Projected as India’s version of the Backstreet Boys way back in 2002, A Band of Boys have had a fitful ride this past decade; but the four-member pop music sensation is back with a bang — and this time, they’re here to stay.
Their first album Yeh Bhi Woh Bhi caused a stir among the youthful Indian population when it was released in 2002; and Sudhanshu Pandey, Sherrin Varghese, Karan Oberoi and Chintoo Bhosle, the ‘boys’ from the pop band immediately shot to pin-up poster fame with their exuberance and catchy tunes. Though the band didn’t quite perform as regularly, in 2007 the quartet did come back in collaboration with another band called Nexus, calling themselves Xenabob. Their music was well received, but it seems to have been a one-off affair.
In 2014, their very tongue-in-cheek and catchy song ‘The Ungli Song’, with singer Shibani Kashyap, for the Ungli campaign around voting made waves — both musically and sociopolitically. Two years later, the boys — we may call them men now, though — are all set to reclaim their position as pop sensations for good. “No more breaks. It’s time to stay for our fans who have given us all the love. We can’t let them down,” says Karan Oberoi.
Edited excerpts from an interview.
How does it feel to come back? And why this long a break?
Sherrin Varghese: Coming back is wonderful. It feels like we’re on top of the world to see how people after 15 years have recalled A Band of Boys. They still love us. A break was required in a period where Bollywood was killing pop, but now people are looking for entertainment beyond cinema.
Karan Oberoi: People prefer going on music shows and concerts and independent music is growing. The time is right to make a comeback.
What were you all up to all this while?
Karan Oberoi: I did a song called ‘Challa’ independently, and was busy with my production company.
Sudhanshu Pandey: I had my acting career, where I acted in super hits like Singham, Singh is Kinng, as well as a few daily soaps.
Sherrin Varghese: I went back to Kerala as people were going all gaga over Bollywood music, and to a solo career. I was in Big Boss Kerala, which opened a new market for me. I did movies, deejaying and was also singing.
Chaitanya Bhosle, aka Chintoo: I was always busy with music.
How does it feel when people call you the Backstreet Boys of India?
Sherrin Varghese: It’s a compliment. The Backstreet Boys achieved phenomenal success and they are legendary. So, to be compared with the best in the world is amazing. We feel proud to say that we are the only boy band.
Chintoo Bhosle: There are four voices and no other band has four vocalists. We have included beatboxers, sitarists. Band of Boys has created a cult, people have great expectations from us. We will add a lot more and will focus on sound.
How will you cope with the competition?
Sherrin Varghese: We have created a cult. We have to compete with ourselves first. There is no other band that can replicate our sound as there are four different lead vocals here. This is our USP. We have set our bench mark pretty high and we have to enhance our own selves.
How’s the chemistry within the band?
Karan Oberoi: Our chemistry is amazing and magical. When we four are together, we have fun. Our energy and confidence is something that cannot be explained in words.
What’s your favourite song from your album?
Karan Oberoi: Tera Chera
Any message for your fans?
Everyone: We want to thank them for all the love and affection. We assure our fans that we will never disappoint them and we are here to stay.