Some good press about my gig at @TlnMusicWeek . Check it out: https://t.co/j5k37BYYM5 https://t.co/suKfa4iTgk
about 6 days ago | @allurimusic

ShriramAlluri: the revolutionary of Telugu rock

The singer is breaking out of the English mould by taking his native language from the Indian city of Hyderabad to the world through his infectious indie pop

History is about to be made at the Viru Keskus centre in downtown Tallinn, Estonia. “Thank you for having us!” shouts Shriram Alluri, in English, to the audience, before launching into his first song. And with that, he becomes almost certainly the first Indian indie-rocker to sing in his native language, Telugu, onstage at an Estonian shopping mall. In fact, Alluri – as he is known professionally – believes himself to be one of the first indie-rockers to sing in that language at all.

Telugu is the native tongue of about 75 million people across several Indian states, but making an impact in his native Hyderabad, and beyond, will take time. “It’s still not part of our culture, nobody goes to gigs,” he says. “I tell people very excitedly, ‘come watch me play’, and they’ll say, ‘what film did you make the music for?’”

The Brit pop-influenced singer has undergone a musical transformation in recent years. His first album, Man of Truth, was performed in English, emulating “Lennon, Bowie, Morrissey,” he says. But something was missing. “I was passionate about this work, but I thought ‘I can’t genuinely share this with anyone back home’. So I felt I had to try. And then nine songs all came in one go.”

That shopping-mall appearance was part of Tallinn Music Week, one of Europe’s many talent showcases, where future stars perform for important industry people by night, and for the public by day. Many passing shoppers clearly enjoyed his catchy compositions, and even danced, despite presumably understanding none of the lyrics. Which raises the question: does the language really matter?

Some of the world’s biggest pop acts have switched, over the years, and the results vary dramatically.

Helping to arrange Alluri’s Estonian adventure was Stephen Budd, who is something of an expert in this area. Budd is probably best known as the co-founder of the Damon Albarn-fronted Africa Express project, and the successful promoter of numerous crossover acts: his most notable discovery is Songhoy Blues, who sing in various West African dialects, but are regulars on western pop-rock stages. Does the English-or-not question often crop up?

“Yes, we’ve had a few discussions over the years, sometimes with non-English speaking artists who wanted to include English lyrics when I didn’t feel it was appropriate,” says Budd. “But recently we had the discussion with Songhoy Blues for their second album, and they wanted to do a couple of songs with some English lyrics involved, and actually it worked very well.”

Mixing it up linguistically can keep things interesting, and the fan base happy; if not always the record label. Perhaps the highest-profile bilingual performer is Shakira, who followed Gloria Estefan’s pioneering path, releasing both English and Spanish albums at the peak of their powers. Whereas when Ricky Martin suddenly sprang a Spanish record on his label after a long break, “they went berserk”, said the singer.

Singing in your native language is not necessarily easy. Nina Persson from Swedish rockers The Cardigans recently released her first single in Swedish, 21 years after the song Lovefool rocketed her band to global success. Recording Var ligger Sverige? (Where is Sweden?) was a “challenge” she revealed recently, and slightly disconcerting: singing those lyrics suddenly reawakened her old Swedish-countryside accent.

Persson’s single was released on a Swedish label, Adrian Recordings, whose back catalogue features “about 50 per cent music sung in Swedish,” says label manager Magnus Bjerkert. Many pop-rock acts prefer English, but he leans toward the mother tongue. “I really like music in Swedish, it ‘gets’ me a little bit more,” he says. “And it’s good business too.”

Bjerkert also attended that Tallinn festival, which featured artists from about 30 nations, although the host country makes perhaps the most intriguing case study. A former Soviet state with strong Scandinavian influences, Estonia’s aspiring pop, rock and rap stars are also split fairly evenly between those who perform in English or Estonian. But the latter currently do better abroad.

Distinctive folk-pop artists such as Maarja Nuut, Trad.Attack! and Mari Kalkun have all enjoyed international acclaim while singing in old Estonian dialects; particularly magical and mysterious is Kalkun’s new album, Ilmamotsan (In the Wood of the World). Certain languages conjure up unique moods.

The kings of minority-language success are Sigur Ros, who usually sing in either their native Icelandic or an invented dialect, Hopelandic. That may sound wilfully uncommercial, but those enigmatic songs are eagerly sought-after by soundtrack-compilers and advertisers. Their website even has a page dedicated to ads featuring bad Sigur Ros soundalikes.

Some languages are less obviously lyrical, but still have their moments. Take the 1984 single 99 Red Balloons by Nena, from Germany. The English version was a huge hit in Britain and Canada, while the German original – 99 Luftballons – was massive in the US and Australia. Great songs traverse borders. Back in the 1960s, British and American pop acts would often rerecord their hits for foreign markets. The Beatles and Beach Boys remade several hits in German, while numerous Motown stars – Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes – recorded versions in Italian, Spanish and German. The results are often splendidly awkward.

Alluri actually conversed mostly in English after changing schools at about 12 years old, so was not 100 per cent confident in Telugu when it came to recording his new songs. “I went to this lyricist who writes professionally for films, and he was like, ‘mate, these are fine’,” says the singer. “He helped me smooth a few of them.”

The finished tracks will emerge on his second album this year, but the switch to Telugu is already yielding unforeseen rewards. His main show in Tallinn was on the World Music stage, a genre that previously seemed off-limits. “I don’t think I would have been on there in English,” he admits. “I’m getting much more attention now.”

That could also be due to a more open-minded culture generally, with music from across the world now popping up on people’s streaming playlists. “I think times have changed,” agrees Stephen Budd. “In previous decades, outside of the ‘world music’ circuit, it was nearly always imperative for the acts to sing in English.”

In 2018 “people don’t mind,” he says, “as long as the feeling of the artists is communicated when they sing.”

That said, several people still advised Alluri to write songs featuring both languages, which he ignored, apart from one unlikely exception. His live set includes an excellent cover of the punk classic Anarchy in the UK, with Telugu verses. That version was then retweeted by the track’s original bassist, Glen Matlock, and the pair recently recorded together.

Meanwhile, the Italian producer Tommaso Colliva (Franz Ferdinand, Muse) is manning the decks on that second album, and there are linguistic links. “When the British came to India they heard Telugu and called it ‘the Italian of the east’, because all words end with a vowel, not a consonant,” says Alluri. “These new songs, melodically, they’re influenced so much by the language.”

Europe may be Alluri’s second home – he moved to Britain to study before his music career kicked off – but he now resides in India again. And students may be key to getting his hybrid sound established.

“I need to focus on playing at universities around my state, get people young enough, and say ‘look, you can do this too’,” he says. “Start a cultural revolution.”

Look out: the Telugu indie-rock scene starts here.

 https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/music/shriramalluri-the-revolutionary-of-telugu-rock-1.720409

PREMIERE: ALLURI RELEASES NEW SINGLE ‘NAA TO VASTAVAA’

Great music is made everywhere in the world. Language is no barrier when you hear a song that offers some emotional or melodic connection. Alluri is a musician from Hyderabad, India who’s impossible to categorise, but his music is as grand and euphoric as anything you’d find from Arcade Fire and has a touch of Morricone too. Classical music was absorbed in his teens then he learnt guitar whilst listening to acts like Doves and Morrissey during his UK studies. Now working between India, the UK and Italy, he’s teamed up with Muse producer/mixer TommassoColliva and Italian musician Massimo Martelotta, from cult ‘cinematic Italo-funk’ band Calibro 35, on this powerful and unique music sung in the local Telugu language of Hyderabad.

After the release of ‘Endukala’, Alluri is back with his new single ‘Naa To Vastavaa’ . The track – called ‘A Trip’ in English – boasts Alluri’s powerful vocals sung in his mother tongue Telugu and is led by a thumping drum beat with a euphoric brass section and retro keyboard sounds.

Naato Vastavaa : నాతో వస్తావా (A Trip)[Official Music Lyric Video]

With support from the likes of BBC Asian Network, Subcltr London, Smashed Vinyl, Fame Magazine, Gigslutz, and Bestival co-founder Rob Da Bank, Alluri’s unique brand of indie rock is taking the music world by storm, one continent at a time.

Live, Alluri is a force to be reckoned with. He blew everyone away at the Trans Musicales festival in France with his stellar cover of ‘Anarchy in the UK‘ by the Sex Pistols. The cover got approval by the one and only Glen Matlock – bass guitarist for the Sex Pistols – who shared the video on Twitter.

He also played the NH7 Bacardi Weekender Festival in Pune, India as well as performing further shows in India in preparation for the second album release.

‘Naa To Vastavaa’ will be out on the 21st of February 2018 via Killing Moon

 http://ventsmagazine.com/2018/03/08/premiere-alluri-releases-new-single-naa-vastavaa/#wEc7uZmftlQjmEIz.99

Le rock indé d’Alluri aux Trans Musicales de Rennes 2017

Alluri livre sa pop aux reflets de rock indé au festival dénicheur des Trans Musicales de Rennes !

Musique indienne, look de James Dean à la veste en jean, le tout mélangé à du rock indé britannique, Redd Alluri est aux Trans Musicales pour un concert live !

Entre Inde et Angleterre, Alluri trouve un terrain de jeu pour ses titres saisissants avec une pointe de sonorités épiques. À l’écoute, on retrouve des influences de bande-son américaine, sorte de voyage en plein western avec John Wayne. Plus les titres s’enchainent plus les scènes défilent. Alluri livre un rock indé britannique, pop avec une voix claire qui n’a pas peur de chanter tantôt en télougou (langue du Sud-Est de l’Inde) tantôt en anglais ! Dernier titre sorti, son single « Evari Kosam » rempli de piano et de cuivres pour une chevauchée aux côtés d’Alluri dans les déserts américains… en télougou.

Alluri – Evari Kosam (For Whose Sake)

 https://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/musique/rock/trans-musicales-de-rennes-2017/le-rock-inde-d-alluri-aux-trans-musicales-de-rennes-2017-265467
Alluri Music Promo Shot

Alluri a de l’allure et m’ahurit

Direction le Parc Expo, pour un voyage entre Inde et Occident, avec Alluri, un projet musical, lequel comme son nom l’indique ne manque pas d’allure. Que dire , sinon que c’est la grande classe musicale, avec des musiciens hors pair, qui maîtrisent leurs instruments à la perfection avec un feeling illimité. Le chanteur vocalise dans un étrange dialecte indien, le Télougou, et un peu en Anglais. Musicalement, c’est déjà plus classique : de la pop et du rock made in UK, voire in USA, tant parfois le groupe fait penser au… E Street Band de Bruce Springsteen. De la grâce mélodique, de la pop psychédélique avec flûte ou saxophone et des claviers somptueux. C’est beau, bon et doux, mais parfois même, cela sait jouer plus musclé, comme  avec cette reprise aussi couillue que dantesque du légendaire « God Save The Queen des Sex Pistols chanté en Anglais et Télougou, par un Alluri,  qui sait manifestement foncer à toute…allure 

 https://gonzomusic.fr/jeudi-je-dis-en-jedi-vive-les-trans-episode-1.html

A Crisp Winter’s Welcome

A crisp winter’s welcome is unparalleled.

Arriving in Milan from Mumbai via Istanbul yesterday, the cold air was ever so refreshing. Particularly so, when compared to the heat of its distant, dusty Indian relative.

After an expensive taxi ride to my tiny rented flat in central Milan, I decided to venture out, mainly to draw some euros after being drained of them. On my way back from the atm I found a local super market. An absolute treat laid in a store. A few vegetables, fruits, spinach and meatballs later I was back in my flat where I promptly dined on the said yield. A good night’s sleep aided by favourable jetlag followed.

I write this on an early winter Milan morning, after two suryanamaskars, home made breakfast and a guitar tune up. I now proceed to practice with Drago, Rabbo, Nik and Mamone in preparation for Transmuiscales on Thursday. Time for rocking duties. In TELUGU.

Music-news.com

Having been a music lover for most of my life, the most frequent and difficult question I’ve always had to deal with is the one and only: “What kind of music are you into?” now, I think you can all relate when I say this is the most difficult question one could ever ask, but I found out I manage to get away with it pretty easily simply by generalising my way too long list of bands with “I’m into indie rock”.

I wish I could say this helped a lot, but it generated the same result every single time, with people either misunderstanding or voluntarily trying to be funny (not) by saying “Oh, so you mean, like, Indian music?”
Well well. Turns out, Indian indie rock is a thing, and I had the pleasure to discover it in the first place with an amazing artist going by the name of Alluri.

Hailing from Hyderabad, India, his music is almost impossible to categorise into a specific genre thanks to his multiple influences, including classical music which was absorbed in his teens and acts of the likes of Morrissey, Doves and Joy Division, which he’s been listening to while learning to play guitar during his studies in the UK. If Arcade Fire and Ennio Morricone had a musical child, Alluri’s triumphant and euphoric tunes are probably what it would sound like.

Now working between India, the UK and Italy, the singer-songwriter has spent the last summer recording his latest album in his native language (Telugu) in Milan, teaming up with Muse producer/mixer Tommaso Colliva and Italian musician Massimo Martelotta, from cult cinematic Italo-funk band Calibro 35.
He then went on forming a brand new touring band with the artists who feature on the album, and after a number of performances in London and also at The Cambridge Folk Festival he eventually brought his vivacious live show to The Islington, London, last week, for an exclusive showcase of tunes from his upcoming release, which is due for next year.

Alluri played a quite short but intense show for a packed and enthusiastic crowd which kicked off with Naa Tow Raa (Come With Me), its musical crescendo and reverberating lyrics being the perfect intro for the whole set. Malinyudu (Gutter Man) and Baalyam (The Lost Irredeemable Magical Weirdness of Childhood) followed, the latter being one of the highlights of the evening: a cheerful, carefree song with a touch of melancholy, about childhood memories and how they shape us into the grown-ups we eventually become.
Next on was Puttamu (The World), an almost entirely instrumental track bearing an almost jazzy feel with its gentle sax in the background, followed by Beatles-esque Emi Chestunamu (What Are We Doing?) with its bright and ever-increasing brass section.

The closing tracks coincided with Alluri’s two latest lead singles, Evari Kosam (For Whose Sake) and Endukala (Lovers No More), which was described by the artist himself as a “happy break up song”, referring to its cheerful and catchy musical tone opposed to the sadness of the lyrics, describing the recurring drama following the end of a relationship.

In conclusion, although singing in a foreign language, Alluri positively engaged the crowd at The Islington with his genderless, joyous tunes, demonstrating an important point: great music is made everywhere in the world, and language is no barrier when you hear songs that offer a strong emotional and melodic connection.

 http://www.music-news.com/review/UK/12918

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No upcoming shows scheduled

Past Shows

07 Apr 2018 Tallinn Viru Keskus City Stage Viru Keskus City Stage
07 Apr 2018 Tallinn Erinevate Tubade Klubi Erinevate Tubade Klubi
14 Dec 2017 Bangalore The Humming Tree The Humming Tree
13 Dec 2017 Hyderabad Heart Cup Coffee Heart Cup Coffee
09 Dec 2017 Pune NH7 Weekender NH7 Weekender
07 Dec 2017 Rennes Transmusicales Festival Transmusicales Festival
07 Nov 2017 London, UK The Islington The Islington
20 Sep 2017 Milan, IT Secret! Secret!
30 Jul 2017 Cambridge Cambridge Folk Festival Cambridge Folk Festival
28 Jul 2017 London The Finsbury The Finsbury
27 Jul 2017 London Tooting Tram and Social Tooting Tram and Social
11 Mar 2017 London Sofar Sounds Sofar Sounds
28 Feb 2017 London Servant Jazz Quarters Servant Jazz Quarters
12 Nov 2016 Pune High Spirits High Spirits
10 Nov 2016 Delhi Anti-Social Anti-Social
09 Nov 2016 Hyderabad Pier 33 Pier 33
06 Nov 2016 Hyderabad NH7 Festival NH7 Festival
04 Nov 2016 Bangalore The Humming Tree The Humming Tree
01 Jun 2016 London Water Rats Water Rats
12 May 2016 London Hoxton Stag's Head Hoxton Stag's Head
15 Apr 2016 Sheffield Riverside Riverside
14 Apr 2016 Derby Ryan's Bar Ryan's Bar
09 Apr 2016 Nottingham Contemporary Contemporary
08 Apr 2016 London The Monarch, Camden The Monarch, Camden
16 Mar 2016 London Nambucca Nambucca
05 Feb 2016 Nottingham Jamcafe Jamcafe
18 Oct 2015 Brighton Green Door Store Green Door Store
18 May 2015 Brighton Maggie Mae Maggie Mae

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