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A BAND FROM THE CAMPUS

A bunch of college students has come together to form a band 16byNine (puzzled by the name? Read on) and it has been creating ripples across the campuses in Kerala. In many competitions, they won prizes, and hearts. In a chat with Team Fayz, Pranav, who plays the keys in the band, shares the rocking story.

I play the keys in our band 16byNine and I started off early. I previously played for a band and I stayed there for a while. The previous band had '16byNine' band members, including the vocalist, guitarist and our bassist. As every band needs “a path to a new beginning”, we also “chose to chase the light”. We thought we needed a change and a new phase. So we all came together to create a new band.

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It was March, 2018 when we started practising for the upcoming event 'Cult a Way' which actually showed the way to new beginnings. We started practising and recruiting our new drummer who we selected because everyone said he was a fluke so we decided to give him a chance and he proved everyone wrong. We began practising with our new drummer.

As the days closed in, we practised till we reached our limits. Just before the day of the event, we all sat together to find out the best name for our band. We came up with so many names, but none of them was accepted by everyone. So like everyone does, we asked the person who knows the solution to every problem 'Google'. We searched and after so many names we all agreed on '16byNine'. The day came when '16byNine' went live for the first time at Nishagandhi Open auditorium. Though we didn't win anything, we did make an impact on the crowd and we got a lot of applause and the best bands appreciated our performance, which was really motivating. We continued our efforts and set our sights on every upcoming event and performed at places we were called on. We did pocket a string of victories.
chaayam_poster We bagged our first runner-up at an event conducted by IIST which was 'Dhanak' and then went on to Mohandas College to bag our first prize on the battle of the bands event 'Illuminati'. The next was Sacred Heart in Kochi but unfortunately, we failed miserably. We got another runner-up at an event conducted by ACE college which was 'Epoch' . The next event was an unplugged event conducted by Rajadhani College where we got no prize. Another unplugged conducted by IISER College in which we walked away with the second prize

After that we did more events by Heera College and Barton Hill College in which we acquired the second prize. Then we performed at 'Cult a way' and this time also we didn't get anything. During the New Year, we performed at Pathanamthitta at a cultural event called 'Konni fest'. We also did stage performances at various locations. We all members grew together like a family and rocked at every stage we were given. In the mid of 2018, we recruited our first female singer and we performed at various main stages. Through all these journeys, we learnt that no matter how many times you failed you, you just have to keep trying until you finally reach where you're supposed to be. We are on our way. #keeponrocking.

VOCALS : Abhinav Babu S S , Jesny Johnny
KEYS : Pranav PR
LEAD GUITAR : Arjun AS
BASSIST : Hari Krishnan S
DRUMS : Ajay Gopu

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A TETE-E-TETE WITH PRANAV

It’s interesting that you chose to name your band 16byNine by Googling. Can you tell us more about it? Did you have any keywords in mind? What does the name 16byNine signify?

There's nothing special about it. We just had a common interest for the name. When we came to know that '16byNine' means nothing, we opted it. We thought when people ask "what does your name mean?" We could just simply answer "it's nothing, just a name". We chose the name because it's different. That's all.

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Since all the members are students, how do you balance between stage shows and academics? How much time do you devote to practise?

We had to set aside our passion for music so that we could give more attention to studies. We often practise when there's time and everyone is available. Academics is our first priority now.

What’s your most favored genre? I mean what type of music binds you all together?

Each member favours different genres. We have a genre in common and that's 'Rock'. We share a common interest in it. So it binds us together.

Which are the bands you follow closely?

We follow Linkin Park, Gun's n Roses, Alter Bridge, Pineapple Express, etc

What lies in future for you guys individually and collectively as a band? Are you planning to make the band bigger even after studies? Is music a career option?

As I said, we all give priority to academics and after that, we will think about making our band bigger. We have never thought about stopping this though.

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Thaikkudam Bridge and Avial (to name two) have made it big in India and elsewhere. Are you tracking their success story? Have you interacted with any of them?

No. We are not tracking their success, instead, we are trying to succeed in our own way and we only mean to succeed by doing what we do best.

Success of a band depends as much on individual talents as the bonding between the members. How did you identify the members of the band? Do you guys share any other common interests outside of the band? In college also do you guys spend a lot of time together or do you just get together for practice when there is a programme?

We knew from the start that we had potential. We usually hang out as friends most of the time. We share a common interest in music and that's what brings us together. We don't just practise when a program comes..we do it when we have time and when there's a need to compose a new song. We share other common interest in motorcycles , gaming, and photography. So we are not just a band, we are a family.

Outside of the band, how do you see/rate yourself individually as a keyboard player?

I don't know how to answer but I believe that I'm a good keyboard player, not the best in the business but I know what I do and I do it nicely. I trust myself and my fellow band members.

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If there is one a habit of yours that has helped you become what you are, what would that be?

  • Well there's nothing I can think of. I just love what I do and it made me who I am and it helped me reach where I am right now.
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