In a rude shock for ardent Indian metal fans across the world, Primitiv frontman and celebrated vocalist Nitin Rajan, known for his rip roaring vocals and electrifying stage presence, breathed his last on Tuesday night, following a year-long battle with cancer.
In an update posted on the official Facebook page of the band, the post read, “Unfortunately, after a long and hard battle with cancer, our vocalist Nitin Rajan passed away last night. Please celebrate his life, his music, and his legacy, and respect the privacy of his family and friends at this unfortunate time.”
The Indian Metal community is yet to comprehend this irreplaceable loss. Penning a heartfelt tribute to his contemporary and senior, Demonstealer aka Sahil Makhija of Demonic Ressurection wrote in his Facebook post, “I remember it as the day I saw it, at IIT Bombay either '98 or '99. This band was on stage playing, they were called Morticide and this massive voice hit me from the stage. That was my introduction to Nitin Rajan. I will never forget their cover of Sepultura's The Hunt that night and I couldn't believe what a monstrous voice he had. Nitin was one of the cool guys in the scene, he was older than me and he had his band and I remember going to see Morticide at Razz and he was probably the first Indian death metal vocalist I heard. And I wanted to sound as deep and vicious as he did and be as good a vocalist.”
Born on April 4, 1978, Nitin began his musical stint as the frontman for death metal outfit Morticide in 1998. His eventual success and following propelled him to initiate Domination The Deathfest in 2000, a stage where aspiring Indian metallers would be heard. In a career spanning 20 years, Nitin has also been associated with Reptilian Death, Sledge and Killibrium, some of Mumbai’s dynamic metal acts.
Simultaneously, Nitin in his tenure as the Vice President and Head of Digital Media at Radio City 91.1 FM, fronted Radio City Freedom Awards, the ultimate recognition and celebration of the best Indian independent artists and music from across the country, irrespective of languages and genres.
Long-time colleague and COO at Radio City, Rachna Kanwar fondly remembers, “Today, at Radio City, we've lost someone really precious and we feel devastated. We lost our dearest Nitin Rajan, who worked with us for nearly 13 long years and throughout, his zeal for doing something new and different remained unfazed, even until the very end. His dedication towards creating a special place for Independent Music at Radio City gave rise to a brilliant IP like Radio City Freedom Awards. He was a very sorted person; disciplined, level headed and a hardcore professional. A multi-faceted personality, Nitin was a stalwart of India’s Metal music scene and apart from being an accomplished musician himself, he mentored many upcoming artists from his favorite genre. Earlier this year during a break in his treatment, he came back to work and told us that Radio City felt like home. Though he may not be with us today, he will live in our hearts forever.”
How his band would want to remember him? Primitiv co-founder and bassist Riju Dasgupta says, "We at Primitiv today haven't just lost a band member, but also a very dear friend. Seeing the outpour of grief we all have shared today on social media, it makes me very happy to witness how Nitin has touched several lives with his presence apart from being a commendable musician. Not only has he championed for the reach and visibility of Metal in our country, he has ensured that Indian independent music is heard and discovered. And knowing him, he’d want us to remember him without the waterworks.”