The NRIs

Nayan Bhula
Gabriel Fry
Shawn Leonard
Jesse Burgman
Audrey White
Melanie Papasian

A non-resident Indian, Nayan Bhula decided to use the moniker “The NRI” in 2007 when he released some of his lo-fi 4-track cassette recordings. That collection of songs, spanning more than 10 years, showed Nayan learning to play, sing, and write in a laid-back acoustic setting—a sharp contrast to the high-energy post punk feel of his band, GIST. After some positive reaction to those older songs, he decided to record full-band versions of some of them along with some new songs. During this phase, a few of his favorite musicians happened to be either leaving bands or moving into the DC-metro area. Hence, “The NRI” became “The NRIs”—adding Gabriel Fry (ex-The Alphabetical Order, We Were Pirates, etc.), Shawn Leonard (ex-Stefan Couture & The Campfire Orch.), Jesse Burgman, and Audrey White for a May 2009 live debut. After trying out violinists, The NRIs finally added their sixth and final member, Melanie Papasian, in late 2009.

After spending months in and out of friends’ studios, The NRIs finished their debut EP, 8:42AM, which was released in May 2010. Their sophomore effort, Kings and Birds, was released in June 2011.