ASEAN Music Festival back in Delhi, 15 bands to perform this time

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After two years locked up at home, people are coming out in force to attend live concerts. That, at least, is what popular Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Raghav Meattle will be performing at the second ASEAN-India music Festival at Delhi’s Purana Qila from today, he said.

This second edition of the three-day festival, organized in collaboration between the Ministry of External Affairs and Seher India, returns to the historic venue after many years to celebrate the musical diversity of Southeast Asia, welcoming 10 bands from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and five acts from India.

“Music has no language. With African or Latin songs topping the charts, people don’t understand a word, but they appreciate the rhythms and melodies,” says Meattle, adding, “It’s a connection regardless of language.

He says the festival will be a great opportunity to experience new cultures through sound and music, and he will perform his month-long single, Woh Saat Din, live at the venue for the first time on Sunday. All acts will be free, with shows starting at 6 p.m. each day. Polyglot composer Papon performed on Friday night, alongside Vietnam’s Tri Minh’s Quartet, a scintillating fusion group that mixes electronics and national folk traditions.

Cambodian rock bands Rizer and Suffer will mount a joint act, combining their smooth vocals, sharp instrumentation and lively stage presence. Five-piece indie pop band Empty Wallet from Brunei Darussalam (named after the band’s financial situation directly after graduating from high school) will also perform.

Saturday will feature Jonita Gandhi, who rose to fame after his voice in the title track of Chennai Express. His jazz-classical repertoire will be juxtaposed with Thai classical traditions brought by Bangkok’s Makaohang. The Sufi-blues sounds of Faridkot will also be on stage, also featuring Bhatinda singer Amar Jalal.

The final day will feature flamboyant Bollywood duo Vishal and Shekhar, as well as Meattle. Fans of Hans Zimmer will discover a very familiar and scintillating sound in the 4 Indonesian members Riau Rhythm – their set mixes symphony and rock. Bayang Barrios at Ang Naliyagan, a group from the Philippines, will also carry out their political advocacy through music. Barrios is a strong advocate for the rights of indigenous communities and an ambassador for the music of the Manobo tribe in the Philippines.

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