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The NRIs

The NRIs started as a solo project for Nayan Bhula, a place for his folkier tunes, that didn't fit his post-punk outfit GIST.   A simple idea—stripped-down acoustic songs, a little folk, a little country—by the end become so much more. Between 2010 and 2021, The NRIs put out five EPs and a handful of singles that dabbled in styles such as folk, indie rock, traditional Indian, experimental and soul - following the muse of lead NRI, Nayan Bhula. Two EPs: “The Charm” and “Playground,” found an official vinyl release after a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

A solo act, became a sextet and then a decade later by its final release, an octet.  Nayan started small with a mix of songs recorded on his Tascam home recorder, which was released in 2007 on "4-Track Mind." (RSR003)  After some positive feedback, he went all in with a hand picked batch of local musicians...and made The NRI (the Non-Resident Indian)...The NRIs (..Indians...yeah he was the only Indian!).  Focusing on 5-6 song releases, over the decade the band navigated a revolving crew of musicians through marriages, moves, kids, divorces, day jobs, night jobs, school...etc...

They opened for Juliana Hatfield, Laura Stevenson, Khaira Arby, toured the East Coast, were featured on NPR, headlined the Fort Reno concert series in DC, had a song appear in an indie documentary film ("Like I'm Flying"), and wowed audiences with their high energy shows.

Members Included: Nayan Bhula, Gabriel Fry, Shawn Leonard, Jesse Burgman, Audrey White, Audrey Ahmed, Melanie Papasian, Mike Nilsson, Colin McCormick, Collin Cogan, Eddie Fuentes, Simone Shuffett, Patrick Frank


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