Music sets Banat and Shrikant 'Free'
When a lawyer met a guitarist, music notes filled up the air and have been floating since. Shrikant Sreenivasan is the lead guitarist of the famous Indian band “Coshish”. And Banat Kaur Bagga is now a full-time musician. Shrikant’s sense of arrangement along with Banat’s composition and songwriting has led them to various platforms and opened numerous doors for them. Banat & Shrikant are now all set to release their 3rd Single and ready to expand their fan base with a new sound.
Banat, a huge fan of “Coshish”, attended the band’s gig at Hard Rock Cafe a few years ago. At the end of their performance, she gathered the courage to walk up to her favourite Indie band, one she had been religiously following since their inception. She got to meet lead guitarist Shrikant, spoke to him about music, and about her music, and exchanged numbers. Despite being extremely insecure about her music, she shared it with Shrikant. When he listened to it, her music opened up a whole new world of possibilities to him as an arranger. He could immediately start placing chords and harmonies on the guitar & keys. With respect for each other’s music growing gradually, the two decided to perform together at a poetry slam where Banat was a regular. They have been performing and making music together ever since.
Before The Music:
Banat loved to read, especially about conspiracies. Singing was a hobby, but It’s now a profession. She started learning to play the harmonium when she was five. She believes most of her creativity and knowledge stems from those early years of semi-classical training. She says she is very stubborn as a person but despite being ridiculed for it, she believes it was this very trait that made her take up music professionally. She was always the go-to person in her school and college circles when it came to events, especially musical ones. Her relationship with music and its ups and downs was something people around her always noticed. Banat took up law as a career but couldn’t keep herself away from music for too long.
Shrikant, grew up looking at his brother’s passion for music and the lack of support he had to endure in pursuing it. Being the eldest child comes with its own set of responsibilities. But his elder brother had the vision to give Shrikant the opportunities and support that he could not get. He bought Shrikant his first guitar and is a strong pillar for him even today.
The Journey So Far:
Shrikant had never taken Hindi Rock bands that seriously until he met the lead vocalist of his band, Mangesh Gandhi. “Coshish” as a band picked up really well with a huge rock fan base in the country. They were signed by Universal Music. He also started his very own studio set-up where he has recorded with various Indie artists.
When Banat released her first song “MOON”, she received a lot of love and appreciation, something she had never expected. Big names like ‘The Rolling Stone’ helped them launch their music and that was the just the kind of boost she was looking for.
Keeping her career in law on hold to pursue music did not go too well with Banat’s family. They had been pretty conservative but have created a massive difference in their outlook and Banat likes taking credit for that. Her family’s initial disapproval of her career in music had disturbed her a great deal. But now, they’re really supportive. She had not expected any kind of change initially but patience (and a little bit of fighting) helped. She now says, “For all those who’re going through the same thing, your parents will come around sooner or later. All you’ve got to do is stand your ground. And share things with them.”
Banat and Shrikant try their best to experiment with each song. They love testing themselves and their limits musically. They believe that more and more people are opening up to Indie music in India and that a few years down the line, Indie musicians will be able to sustain themselves solely on the basis of their music. Thriving on optimism is what keeps them going.
During low points Banat reminds herself that she has fought too hard, with people and herself, to be able to come this far. And all that effort would have been for nothing if she were to give it all up now.