Arjun R Shaankar’s ‘Hike Kadha’ series blends his wanderlust and passion for music

Arjun R Shaankar

Arjun R Shaankar   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Music series ‘Hike Kadha’ essentially captures the vibrant diversity of the country, all given a musical form through his travels

After avid traveller Arjun R Shaankar took a solo bike trip to the snow-capped Himayalas in 2018, the picturesque locales left a deep impression on him. Unable to resist the charms of the hills, he went back again and again as if in a journey of self-discovery, each time the cold mountain ranges warming up something musical in him.

“I started chronicling my jaunts on social media, making it a point to capture some of the not-so-talked-about aspects associated with travelling in the Himalayas such as music under the rubric ‘Hike Kadha’. In fact, it’s a place where many famous musicians often come for performances,” says Arjun. Last December, he formed his band, Indian Music Thali, with his musician-friends — Liboy Praisly (lead guitar), Vinil LV (drummer), Jackson Varghese (piano), Reji (keyboard), Gautam Sajeev (bass guitar), Athul Stephen (acoustic guitar) and Krishna R Shaankar (female vocalist) while Arjun himself is the lead vocalist and composer.

So, the last time he took to the hills, Arjun decided to marry his twin passion of travel and music, which planted the idea for a music video series, ‘Hike Kadha’ that essentially captures the vibrant diversity of the country, all given a musical form through his travels.

Arjun recently released the first part, titled ‘Chapter 1’, of the series on YouTube with the Malayalam song ‘Agaadha neelimayil.’ Penned by Vinod Kottayil, the first two lines of song have been inspired by the words of legendary poet and lyricist Vayalar Ramavarma. “I love Vayalar’s songs. However, more than the songs, perhaps I’m more inspired by their literary value,” he says.

A still from the song video of ‘Agaadha Neelimayil’

A still from the song video of ‘Agaadha Neelimayil’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The words attempt to encapsulate the mood of music series. “The song falls under the genre of spiritual rock as the soul and the lyrics of the song are essentially a quest. In fact, the series’ tag line is ‘A journey into yourself’. However, the track’s framework is that of rock music. The video, that starts at the Golden Temple in Amritsar is, mainly in Ladakh and near Kargil,” explains Arjun, who works in a civil services training centre in the city.

Indian Music Thali is also bringing out a Tamil (‘Nilai aana neela vaanil’) and Telugu (‘Nethone ne prayanam) versions of ‘Agaadha neelimayil’, slated to be released soon with the same visuals. The lyrics are written by Jayasree Rajaram and Solipeta Narendher Goud respectively. Arjun says ‘Chapter 2’, a Tamil romantic melody titled ‘Un polave’, and ‘Chapter 3’, titled ‘Ittefaq’ and in Hindi, of the music series will be released in the coming month. “‘Un polave’ is shot mainly in Delhi and Kodaikanal and ‘Ittefaq’ in Amritsar and border regions of Attari,” says the 31-year-old.

Arjun says that having previously travelled to many of the scenic places that served as fitting locations for the song videos, helped him conceptualise the shoot.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:12:43 PM |

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