Meet the Bangalore-based Supergroup, Peepal Tree that is steadily proving to be a good example, of how music is truly beyond the format and restrictions of language. Be it their 2018 debut album Chetana, their touch and go with the Grammy ballots or their latest releases, Peepal Tree’s music has touched a lot of people across the country and the world itself.
During India’s Lockdown 1.0 they released a 4 track EP titled 560001, in collaboration with their old friend and long-time supporter – Sandeep Chowta. Their latest release stems from a Lockdown jam that featured Nayi Khushi from their debut album Chetana.
Peepal Tree’s music can be described as Indian melodies sitting on funky grooves with overtones of electronica, and sung in a variety of Indian languages. Peepal Tree attaches a lot of importance to the message they convey lyrically, apart from their musicality on their recorded material and at live performances. The lyrics range from a variety of social issues such as human disregard for the environment to more philosophical ideas, nudging us at times to hold up a mirror to ourselves. They are heavily inspired by literary and philosophical giants of Karnataka, namely Rashtrakavi Kuvempu, Dara Bendra, and Santa ShishunaLa Sharif.
The supergroup was born out of the fervent desire of four friends, all musicians, who wanted to incorporate each others’ musical abilities, leanings, and knowledge, to write ‘good songs’.
They wanted to document their individual musical impressions into a collective expression that would test their ability to write music, represent all the factors that they loved about different kinds of music, while at the same time, keeping them miles away from sounding ‘very esoteric or self-indulgent’. While the band started working on music together in 2011, they found their rhythm to roll only by 2014.
The band was chosen by All India Radio to represent the country in the ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) Radio Song Festival in 2015 and happens to be the only band from India to have done so till now. The band has also performed with world-renowned musicians like Jojo Mayer from the band Nerve, and Christian Galvez.
The Bangalore based band — that doesn’t believe in shackles that come with genre-based descriptions — comprises of Sujay Harthi on vocals, Tony Das on guitars, Praveen Biligiri on bass, Willy Demoz on drums and Siddharth Kamath on keyboards. Each musician in the band brings a wealth of experience to this project, having been a part of the Hindi and Kannada movie industries, apart from playing in some of the most successful bands from India, namely The Raghu Dixit Project, Thermal & A Quarter, Moksha, Sandeep Chowta Project, and Bhoomi among others.
Details bios of all members, below.
Latest Release: Lockdown Jam Video – Nayi Khushi (Single from their debut album Chetana)
The tracks talk about newfound happiness that stems from something as simple as lying under a night sky filled with stars… This happiness cannot be described in words. Link to Nayi Khushi
Past Releases by Peepal Tree
Chetana | Album
Their first official album titled Chetana was released in October 2018 and the rose to #1 on the iTunes Rock Charts (India) and #3 on the iTunes overall album charts (India) within hours of the album hitting the online stores, among others.
Chethana was the coming together of diverse musical influences, stitched together in 10 songs by 4 passionate musicians. The purpose was the album is no different from the band’s raison d’être — to play music together, on stage and while doing so, make a sincere attempt at writing good music. The album has 6 Kannada songs, 3 Hindi, and 1 Tamil song. In these one can find traces of rock, pop, funk, heavy metal, and everything in between. Chetana in 2019 had made it to the ballots of the 62nd Grammy Awards, in Best Rock Album category. Link to Chetana
Cauvery | Single
On the very first day of its release, their December 2019 single Cauvery climbed to the no.1 position on iTunes’ Indian Rock charts, just as their first official album Chetana. Cauvery pays tribute to the incredible lifeline of south India. Though the mighty Cauvery has a huge impact on the lives of people of 3 states of South India, the sentiment of the song can be attributed to any river, rivulet, or tributary anywhere in the world. For at its core, the song celebrates our most vital resource — one that we share with all forms of life on this beautiful planet. Cauvery video link.
560001 | EP
The 4 track EP with Chowta titled 560001. The album pays tribute to their favorite city-Bangalore or Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka. The album was released on Chowta’s music label Namma Music on March 29th, 2020.Stream the EP here: album.link/in/i/1503391149
With all the signature Peepal Tree finesse in place in the album, the sound is a bit of a departure from their usual fare. The sound, concept, and production was all Sandeep, who had a definite idea of how he wanted this EP to sound, so the band just trusted him and went with the flow. PT bassist Praveen Biligiri wrote lyrics for the first 3 songs and the 4th one is a classic folk song from Karnataka.
Sandeep has been a friend right from the starting days of this band and one of its biggest supporters. They worked on one song together (composing/directing vocals for Roshane Kaafile) during PT’s debut album Chetana and discussed the possibility of doing something together since then.
Peepal Tree on the web: