SANAM: The 13-Year Musical Journey from Muscat to Mumbai

A vibrant atmosphere filled the corner of the Phoenix Marketcity mall in Whitefield as fans and non-fans alike were treated to the soulful music of SANAM, a band that has made its mark on the Indian music scene over the past 13 years. “The concert at the mall was more than a performance; it is a testament to the band’s impact and longevity on the indie music scene in India,” said a fan.

SANAM’s journey can be traced back to the early 2000s when Venky S, the band’s bass guitarist, and Samar Puri, the lead guitarist, along with his brother Sanam, the band’s leading vocalist, were classmates in Muscat. The trio formed a band in 2003. A year later, Sanam and Samar had to move to Delhi and Venky to Bengaluru, but they eventually reunited in Mumbai in 2009 along with the band’s drummer, Keshav Dhanraj.

Reflecting on their journey, Sanam states, “As human beings, we are fundamentally the same people we used to be. We still enjoy similar things and have fun in the same way as we did in the past. However, over time, we’ve matured and our perspective on life has evolved. The four of us have experienced numerous ups and downs, facing various challenges, and these experiences have taught us a lot about each other and how to navigate life.”

Their approach to music has also evolved, with the band initially focusing on composing original songs and later exploring renditions of old classics. This exploration exposed them to the maturity and sophistication of older song compositions, influencing their current approach to composing and arrangements.

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Each member of the band brings a unique influence to the creative process. Sanam excels in melodies, Venky stays updated with the latest musical trends, Keshav focuses on the production side of their music, and Samar adds a strong poetic sensibility to the group. Together, they create a diverse and dynamic musical experience.

Over the years, the band has witnessed the transformation of music distribution platforms, from CDs to streaming platforms, with their initial focus on television evolving with the rise of YouTube. Venky notes, “In the past, when music was released primarily by music labels, the challenge was to impress label executives to get your music out to the world. Today, the challenge is different because there are a vast number of songs on streaming platforms. Getting noticed in this crowded market is the new challenge.”

Despite today’s focus on trending and viral music, SANAM remains committed to creating music that they themselves enjoy and believe in. This approach has allowed their music to resonate across generations, with listeners sharing their songs with their families, bringing people together to enjoy their music.

As the band continues on their journey, they remain dedicated to creating music that stands the test of time, leaving a lasting impact on the indie music scene in India.

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