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Euphoria, a band that has created many classics and keeps the crowd grooving, is set to make a big comeback to celebrate 25 years of its journey. Palash Sen, the founder and the lead vocalist of the band, has always been an icon for every ’90s kid, especially from Delhi. The band’s hits like ‘Maeri’, ‘Dhoom Pichuk’, ‘Aana Meri Gully’ have instant recall, even for today’s youth. Euphoria, initially rooted in English rock, gradually found its calling in fusion rock. With the release of their debut album, ‘Dhoom’, in 1998, Euphoria was the first indigenous band that became a household name. They are on a tour to celebrate the whirlwind journey of an independent band and is ready to set the stage on fire with their performance on December 24 in Imperfecto Patio, Gurugram. 

Excerpts from a conversation with Palash Sen:

Euphoria has completed 25 years in the music industry. How do you make sure that your music connects with the youth today? 
We are right now celebrating our 25th year as the band started off in 1998. I just do my job with honesty. People do go after trends. However, music listeners will always listen to a song or music that sounds honest to them and which is close to their heart and that is why every generation accepts our music.  

Pradeep Sarkar

Your debut album, ‘Dhoom’, has been a hit and it still is today. 
When I made the album, I thought nobody was going to listen to it. I told the band members to just take out the album. But I also had a feeling that we were creating history as the music sounded like nobody else’s. The whole vibe of an indigenous band, coming and performing a song was a brand new idea for TV. You know, till then, bands were always associated with British or American bands or folk bands. But when we did it, suddenly they had their own band that they could own. I believe that the connection is still there. Those who have listened to it then, have passed on the fact they had loved it to others. 

You have worked with various music labels like Archies Music and T-Series. But now, Euphoria has been releasing music independently. What were  the challenges of going indie? 
It has been a struggle from day one with music labels. It’s always been a struggle because things never happened the way we wanted them to. I had to sign deals which were one-sided and I never got royalties for most of the stuff. Even a song like ‘Bhim Pooja Ka Mahari’ or ‘Ana Meri Kaliye’ never paid me anything. Even today, most of the music that I’ve made, I don’t own the rights. We are re-recording our first album for all our fans. It puts back the rights into the band’s hands. We are one of the very few bands or artists who are doing everything ourselves.

How do you keep the audience grooving? What are your tactics and how do you choose your song list for an event? 
We keep changing the list according to the crowd. It’s the audience that makes the song list. It is a very symbiotic relationship between me and the crowd. The more energetic they are, the more so I am. It comes naturally to me. I’m a very spontaneous guy. 

You and Shah Rukh Khan go back to school days. Tell us about your memories with him.
Shah Rukh and I were good friends in school and we used to do musicals together. He could not sing so whenever his part would come I would go to the wings and sing on the microphone and he would lip-sync.  I was sure that he was going to be a movie star and he was very clear in his head about that as well. I am really proud of him. 

Your latest song, ‘Jaane Khuda’, is dedicated to KK. What has been your fondest memory of him?
It is a short film of eight and a half minutes and I dedicated the film to two of my closest friends, KK and Pradeep Sarkar. They both were the greatest creators this country had ever seen and I was blessed to learn from both of them. This song was my tribute to them both. My fondest memory of KK was a competition that both of us took part in way back in the ’80s. I was in University College of Medical Sciences in Delhi and he was at the Kerala College in Delhi and we were both competing in the Western Jiu-Jitsu section of IIT Rojo, which is a festival that happens in Delhi. I used to come first in most of the competitions, but that was one competition in which he beat me. I was happy to have lost to him because he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. I’ll always have that affection and respect for KK.

Pradeep Sarkar, in fact, had directed many music videos for Euphoria, be it ‘Maeri’ or ‘Mehfooz’. How was the understanding between the two of you?
Me being a songwriter, I always used to have a basic story in front of me. Usually, when I write a song, I visualise it, but I always used to discuss it with him. His vision was very much in tandem with mine. I’ve learnt a lot from him and all that he taught me, I applied in my vision and songs.
 

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