Mukt, a band from Ahmedabad, who exclusively works with classic literature and composes poems, ghazals and all formats of poetry into Rock music.
Each of their songs speaks a different & unique story of its own, woven through years from as old as 15th century until now. They have composed poetries by Ibn-e-Insha, Dharamveer Bharti, Kaifi Azmi, St. Kabir and more.
Mukt’s songs are stories, ideologies, lessons and teachings spanning over a time span of 500 years, from Sant Kabir’s “Bada hua too kya hua re, jaise per Khajoor” to Ashok Anjum’s “Khidkiyon ki Saazishon se such hawa ki dheel se”. Each song is composed with great passion which reflects in their music. They are coming up with their debut album which is in post-production right now.
“We feel that an artist is nothing but a mirror, and it reflects the society around him. All these poems are written with such passion, emotion and creativity that it conveys its message beautifully.
Any poet from anywhere cannot be compared to the other. Each poem has its own individual identity and importance. It is (according to us) compulsory for everyone to get to know these gems in any way possible. We are musicians, hence we use the medium of our music.”
They have been travelling with these songs since the last 2 years and has performed at prestigious stages such as Natarani (World Music Fest), National Law University (Jodhpur), Indore Literature Festival, Guntur International Poetry Festival, Cept University, Kanoria Centre for Arts, to name a few.
Back when Tarun Gagdekar & Udit Bhavsar met in Grade 11 with a similar passion, they formed Mukt in about 2013, it was a Bollywood cover band then. It was in 2016 when they got the push to pursue original music leaving behind the comfortable earnings they were getting doing private parties, cafe gigs, etc.
When asked about the most courageous step they have taken, the band answered, “What moved us was a meeting with the band Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe in an after-party of their show in Ahmedabad. We started doing our own music very soon after that.
We decided to completely leave cover music and converted into an original band by about 2017. We do this full time and have no other income/way of earning. This probably was the most courageous decision we ever took.”
When we asked them to speak about the process of this album they said, “Our belief in our sound took a huge jump when we performed our first ever originals set in Natarani’s World Music Fest in Jan 2019. After which, we instantly got a boost to produce our debut album and since then the process started for the much-awaited album of ours.”
While talking about the competitive world they said, “There are bands who have been working in this field since decades and their music has got better and better. But it always motivates us to do our music with more passion and dedication.”
“We explore a lot to create our unique sound both lyrically and technically. We tend to deliver a huge variety of lyrical masterpieces with our musical experiments. Even after getting inspired by a variety of bands, we always try to have a distinct sound of our band.”
All the band members belong to middle-class families and have faced difficulties in the beginning when they were searching for what they are doing currently. The band members even got an ultimatum to earn enough and give financial support in their respective homes every month as there were fewer numbers of paid-shows.
When asked about how they managed to convince their parents to pursue something like this, the band said, “Ultimately, when they(our parents) tried to understand our music and our got to know that our goal was to do something unique and distinct than others, their support gave us a lot of confidence to continue with our vision.”
The problems or obstacles that the band faces the most is to earn decent money through their music, even after their music being loved by everyone. Talking about their financial difficulties, they said, “About a year back, we used to do private 5-7min performances for each and every table at a local cafe in Ahmedabad and used to ask for any donations in return, through which, we were able to buy a Remo Djembe for our Percussionist Dhaval Yadav.”
Furthermore, TPT got to know that they had initiated a crowdfunding campaign for their debut album which was live on www.gocrowdera.com. They stated that there were two reasons because of which they had to produce their debut album through crowdfunding; (i) to keep their fans engaged with the process of the album and make them a part of the wonderful journey. (ii) The band belong to a place where independent music is not celebrated much, hence they have a lesser number of gigs than commercial artists.
Speaking more about their campaign they added, “Our goal was to achieve an amount of Rs. 5,15,000 out which we managed to get only Rs. 2,50,000 which was even less than the minimum amount required just to record the album, excluding the marketing and other costs. But we still managed the amount required for our audio production and moved on with the project.”
Currently, the album is recorded and in the post-production process. This debut album is recorded by Drona Acharya (Associated Projects: Skyharbor, Kush Upadhyay, Blackstrat Blues, Gumbal and more) and mixed/mastered by Keshav Dhar(Guitarist/Producer – Skyharbor).
Right after the recording of their album, their bass guitarist Raag Jadav left the band and was replaced by Daidipya Sheth, an old friend of the band who is also a Sound Engineer and has mixed most of the scratch tracks of the band since a very long time.
Mukt Band shared their future plans saying, “The current album we have produced has 7 poets of 7 different regions, cultures, ideologies and genres. We wish to tour with this album across the country and spread these literary gems by the medium of music to all kinds of music-lovers.
In the upcoming years, we have thoughts to release songs from literature across the world, in all languages and areas. We wish to be the voice of the poets in the current times. We have already composed some songs from Persian & Gujarati poetry.”
Our goal is that the people who do not open a book to read poetry, can get these poetries in the format of our songs and stay connected to the literature these legends have given to the world.
“We are always very close to our fans and it is amazing engaging with them one to one. Maybe it is our music or the literature we are bringing to people, but our audiences always have been really attached to our work and loved all that we do. The other bands around us also have shown a lot of support to Mukt such as Meghdhanush & Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe.”
All of the band members are moved/stimulated by different genres of music. From folk music to progressive metal, their inspiration comes from all kinds of music. Everyone is always keen to listen to different types of music in their personal time.
Apart from music, they are big fans of bike riding and tend to spend maximum time with each other like attending music fests together or travelling to places for chilling out away from work.
Some of their most memorable trips have been NH7 Weekender Pune, the Bike ride to Ladakh, Rannutsav, etc.
Jungle Ke Jogi: a ghazal by the great Pakistani poet ‘Ibn-e-Insha’ which talks about how we are tangled in our matrix of life where we have time for everything except our own selves. Also, the addition of Shiva Tandava, a Hindu Strotam which enhances the charm of the song altogether.
Nadi Ka Behna: A poem by Shiv Bahadur Singh Bhadauriya, a renowned author and poem which talks about the flexibility of life in any condition. The poem says more about how one should live his life ideally like a river!
Saazish: A poem by Ashok Anjum, who is a respected Indian poet. The poem here talks about the possibilities and how the writer tries to convey the difference between thinking and the actual reality.