as a medium of communication to celebrate, invoke, or accompany aspects of the cycle of life. In ancient culture, music is closely connected to and intertwined with nature. Tribal music is an integral part of spiritual, social, moral, and cultural events. It is observed that tribal tones connect deeply to our own primeval consciousness. Shanka tribe is always fascinated by these characteristics of raw organic music and tries to combine traditional music with world music. This might be a reason that makes this genre click among the audience.
How did the thought of infusing tribal music elements come about?
It was our fascination with the raw and natural tone of the instruments which were used in the olden times. We knew we had to bring back/ rediscover less familiar sounds and experiment with them.
You have talked about the use of various unconventional instruments such as the didgeridoo, murchang, djembe, etc. How did you build expertise in these instruments, given that there are minimal infrastructure or facilities in India for the same?
Our travels helped us a lot to identify these instruments and get a hang of them. But all of us have mostly self-taught these instruments and with peer help, we were able to master them.
You have been actively touring the country for the past decade, but when it comes to digitally releasing your work, you have been fairly conservative. Is this part of a larger plan?
We feel our music is best experienced live. Our thoughts are to facilitate a lot of live performances around the globe before making all of our music available on digital platforms. However, the band actually is planning for a bunch of releases in 2023.
We feel that the kind of contemplative mood your music creates would render very well as background scores in films. Given that many indie artists juggle the two careers today, is film music something you’re interested in?
Though Shanka tribe as a band hasn’t done a film music contribution yet, all our musicians have been part of film music for a long time now. Yes, we juggle between two careers. But there are incoming film projects for Shanka Tribe coming up in the future.
What is your long-term vision as independent artists?
We want to create a community of musicians, performance artists, dancers, and people to travel around the world, performing at festivals and creating good music. A record label of similar music is also of an eye.
What’s the best thing about performing live sets?
Seeing the crowd connecting with the music and dancing their hearts out.
How excited are you to perform at IndieGaga? What are you looking forward to at the event? And, which band/musicians are you excited to strike up a conversation over there?
Yes indeed, especially with this lineup, Indiegaga is setting up a benchmark for Music festivals in Kerala. And Kochi has always been a favorite venue for the band so looking forward to having a good time.
How’s 2023 looking for you?
2023 looks like a very positive year with the first quarter already booked with live shows almost every weekend. Also, we’re excited about the upcoming releases.
Excited to watch Shanka Tribe live? Book your tickets to IndieGaga in Kochi here.
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