AMU alumni band ‘ANTIM’ to release its composition of National Anthem on Republic Day

By Abdul Gani,

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New Delhi: A music band formed by the alumni of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has come up with a latest composition of National Anthem that it is going to release on the auspicious occasion of Republic Day.

ANTIM, is the band comprising of a lawyer, an artist, an engineer, a doctor and an architect – all being the alumni of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). It has developed composition — a soulful rendition of the Indian National Anthem, meant as a tribute to the nation, just as the famous A R Rahman once did, on the Republic day.

The band will release this composition on its YouTube channel and the Facebook page on January 26 when the nation will be celebrating 67th Republic Day.

This band has already struck a chord with its young listeners across the country with its beautiful renditions and original songs, with elements of fusion music inherent and apparent in it.


“The National Anthem is a challenge as far as the percussion work is concerned. I had to keep in mind the format of the

Anthem and still sound different than a Classic military drummer. I have tried to keep it as simple as possible with some subtle experiments in triplet notes here and there,” Fahad Zuberi, one of the band members said on the challenges he faced while creating the percussions.

He also said, “Our music is based on the concept of doing something that is not obvious; to create an element of surprise for the audience”.

After a stint of hugely successful performances in the Aligarh Muslim University, these erstwhile members of the Fusion Music Club created their band called ANTIM, which emerged as they graduated into professionals in their respective fields from AMU.

Their progressive and experimental fusion music intricately yet simply weaves jazz, reggae, Arabic, thrash metal, Classical and Western genre elements which result in stellar compositions.

As talk with them about this project, the visibly excited band is busy applying the finishing touches to their composition, which is a reinterpreted chord and percussion arrangement. The members thus deconstruct their song and explain it enthusiastically.


“For composing a good song it is very important to explore every genre of music. When we listen to a song, we notice several changes that occur (and) that normally flow with the melody of the piece. These changes are musical progressions. Learning basic chords is very important; all the chords fall into place as you learn more about the instrument that you play. We wanted to give our own interpretation to the anthem. We looked at all the rules concerning playing it, and then went ahead with creating our tune,” Jeff Foster, another band member said on the composition of the Anthem.

Anam Zafar, vocalist feels it was crucial for her because it happens to be the National Anthem.

“The true feel of any song is reflected by how well the artist connects to it, and how well the listeners connect to the artists. To make the songs more soulful, good use of back vocals also becomes necessary, which in turn involves good knowledge for the technicalities of singing. We try to make our music with quality and be pretty different from the mainstream,” said Zafar.

The Journey of ANTIM

Fahad Zuberi, a student of Architecture along with Aamir Ahmad, a student of Mechanical Engineering, and Hilal Umar, a student of Electronics Engineering, were playing music together since 2010 and started jamming at the Cultural Education Centre, AMU with Nabeel Firoz, a student of Medicine at AMU and the secretary of the Fusion Music Club at the time.

ANTIM was formally formed in 2012.

The year 2012-2013 saw Firoz leading from the front on vocals and guitars and on most of the band’s music production and compositions. The band collaborated with the artistes from the Indian music club in the Cultural Education Centre at the AMU in the early stages. Soon, vocalist and artist Jeff Foster, a student of fine arts and Zafar, a student of law joined the band.

Performing for the first time on December 31, 2012 the band soon gained wide recognition and critical acclaim in the region.

The year 2012 thus became the birth-year for the band and it continued to play in shows and other events at CEC, and outside the University as well.


Year 2013 started with the appointment of Zuberi as the club’s secretary and the band experimenting on the newly bought instruments. The members soon learned these instruments and started jamming.

After two months of jam sessions and experimenting, the band performed a historic two hour concert on October 26, 2013 with a jam packed Kennedy Auditorium. The band improvised many contemporary tracks into Jazz, Blues, Flamenco and Metal music. This show raised the level at which music was being made and performed in the campus.

The band’s style and strategies used in the show, then, became the guidelines for the concerts of other clubs at CEC as well. The band subsequently performed various other shows and conducted workshops, created instrumentals with Sitar Ustad Rafat Khan Niazi and Sarangi artist Suhail Yusuf Khan. The session ended with ‘El Vintro Unplugged’, a concert where the band presented its acoustic recreations of contemporary and classic tracks.

Year 2014 saw the appointment of Jeff Foster as the secretary of the club that the band was associated with. This association ended in 2015 when all the members graduated from the AMU.

The band is now based in New Delhi and jams regularly. The band’s philosophy, as it claims, is that of a structured and disciplined approach to music, hard work and respect for other genres, exploring the abilities of oneself in more than one instrument and staying true to their music.