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Indian Ocean co-founder Susmit Sen quits band

Press Trust of India   | June 12, 2013 16:28 IST (New Delhi)
Amit Sharma

Susmit Sen wants to concentrate on his signature style of music now

Susmit Sen, the co-founder and guitarist of popular Indian rock band Indian Ocean, has decided to quit the group after 23 years of association.

Susmit Sen, the co-founder and guitarist of popular Indian rock band Indian Ocean, has decided to quit the group after 23 years of association.

Susmit, who along with the band's late vocalist Asheem Chakravarty had founded Indian Ocean In 1990, will hand over his legacy to a younger guitar player now.

"Right now, I am at my creative best. Indian Ocean is a sound and style we created. After more than 27 years of playing, I feel that I am brimming with more compositions, more music - but in a grammar and style that is different from Indian Ocean," Susmit said in a statement.

"So I feel restricted now, as I am sure must be the case with the others as well. I strongly believe that my moving on will be beneficial for both Indian Ocean and my creative expression as well," he said.

Susmit has already come out with an individual album, "Depths of the Ocean", which has compositions bearing his signature style of guitar playing.

He is also collaborating with a bunch of musicians namely Anirban Ghosh, Nikhil Vasudevan, Amit Sharma, Sudhir Rikhari, Rajiv Raja and old friend Gyaan Singh (of Mrigya fame) and creating music with them as "The Susmit Sen Chronicles".

Young guitarist Nikhil Rao will take over the task of carrying on Susmit's legacy in Indian Ocean along with vocalist Rahul Ram, drummer Amit Kilam and others.

"Rao is a promising young guitar player with a lot of Indian-ness in his playing. He will be able to give a lot of impetus to Indian Ocean as he will not only add value to concerts but will also be able to create new music with the band in their signature style," said Susmit.

Susmit and his close friend Asheem had come together to interpret Indian rhythms and melodies at a time when most young independent musicians were attempting to do covers of known international acts.

Rahul Ram joined within a year, and his contribution with his unique bass style and fondness for vocals further defined the sound of the band.

The Indian Ocean line-up was completed when Amit Kilam, a multi-instrumentalist joined in the summer of 1994.

The four went on to create timeless music with albums namely Desert Rain, Kandisa, Jhini, Black Friday and 16/330 Khajoor Road.

Indian Ocean is the country's first band to have released a live album. They are also the first band ever in India to have a documentary made on them.

Titled Leaving Home, it was directed by Jaideep Varma and won the National award. It is also the first ever indigenously made documentary film to have achieved a commercial release in the country.

A coffee-table book on Indian Ocean will also be released later this year and there will be a multi-city concert tour at the time of its launch.

Susmit will be performing with the band for the promotion of the book, which will be his last and farewell tour with the band.
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