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