The Indies 2020: Here are the nominees from the awards honouring independent music in India

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

By Ranjini Achuthan

Blackstratblues, Thaikkudam Bridge, Lifafa and Swadesi lead with multiple nominations in various categories.

The buzz is real. Music aficionados of the country have a great reason to rejoice as an illustrious panel of seasoned members from the independent music scene of the country has announced the launch of ‘The Indies’ awards show with the idea of celebrating the brightest and finest artists across genres and geographies. 17 categories have been named for its first ever edition and the nominations have some of the heavyweights in contention. While 2020 has come with a massive spate of challenges due to the pandemic, The Indies serves as a reminder that there are several fearless, unconstrained voices and minds who craft music that can be called path breaking and timeless.

The much renowned and celebrated Blues/Rock instrumental outfit Blackstratblues leads with a stellar 9 nominations for their soulful 2019 album When It’s Time. The band finds a place in all the major categories including Best Artist, Best Album and Best Rock Artist, plus all the instrumentalist categories – Best Guitarist (Warren Mendonsa), Best Drummer (Jai Row Kavi), Best Bassist (Adi Mistry) and Best Keyboardist (Beven Fonseca), Producer of the Year (Warren Mendonsa) and Best Artwork.

Blackstratblues / When it's Time

Thaikkudam Bridge, the fusion rock/metal band from Kerala comes a close second with their collaboration heavy, roller coaster album Namah bagging 6 nominations namely Best Artist, Best Album, Best Rock Artist and Best Bassist (Vian Fernandes), Best Drummer (Anish TN) and Best Keyboardist (Ruthin Thej).

Thaikkudam Bridge / Namah

Lifafa aka Suryakant Sawhney has five nominations for his hypnotic album Jaago. Lifafa features amongst nominees in Best Artist, Best Electronic Artist, Best Album, Best Song (“Nikamma”) and Best Male Vocalist. Interestingly, vocalist’s band Peter Cat Recording Company also pick up three Indies nominations for their album Bismillah, in Best Artist, Best Album and Best Rock Artist.

Lifafa / Jaago

The Indo-American singer-producer Sid Sriram, who is well known in the film and Carnatic music circles has made his presence felt in the independent scene too with his solo album Entropy receiving four nominations, while the veterans Thermal And A Quarter also grab nominations for Best Song, Best Guitarist (Bruce Lee Mani), Best Bassist (Leslie Charles) and Best Drummer (Rajeev Rajagopal) for the hard hitting, “Leaders of Men”. Kolkata dream pop duo Parekh & Singh makes quite the impact with their evocative second album Science City, which gets them in the Best Artist, Best Album, Best Pop Artist and Best Music Video (“Summer Skin”, directed by Misha Ghose) categories.

Sid Sriram

Mumbai’s multi-lingual hip-hop crew Swadesi, who shook up the ground with Khulle Naagde, their collaborative EP featuring seasoned producer Bandish Projekt, as well as their extremely viral Marathi and Hindi protest song called “The Warli Revolt” packs a punch with five nominations -- Best Artist, Best Album/EP, Best Song (“The Warli Revolt”), Best Rap/Hip Hop Artist and Producer of the Year (Mayur Narvekar aka Bandish Projekt).

Also amongst top nominees are popular indie musicians such as hip-hop artist Prabh Deep (for KING), percussionist-producer Sarathy Korwar (for More Arriving), Kashmiri-origin Bangalore-based rock band Parvaaz (for Kun), Tamil hip hop duo Arivu and ofRO (for Therukural), and young singer- songwriter Karshni’s collaboration with electronic act Three Oscillators on “Drowning”.

Album cover art: Shubhangi Joshi Collective / Babel fish

The first edition of The Indies witnessed an exhaustive selection process involving competition between more than 200 artistes, the much awaited results of which will be announced in October.

Here are the all nominations:

Artist of the Year



Parekh & Singh

Peter Cat Recording Company

Prabh Deep

Sid Sriram


Thaikkudam bridge

Best Rock Artist


Gauley Bhai


Peter Cat Recording Company

Sarathy Korwar

Thaikkudam Bridge

The F16s

Best Pop Artist


Karshni Nair

Parekh and Singh

Shubhangi Joshi Collective

Sid Sriram

Vaisakh Somanath

Best Rap/Hip Hop Artist

Ahmer x Sez On The Beat

Arivu x ofRO

Kaam Bhaari

Prabh Deep

Seedhe Maut


Best Electronic Artist

Aqua Dominatrix



Pulpy Shilpy

Riatsu x Neil Gomes

Your Chin

Best Metal Artist


Haiku-Like Imagination

Maneating Orchid


Prophets of Yahweh


Album/EP of the Year

Bandish Projekt and Swadesi - Khulle Naagde

Blackstratblues - When It’s Time

Lifafa - Jaago

Parekh & Singh - Science City

Peter Cat Recording Company Bismillah

Sarathy Korwar - More Arriving

Sid Sriram - Entropy

Thaikkudam Bridge – NAMAH

Song of the Year

Arivu x ofRo - Kalla Mouni

Aswekeepsearching - Rooh

Karshni and Three Oscillators - Drowning

Lifafa - Nikamma

Seedhe Maut and Delhi Sultanate - Scalp Dem

Swadesi - The Warli Revolt

Parvaaz - Soye Ja

Thermal And A Quarter - Leaders of Men

Music Video of The Year

Ahmer x Sez On The Beat Little Kid Big Dreams - Kasheer

Fopchu Chapel O Fopalop

Marshall Sachin Hit By The Gravity

Parekh & Singh Science City - Summer Skin

Your Chin Luv Important

Artwork of the Year

Ritviz - DEV, by Santanu Hazarika

Shubhangi Joshi Collective - Babelfish, by Annada Menon

Ady Manral - Talk, by Ghost Animation

Black Letters - Still As You, by Noopur Choksi

Blackstratblues - When It’s Time, by Arjun Rajkishore at Arkwerk

Dymbur - The Legend of Thraat, by Visual Amnesia

Karsh Kale ft Komorebi - Disappear, by Archan Nair

Producer of the Year

FLESH by Aqua Dominatrix - Akshay Rajpurohit

Rooh by Aswekeepsearching - Aswekeepsearching and Ritwik De

Khulle Naagde by Swadesi and Bandish Projekt - Mayur Narvekar

When It’s Time by Blackstratblues - Warren Mendonsa

Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until The Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit by JBABE - Harshan Radhakrishnan

Slough by Pulpy Shilpy - Gowri Jayakumar

More Arriving by Sarathy Korwar - Sarathy Korwar

Best Male Vocalist of the Year



Khalid Ahamed (Parvaaz)

Sid Sriram

Vaisakh Somanath

Best Female Vocalist of the Year

Abhilasha Sinha

Hanita Bhambri




Shubhangi Joshi Collective

Guitarist of the Year

Haiku-Like Imagination - Sucheth Ramprasad and Soorya Praveen

Blackstratblues - Warren Mendonsa

Samar Mehdi - Samar Mehdi

Takar Nabam - Takar Nabam

Thermal And A Quarter - Bruce Lee Mani

Bassist of the Year

Blackstratblues - Adi Mistry

Thaikkudam bridge - Vian Fernandes

Heat Sink - Raag Sethi

Smalltalk - Yohann Coutinho

Thermal And A Quarter - Leslie Charles

Drummer of the Year

Haiku-Like Imagination - Aniketh Ashok

Blackstratblues - Jai Row Kavi

Pineapple Express - Gopi Shravan

Thaikkudam bridge - Anish TN

Thermal And A Quarter - Rajeev Rajagopal

Keyboardist of the Year

Blackstratblues - Beven Fonseca

Flaw & Order - Sudharsan Krishnakumar

Heat Sink - Nayan Kapadiya

Shubhangi Joshi Collective - Nishant Nair

Thaikkudam bridge - Ruthin Thej