Whether it’s picking up a keyboard and falling in love with music at age four or hitting 30,000 YouTube views in less than three days at age 15, meet Varun Anand and his talented young team of musicians from Moksha Group who released their new song Afterglow which is trending on YouTube and several other streaming platforms.
Moksha was an Indian rock band formed in the early 90s. Richard Andrew, the mentor of all these young musicians, was one of them. When Richard decided to transfer his knowledge, he founded Moksha The Academy as a boutique music school for young musicians that takes in just 12 students a year. This music school was established about 10 years ago and has turned a number of students into professional musicians. These three musicians, based in Bengaluru, are under the tutelage of Richard Andrew and are trained to become successful musicians at the Mokadha academy.
The Bengaluru Grower
Having started his musical journey at the age of four, Varun plays keyboard, drums and guitar and has been under the tutelage of Richard Andrew, co-founder of Moksha Academy. Afterglow is the second single produced by the young music producer. “It may sound like a love song, but it’s just a disguise. This single is about climate change and how we can understand our surroundings and our current situation by developing an optimistic attitude,” the young rock star said. “He urges people to recognize the dire situation we find ourselves in and to act before it is too late. It emphasizes the notion that change is in our control and emphasizes hope for a better future,” he added.
Bullying is everywhere and a number of people have been and still are bullied. While harassment traumatizes many people, this artist came out of the trauma. As a victim of bullying, this young artist produced his very first single Free, which premiered on March 11, 2022, with over 16,000 views, a song that deals with bullying, helps people remember that they are not always alone and that there are people who have experienced similar things. “I have always been bullied by my friends and classmates because of my appearance and it hurt me deeply. The song Free, written by Arushi Paul, another studnet from Moksha academy , will make sure that you don’t feel alone during traumatic situations”, explains this drummer who draws his inspiration for his music from the environment around him and his personal experiences.
The singer with the “brilliant” voice
Climate Change in Disguise, Afterglow, was written by sixteen-year-old Class XI songwriter and singer Tanya Shanker. She says, “Songwriting is a mixture of personal experience and imagination. I think that’s the best part of being a musician. This song in particular was very spontaneous and I feel like Varun’s production brought the lyrics together. The young artist who began her musical journey at the age of 11 says she has always been interested in music and always knew it was what she was meant to do. The lyrics disguised as a love song address the climate crisis by creating an attitude of relentless optimism.
“It’s the dawn of a new century
Olympus calls our name
It’s time to change our destiny
We threw our stones at the enemy
Burned their land to the ground
I have to hope that we will dance in the afterglow”
Manou Rao, the guitarist who draws inspiration from other guitarists such as David Gilmour (an English guitarist, singer, songwriter and member of rock band Pink Floyd), Slash (British-American musician who is best known as the guitarist lead of American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses) began his journey as a guitarist at the age of seven. Speaking about his collaboration with Varun and Tanya, he said, “Collaborating with like-minded young people has been a real privilege. It was really interesting to work in a group to make and share music. We were all open to giving our ideas and exchanging different elements for the song that reflected our personalities.
What is the biggest challenge for these young “stars in the making”
Class X student Varun says his biggest challenge is managing his studies and his music. “For me, studying is like food, you can go a day or two without eating, but can you live without oxygen? Music is my oxygen,” says the drummer who draws inspiration from musicians like AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja and Anirudh.
“It’s hard for me to manage my studies and my music career, but I’ve been doing it for a while, and I’m used to the schedule. Music is my main priority now and I have a supportive environment around from me who helps me manage my time,” says the artist whose debut album Battlefield, released February 20, 2021, featured Indian and French artists and musicians.
What’s next for them?
While the three musicians know that they are going to make music their career and profession, Varun is currently working on the production of another single which will be released next year and ED, a mini album. Tanya is now ready with her second album titled What lies below, which is about self-discovery as Manou Rao works to build her career as a guitarist in the genre of rock and metal music.