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Having started out in 2017, Gauley Bhai is a relatively new name in the Indian indie music landscape. However, this four piece Bangalore band has been making heads turn with its groovy take on Nepali folk tunes that has earned it a considerable fan following during the course of their performances throughout the country last year, including a stellar set played at the Ziro Festival of Music which stood out as one of the most talked about performances of the event.
Talking about how the band came to be, drummer Joe Panicker says, "This happened during the early part of 2017, I met our bass player Anudwatt who was engineering in the studio in which I happened to walk in. A week or two later he was at my place and we were jamming, we had some nice jams and then one day he brought Siddhant along and we three started to jam. It was a trio to begin, towards the end of that year Veecheet our vocalist and violin player said that he would like to do something with us and he started writing all this insane stuff."
Joe says that the sound of Gauley Bhai was inspired by soul of the places where the members originally come from. "We are all people from very diverse ethnic backgrounds who are living in urban India, so we have this kind of influence which is very urban so to speak but also at the same time we have this background like what we bring, our sound, where we grew up and our stories back at home. Gauley Bhai means a brother from the hood, not in the American sense, but the face you see always in the neighborhood. He's a person who's just like you, running around to make ends meet and he has his own ethnic and cultural background which he has left to come work in the city and now the identity that he has reflects his sort of hybrid life. That's the concept of Gauley Bhai."
He emphasizes that despite the strong Nepali folk influence, Gauley Bhai is a Bangalore band because it imbibes the spirit and the vibe of Bangalore. There is no other city where the band members could have met the way they did and which would afford them the time and space to come up with their original and distinct sound which is now the defining element of their music. "We started writing our first album in early 2018. It's called Joro which means fever in Nepali which is meant to symbolize a symptom of what we see going on in the society. The album has ten songs, we're mixing it and we're launching a crowdfunding campaign now in order to raise some funds to master it which is an expensive process. We are going for a good quality master so that the longevity is there and people can go listen to it even ten years from now."