Winston Balman and the Prophets of Rock is a story of social media and like-minded musicians coming together and making magic. This happened sometime in the early months of 2017 when Winston decided to record some of his songs and was looking to put together a bunch of musicians who would fit the unique Country Music Blended Rock blues sound with pop energy.
And the rest they say is history
Meet The Band
Mastering Bass is Archit Agrawal, who also is the Studio Mix Engineer, a core member since 2016. Kicking some Drums is Hanujeet Singh, the youngest amongst us. Hanu the drummer commands a major role in the band’s sound as he has been one to establish the specific Rock Country style sound in our work. Shredding Guitars is Harsh Vishnoi, a recent addition to the band joining us early 2020. He runs his own Jam pad in Delhi and also is a prominent name around the circuit. On Violin is Bhaskar Dutta, also a recent entry in the band, he is one of India’s best violin players and has garnered some very high acclaim to himself. A Journalist by profession he writes regularly for a National financial paper. Singer songwriter & Guitarist is Winston Balman. Being an artist at heart Winston enjoys the feeling of being driven and focused to a certain goal, appreciates having a discipline in being an artist.
Anatomy of the Genre
I would simply say We play Rock music with a country influence. And that doesn’t work i generally say We are a Rock Band with a Country Vibe with POP energy!
The Trajectory Thus far
We released our first EP (Marijuana Highway) as Winston Balman and the Prophets of Rock 12th Feb 2019. Since then we have done 2 tours, and managed to gain a lot of attention from multiple venues that host indie artists. I think being Indie Artists we have certainly made some strides and managed to make enough noise, all at the right places to gain the right kind of attention we wanted for a first release. On a personal note, being recognized by some of the biggest music journalists and music curators, gaining the respect of some very senior artists etc and also being able to network far more than we had expected is something I have appreciated since the release of this EP.
A Seed Sown
Facebook Whatsapp and a whole lot of hanging out is the story behind WBPOR coming together. I first met Archit when he had come in as a substitute for bass duties. We clicked and started talking of making WBPOR. He introduced me to Hanujeet whom he met at another gig. I connected with Hanu and before we knew it we were all in the jam pad jamming. Same is the case with Bhaskar who was also known to us via mutual friends who showed interest to perform with us we jammed and that’s it.
Prophecy Came True. How?
Well its actually two separate entities. Winston Balman being the Singer songwriter and The Prophets Of Rock being the band. I decided to keep a separate identity for myself as I knew I wanted to also be part of other collaborations I wanted to keep my own identity separate to the band. This leaves The Prophets of Rock as a separate entity which comprises of the rest of the members. This allows the prophets of Rock to also lead collaborative projects without me. This arrangement allows us both the band and the songwriter to enjoy creative freedom to a great extent. The name prophets of rock was simply because it was universal agreement between everyone that we all loved Rock for what it was and didn’t want to make to many changes. Hence considering the number of bands bending to towards progressive, grunge , metal etc we decided to be the last torch bearers of Rock music in its simplistic basic form
An Ode to the Roots
Natively being from Dehra Dun initially when I moved to Delhi, native nostalgia was a major influence while writing songs. It has been more than a few years since I moved here and safely can say I am just as much a dilli wala as much as anybody else in Delhi is. Yes Dehra dun has been very supportive but the support mostly sticks to the folks who are very active on social media if you’re going to go ask the guy waking on the street my name he is probably going to shrug his shoulders and walk on singing saat samunder paar me teri peeche ppeeche. it’s safe to say that most folks still don’t really know I exist because the town doesn’t really appreciate indie music like folks in Delhi or the rest of the metros do. The youth is only now getting more educated with different forms of music and artists that exist.
Push Comes to Shove
Growing up in an Anglo Indian Family in Celment town, Dehra Dun gets to listen to a lot of country music and I guess that’s where it all started for me. Personally speaking, it was here where I learnt six strings and 3 chords could do a lot more good to ones soul, rather than getting extremely agitated and slamming my head up and down in the air looking all majorly vexed. My upbringing and exposure to storytelling type of music brought what me here today however. I will definitely say that I do enjoy a little fire breathing every now and then 😛
Sense Of It All
Written way back in 2018 this song was the result of a deep discussion between the band where they have discussed the hardships of getting started in the initial stages as an artist/musician’s career. ‘Sense of it all’, the song, is almost like a spoken confession as it runs through the different cycles of living as an artist. Being down and out one day finding your inspiration in the smallest of things. Dealing with constant social rejection and having to lie/fake your state of mind, in order to appear in control of oneself. The song makes a passive statement about this significant symptom of battling depression which is ever-present in the music circuit. If this was an image it would appear as like one is screaming as loud as one can in a small room with a million voices screaming constantly surrounding oneself. This being a constant state of being for the artists/musician in which he or she is trying to be heard by one significant listener which in the initial years is often nonexistent.
Puddles & Hurdles
The Struggle has been great. I have enjoyed each and every day of it and see it as dues that I need to pay to before I get to leave this legacy of work I have done in my lifetime. Our work together has brought many things, a little fame and of course fortune I won’t boast to say a lot but I would definitely say enough to keep our head above the water and keep us inspired and motivated to do more. We started out as a band that played for Rs 9000 and today we only accept invitations for performances where the monetary incentive is far better that what things were before. So present day We feel we have been well received by people and well accepted with what we do.
I take rewards of this career as dual personality standing at two places at one time. You choose to be who you are in the day when you go to work but when you get home post a long day of work and just want to laze around and call it a day you actually step up and perfect your skill or craft for whatever you are striving for. Initially your personality in the day will win you bread and financial independence but slowly the seed you sow every night with the labor of love, reaps you very significant personal growth and mental harmony. It’s a long tedious process and not everybody is made for it. There comes a turning point in your life where you will reason for yourself and make that big decision, is it time to make the jump or not.
Our music reaches folks via every distribution platform available to the youth today Spotify, ITunes, Amazon, Google Music, Deezer. The only hindrance we face is that music has now become more polarized that it has ever been before. The pressure of being a good marketer is bigger now than ever before. One needs to be a better marketing person than an artist. Which leads us to unnecessarily having to be willingly or unwillingly become very popular on social media so to make an impact on the required listener or audience. The monopolization of big playlists etc. has a huge effect on indie music.
The Pandemonium effect
Covid really didn’t do anything to us at all apart from maybe have some gigs postponed, It may have changed our plans of a live shoot music video project turn into an animation project ( Sense of it all ) music video but that's pretty much it. Covid actually has done us a lot of good, we as a unit got a lot stronger with our streaming infrastructure and we bought a who lot of gear to make our streaming quality better . That being said it motivated us to make a Patreaon profile where folks have started to show us support even though we have not made our patreon presence public knowledge as yet. So Covid or no Covid nothing really changed in the universe of the WBPOR creative process. It has helped be better footed with our material as we found time to work on them together or by wire. We have at the moment at least 2 new releases ready for the oven. The only thing that is holding us back right now is a more fluid movement of pending payments which will help us materialize our release much quicker.
India performs better that one perceives. Why because considering the number of people in our country we have the largest English speaking population compared to many other countries. This leads to a certain amount of ignorance hence a song in the medium English is mostly understood as just an English song. It is only a fraction few that go deeper into the understanding of specific genres. Can an artist break free? yes of course it can, depending on what ones goals are. One needs to be consistent and learn how to be relevant to the times.
Well, thank you once again for spending time with us, giving us valuable insight into your career. We wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavours. See you soon at a concert.