This teen band's song, Afterglow, may sound like a love song but is actually about climate change

Varun Anand and his team have released their new song which reached 35,000 views in three days on youtube  
Tanya Shanker (left), Varun Anand (centre), Manou Rao (right)| Pic:  Moksha Academy
Tanya Shanker (left), Varun Anand (centre), Manou Rao (right)| Pic: Moksha Academy

From picking up a keyboard and falling in love with music at the young age of four, to reaching 30k views on YouTube in less than three days at the age of 15 — meet Varun Anand and the young team of talented musicians from Moksha Academy who have released their new song Afterglow which is trending on YouTube and multiple other streaming platforms.

Moksha was a rock band in India that was formed in the early 90s. Richard Andrew, the mentor to all of these young musicians, was a part of it. When Richard decided to transfer his knowledge, he founded Moksha The Academy as a boutique music school for young musicians which takes in only 12 students a year. This music school was started about 10 years ago and has moulded a number of students into professional musicians. These three musicians, who are based out of Bengaluru are under the tutelage of  Richard Andrew and are being trained to be successful musicians at the Mokadha academy. 

The producer from Bengaluru
Having started his musical journey at the tender age of four, Varun plays the keyboard, drums and guitar and has been under the tutelage of Richard Andrew the founder of Moksha academy. Afterglow is the second single that the young music producer has produced. “This might sound like a love song, but that's just a disguise. This single is about climate change and how we can understand our environment and our current situation by developing an optimistic attitude,” said the young rock star. “It urges people to acknowledge the dire situation we are in and take action before it's too late. It stresses the notion that change is within our control and emphasises hope for a better future,” he added. 

Bullying is everywhere and a number of people have been and are still falling prey to bullying. While bullying causes trauma for several people, this artiste emerged from the trauma. As a victim of bullying, this young artiste produced his first-ever single Free, which was premiered on Mar 11, 2022, with over 16,000 views, a song that addresses bullying, helps people remember that they are not always alone and that there are people who have been through similar things. “I have always been bullied by my friends and classmates for how I look and that hurt me deeply. The song Free, written by Arushi Paul, another studnet from Moksha academy, will make sure that you do not feel alone during traumatic situations,” says this drummer who draws his inspiration for his music from the environment around him and his personal experiences.

The singer with a “brilliant” voice
Afterglow, a climate change in disguise, has been written by Tanya Shanker, a sixteen-year-old Class XI songwriter and singer. She says, “Songwriting is a mix of personal experience and imagination. I think it is the best part of being a musician. This particular song was just very spontaneous and I feel like Varun’s production brought the lyrics together.” The young artist who started her musical journey at the age of 11 says that she has always been interested in music and she always knew this is what she is supposed to do.  The lyrics disguised in a love song is about the climate crisis by creating an attitude of relentless optimism.

“It’s the dawn of a new century

Olympus calling our name

It’s time to alter our destiny

We’ve thrown our stones on the enemy

Burnt their land to the ground

I gotta hope that we’ll dance in the afterglow”

Manou Rao, the guitarist who draws inspiration from other guitarists such as David Gilmour (an English guitarist, singer, songwriter and member of the rock band Pink Floyd), Slash ( British-American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses) started his journey as a guitarist at the age of seven. Talking about his collaboration with Varun and Tanya, he said, “Collaborating with like-minded youth was a true privilege. It was really interesting to work as a group in order to make and share music We were all open to giving our ideas and exchanging different elements for the song that reflected our personalities.”

What is the biggest challenge for these young “stars in the making”
The Class X student Varun says his biggest challenge is managing his studies and music. “Studies is like food for me, we can go a day or two without food but can we live without oxygen? Music is my oxygen,” says the drummer who draws inspiration from international composers and Indian composers like AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja and Anirudh. 

“It is difficult for me to manage my studies and music career, but I have been doing it for a while, and I am used to the schedule. Music is my main priority now and I have a supportive environment around me which helps me manage my time,” says Tanya Shanker, the artist whose debut album Battlefield, released on Feb 20, 2021, which featured artists and musicians from India and France.

What is next for them?
While all three musicians know they are going to take up music as their career and profession, Varun is currently working on producing another single that will be released next year and ED, a mini album. Tanya is now ready with her second album titled What lies beneath, which is about self-discovery while Manou Rao is working on building his career as a guitarist in the genre of rock and metal music. 

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