The Ska Vengers is a new Delhi based band who blend ‘ska’ rhythms with elements of dub, punk, jazz and rap to come up with a form of music that is refreshingly different, energetic and highly danceable.
All members are well-seasoned performers in their own right. Nikhil, Stefan and Tony also play in jazz-punk outfit The Jass B’stards and they are regular performers on India’s first touring cabaret show ‘The Stiff Kittens’ Medicine Show’. Samara is also an actor and is well known as a TV host for a yoga show on NDTV Good Times. Delhi Sultanate has garnered much praise for his highly skilled, socially conscious rap with drum ‘n’ bass team BASSFoundation and his own project Word, Sound, Power. He is also the man behind India’s first Reggae Sound System - BFR (Bass Foundation Roots)
Various members have either won or been nominated for Jack Daniels Rock Awards in keyboards, bass, drums and vocals categories for their work with the band. The Ska Vengers play very much for the moment as carefully worked out structures are at times elongated and receive dub treatment and Delhi Sultanate’s unique and highly rhythmic patois provides a suitable foil to Samara’s full throttle vocal delivery. It is the band’s highly dance oriented originals which are gaining plaudits from critics and feet moving with fans.
Their first self titled album has become a landmark in the Indian music scene since it is the first home-grown full length album devoted to ska and reggae genres with all live instrumentation. It was nominated as best album of the year for JD Rock Awards and was NH7’s album choice for 2013.
In April 2012 the band staged the largest rock concert to be held in an Indian prison, performing for 2000 prisoners at Asia’s largest jail, Tihar. The group managed to donate $5000 worth of musical and sound equipment to the music wards of the jail. The event was picked up by international media and covered extensively in The New York Times, BBC World Service, China Post, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Arab News and many others.
The Ska Vengers are widely considered to be one of the most exciting and relevant live musical acts coming out of India. Last year they released their second critically acclaimed album titled “XX” (pronounced as “Double Cross”). The album features new influences like Latin music with tracks like ‘El Cumbanchero’, and is also seen venturing into Afro-cuban, Jazz and Psychedelia with songs like ‘Afro-fantasy’.
Last year the band hit the Chinatown Courtyard stage and we were so impressed we invited them back for both the Town Centre and The Ballroom. Make sure you catch at least one of the shows.