METRO PLUS

Melody with meaning

A. VISHNU

Melody with meaning

SOMETIME IN early February, regular viewers of Channel V and MTV were treated to a new music video called "Yeh Zindagani". The tune was catchy, the lyrics were peppy and the video, a visual treat. A band called Seven was born. The first album, also called Seven, (Kosmic Music; Rs. 50) from this Kerala-based threesome has just been released.

Why a name like Seven? The band members tell us that `seven' is invested with a lot of significance — the seven notes of music, the seven colours, the seven wonders of the world and the like, and they feel that their lucky number is seven too.

The band was born on October 7, 1998, which also happens to be Franco, the lead vocalist's birthday. Sangeeth is the guitarist and Stephen plays the key-board. Franco, the most energetic of the three, is a music graduate from Chennai and has lent his voice to some 35 soundtracks with major musicians in the Malayalam film industry. Sangeeth would probably be the most-experienced since he took to music when he was 16 and went on to win an award in classic guitar from Trinity College, London. Stephen too was trained at Trinity.

The threesome band happened when Stephen came down to Thrissur to learn classic piano from a music academy and bumped into Franco and Sangeeth. Next, they were making music together — rock music with Indian sounds.

Seven's debut album features a handful of songs - each conveying a meaningful message. The first number, "Zindagaani", is called "a celebration of life" as it tells you to enjoy what you do in life, and do it fast as life is short. "Yaari" salutes true friendship. This track has a pumped-up techno version on the flip side which makes for excellent hearing. "Anth", which is called the "post-war song", creates a musical image of a silent graveyard where people have lost everything and all that remains is a river of blood and tears. "Gaon" has a very rustic touch to it. It tells the story of a guy returning to his native village after a long time and his sister waiting for him with a `rakhi'. We also get to hear the famous Kerala fisherman's chant which epitomises joy.

Two tracks which stand out in the album are "Vande Maataram" and "Khilte Gul''. The first one impresses with its simple lyrics and an upbeat mood, while the second one is a message against child labour: "Hai Khilti hum kaliyan/ Chhodo, hum ko na todo/ Nahin sapne aankhon mein/ Apna nahin hai koi aanchal/ Khilte Gul hum kal ke/ Hume yun na todo...''

In their own words: "Our basic idea was to create music with a mission - a mission to make this world a better place, merging western rock with Indian tunes and creating awareness on the lost love, compassion and patriotism'' We got the message guys, and salute you for your meaningful debut.

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