ISSN 0974 â€“ 9128
Vol 06 Issue 06 - June 2013
India's National Pan-Genre Music MagazinE
MUZIK LOUNGE the first woman sound engineer M Gita Gurappa
aat powers QUIRKS n queries
shruti pathak COVER STORY
salim sulaiman Taming the bollywood shrew
the muse of the melodic
BAND OF THE MONTH
workshop the band with no dearth of drama
from youtube with love : mikey mccleary - old composition, new avatars
the edit PAD Strategy and Planning Ajay Prabhakar Director, Business Development Pragash VM Editor-in-Chief Nikila Srinivasan Associate Editor Supriya Talupuru Marketing Manager Sneha Ramesh Regional Marketing Manager, BLR Anu Pahalajani Creative Director George Vedamanickam Lead Designer Vaishali Menon Associate Designer Nipun Garodia Ilustrations Nipun Garodia Photography Venkat Balaji Harsimran Basra Content Support Shresht Pod dar Cover Story Credits Dhruv Ashit Pandya
here are absolultely no dearth of reasons why we cannot don Salim and Sulaiman on our cover. We are absolutely delighted to host their freewheeling interview with one of our best this June.
It’s Palm Expo once again, and we are proud to be associated. If you are holding this copy, and wondering what we are all about, well, The Score Magazine is the only Pan-Genre Music Magazine for Indians by Indians. As you turn through our pages, you’ll find out that we have represented every aspect of Indian music at its most colorful best. Do come by our stall at J-28 at the Palm Expo, and you can catch up with all of us. P.S: We are extremely thankful to our client AAT ( SAE) for their support in helping us connect to our cover-story artists Salim and Sulaiman.
ajay prabhakar Strategy and Planning
After fighting it out for 3 whole years, Score Media has painstakingly put together a boot-strapped Music Brand in India. Today, we run a Music Magazine; reach it out to 80,000 people online and offline; organize ScoreNights, our weekly gig intiative, every Friday at both Chennai and Bangalore. As the Official Music Media Partner this year for Palm Expo, we have done our bit in futhering our cause i.e. Promote music and music brands from across India. If you like what we do, and would want to work with us, give us a shout at the Palm Expo! Like Ajay mentioned, I’ll be there.
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cover story: salim-sulaiman
It takes two and a hoard of dramatic beats to tango.
Band of the Month Work that thing with Workshop! Check out our interview with them!
Mikey Mccleary of the Bartender turns the old school music charm on
On being the daughter of T.N Krishnan and beyond
Quirks & Queries POWERED BY AaT
Shurti Pathak includes us in her musical journey
in india segment : skream and benga
Mixes a unique blend with a musical cocktail
The pioneers of Dubstep, Skream and Benga know how to drop it
Lalgudi Jayaraman : Because a bow and a violin is mightier than actions
sanjeev thomas: thomsun music house star of the month 22
Pay your tribute to heavy metal by listening to whatâ€™s new Many roles, One ideal : Cheers to good music
salim-sulaiman India’s heartthrob musical siblings Salim & Sulaiman Merchant are a force to reckon with. Not only are they amongst Bollywood’s top 5 music directors, but are also amongst the few Indian musicians whose global collaborations have made them international icons.
This dynamic duo has paved their way to immense fame and fortune without sacrificing the quality of their music. Has their journey been an easy one? Not really. Says Salim, “We started off by learning music together. Back then, we were composing jingles by the dozen and we were collaborating with a score of Indipop artistes like Sagarika, Stylebhai, Shweta Shetty etc. After programming for various music composers for a while, we did a record called Bhoomi in 1998 which comprised of various folk sounds of India. We recorded it at Peter Gabriel’s studio in the UK. When we came back to India, we found out that the album was shelved for three years since it was far ahead of its time. This was one of the most heartbreaking moments for us since we realized that we have a film industry, as opposed to, a music industry in this country. T hankfully, we started getting a lot of film offers and in 2000, we kick-started our Bollywood career with Ram Gopal Verma’s Bhoot.” Adding to this, Sulaiman says, “I do not think that we went wrong anywhere. We took it slowly at our own pace and selected our projects with utmost care. We surrendered ourselves completely to music. I think we have been on a vacation for the past 23 years. We love what we do and we cannot imagine ourselves doing anything else.”
We rarely ever have creative differences since we are almost always in sync with each other. During the rare disagreement, we try to understand each other’s point of view and work around it. -Salim Merchant
shresht poddar What factors influenced them to take up a career in music? Taufiq Qureshi, Ustad Zakir Hussain & their father, Sadruddin Merchant. “We started understanding music because of our dad. Not only did he lead the Ismaili Scouts Orchestra, but he was also the largest manufacturer of musical instruments. During the days of analog recording, he used to import digital electronic gear for most of the musicians. We have been fortunate enough to see the transition of the Indian music industry from being completely analog to completely digital. We learned a lot from this first hand information. I realized that I had a sense of rhythm during his orchestra rehearsals since I used to play the Maracas for him. The knowledge he imparted to us groomed us into the people that we are today. He always pushed us to follow our heart and never forced us to take up the stereotypical career routes.”
Siblings are known to squabble a lot with each other. Taking Jatin-Lalit as an example - they broke off their professional partnership over major creative differences. Do Salim & Sulaiman face such challenges with each other? Do their personal issues ever carve its way into the studio? Salim says, “We rarely ever have creative differences since we are almost always in sync with each other. During the rare disagreement, we try to understand each other’s point of view and work around it.
Have we ever come close to a fist fight over professional differences?
How did Taufiq Qureshi & Ustad Zakir Hussain influence them?
Never!” Adding to his brother’s point, Sulaiman says,”We have reached that stage of maturity in music, as well as, in our lives where it becomes petty to even entertain the thought of a fight. We know our individual strengths and divide work accordingly.”
Says Sulaiman, “At 16, I was learning the drums and tabla from Taufiq bhai. Every Sunday, I would sit with him at his place. I faced two major challenges with him - first was to get my fingers to move cleanly on the tabla and second, was to get Taufiq bhai’s time. His shows and other commitments took up his time and he almost never had any time for us. I have woken him up at 2 am in the morning and coaxed him to teach me. I used to get intimidated whenever I used to learn from Zakir bhai. After all, I was learning from the great Ustad Zakir Hussain.”
The brothers seem to know that they are not perfect and they are very much in tune with each other’s strengths & weaknesses. “We have grown up together, studied together and now, make music together. Working with each other is almost effortless since it comes naturally to us. There is no bid between us to outdo the other. When we work, the atmosphere is joyous, energetic & electric. Sulaiman is one of the most intelligent music producers since his knowledge about music production is astounding. He has always been ahead of the game.”
We have reached that stage of maturity in music, as well as, in our lives where it becomes petty to even entertain the thought of a fight. We know our individual strengths and divide work accordingly. - Sulaiman Merchant
“I think Salim is one of the most impulsive people I know. When we create music, he is always willing to take risks. He always strives to break boundaries and he is an achiever. He extracts the best from his team. At the same time, this trait of his does cause conflicts at time because once he gets into the groove, he wants to finish off the entire track in one go whereas I prefer to perfect each section of the track as and when we are composing.”
How do they deal with the stress to maintain deadlines that tag along with Bollywood? “We work till late (Laughs). Thankfully, we have a very efficient team. We work the best when we are under pressure. When we had to compose the soundtrack for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Adi (Aditya Chopra) refused to let us leave his studio till we had handed over the entire soundtrack to him. This pushed us to do better since we had other projects in hand which we couldn’t afford to let suffer. We created Haule Haule in a single day.” Since they have been in the industry for over 23 years, have they ever experienced a musician’s block? “Not really. I do not think that it is possible to develop any kind of block while sitting in a studio. Yes, sometimes we have to create the same type of songs repeatedly - especially, those first look songs on which the promotions of a film will be dependent on. At times, we do feel that we have implemented every possible trick up our sleeves but that doesn’t deject us. It just pushes us to explore newer areas of music.” Another trait worth mentioning about the duo is that they are highly humble and they have their feet firmly placed
DID YOU KNOW? • Contrary to popular belief, Salim hasn’t actually attended Trinity College. He did a correspondence course with them in Piano training from India since he was simultaneously studying Indian Classical music from Ustad Sultan Khan. • Salim’s favorite music genre is Western Classical. He says he has learnt a lot from it. Besides this, he loves listening to Seal (he has his entire collection!) & Incognito (a UK based Acid Jazz band). On the other hand, Sulaiman listens to music depending upon his mood. Nowadays, he is hooked onto EDM (especially, David Guetta & Afrojack). • If they had to define their music, they would say that it involves a lot of rhythm & chord changes. They also try to incorporate the sounds they hear during their traveling expeditions. • The soundtrack that they are most proud of is Rensil D’ Silva’s Kurbaan. Not only did it mark Salim’s career as a singer, but it also allowed them to incorporate their spiritual beliefs in it. • Favorite Bollywood directors whom they love to work with? “We have had a great time composing music for both of Rensil D’ Silva’s films - Kurbaan and the upcoming, Ungli. We also love working with Nagesh Kukunoor & Prakash Jha.”
on the ground. As Sulaiman puts it, “Are we famous? I don’t think so. We are happy being unknown and in our own world.” Are they delusional or very much in touch with the downfalls of fame? “We know that we are popular but we do not want to be the type of people who refuse to say hi to anybody. We are stared at all the time. A simple example would we when we step out to smoke a cigarette and passers-by will stare at us. They might recognize us thanks to reality shows etc. but they still do not know our name. They refer to us by saying “Arey haan, woh music director’s hain aur gaana bhi gaate hai.”
What would their advice to budding music composers be? “Guys, please make music which feels right to you. Many a times, composers want to take a particular route since it has always worked for others but they fail since it doesn’t come naturally to them. Please aim to create a good song, as opposed to a hit song. The amount of satisfaction you will achieve when you are true to your self is indescribable.” As for the parents who hold back their children from pursuing a musical career, “India is a song & dance nation. There will always be space for one more song, tune or composer. Our musical culture will always be there. If your child is inclined towards music, give him/her the opportunity since he/she might be the next Mozart.”
On a final note, what are their forthcoming projects? We have done the background score for Krrish 3 (which is incidentally going to be insane! Watch out for it). We have also composed the soundtracks for Rensil’s Ungli, Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha & a small film called Rabba Main Kya Karoon.
3 WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME
Salim: Insomniac, crazy & dreamer!
SCARY FAN MOMENT We had gone to Jaipur to judge the ‘Golden Voice Of Rajasthan’ where more than 70000 people had gathered to get a glimpse of us. Throughout the show, they kept edging towards us and finally, they jumped onto the stage. We were forced to take refuge in a toilet cubicle for over two hours. We could not even get to our car which was just 20 meters ahead.”
OUR TAKE ON MUSIC CRITICS We believe in the audience! We think music critics wake up and review music depending upon their mood. Music criticism is a very subjective issue. Judging someone’s hard work carelessly is not fair. I think what they should take into consideration is that music in India is primarily made for movies. When you hear a track without watching the movie, it might seem situational since it has been composed for a particular situation. People judged our soundtrack in Chak De India harshly but after they saw the movie where the songs fell in place with the situations, they loved it! The director has a lot of say in the soundtrack of a movie. A composer’s vision might get overshadowed by that of the director in the process.
ON THEIR COLLABORATION WITH BRITNEY SPEARS
It fizzled out. Such things happen since it isn’t dependant only on us. There is a whole team & strategy behind any collaboration with a global artist. It is all about the right timing. Our collaboration with Lady Gaga happened only during the launch of ‘Born This Way’. It might take more than three to four months to get the paperwork sorted at both ends. Both the parties might be highly professional but the red tape (read: artiste managers, artiste producers, music producers, vocal technicians etc.) in between screws you over.
SHORTCOMINGS OF BOLLYWOOD We had complete creative freedom when we were composing independently. In Bollywood, a music composer has to adhere to certain restrictions since a huge sum of money is at stake - script demands, one commercially exploited track, one item song etc. We are often told to keep our music “safe” and not to experiment. It is only now that people are taking huge risks thanks to the advent of Indie music. People are tired of the same old crap and want to hear new sounds. Look at Amit Trivedi’s experimental music. His albums have been becoming a huge hit. More than the public, even the film-makers have started to explore their musical horizon. I think it is a great time to compose music. Music has really evolved in the past two decades.
INDIPOP - WHY IS IT LOW-KEY NOW? The 90s Bollywood music was pretty crappy. Back then, the Indi-pop genre presented new age music to the public. MTV had just come in too. The sound that came from the West became the new sound of India. Taking Shweta Shetty or Voodoo Rapper as an example, their music came as a welcome change from the repetitive Bollywood stuff. After a while, people who were doing Pop suddenly shifted to Bollywood and implemented Pop in films. One by one, the entire industry migrated. Music producers started working for movie makers and the Pop industry died a silent death. When the public is introduced to something different, suddenly that becomes the hottest trend. Look at Yo Yo Honey Singh’s music. Despite all the rapes happening in India, the man went ahead and released a track called Main Hoon Balatkari (which means I am a rapist). The irony is that it has been accepted by the public and has become a huge hit.
3 WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME
SUlAimAN: Calm, methodic & crazy! ai
PEOPLE WE FOLLOW ON TWITTER
Taran Adarsh (for his movie business gyaan), Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Dalai Lama & Karan Johar.
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Give us your introduction to Orange amps. When my band Swarathma was touring in the UK, I kept visiting a lot of venues watching different bands and I loved it there! Honestly speaking, I don’t remember the bands I saw except maybe a couple of them but I sure do remember this amp! It was bright orange; it just grabbed my attention and it was so easy to remember the name, same as the colour! Visiting a music store is like visiting a temple for me. I tried these amps and I was so blown away!
How did the endorsement with Orange happen? It was funny in a way. I wanted to buy an amp and was looking for different options as we all know these are really expensive! Rockerverb was the top on the list and I called Sunny from Bhargavas to get a quotation for the same since they are the distributors in India. We eventually ended up discussing about an endorsement deal and things worked out! Sunny really helped me through this and I’d take this opportunity to thank Bhargavas for their support.
In what way did Orange amp work for you as a guitarist and for your band’s sound? Over these years of touring and playing with different amplifiers, I wanted an amp that’s easy to use, reliable enough to tour with and achieve the sound I seek without struggling too much. Orange fits really well for me in all these aspects. They are made really tough; I love the build quality, the tonality and the way it looks! Besides, it takes pedals really well giving me much more options. We believe that instead of categorising the band to a certain genre and sticking to it, it’s a whole lot better to play what comes naturally to us. I associate guitar to Rock and Blues. Hence, even a heavier sounding amp like Rockerverb/Dual terror works perfectly for me. Besides, it suits the colourful attire of Swarathma, onstage! Now that’s what I call a treat!
What happens when an Orange meets a quirky guitarist? Well, don’t wonder about such things when the answer you seek lies here. We talk to Varun Murali of Indian Folk-Rock band Swarathma on the same:
We come from varied musical backgrounds and we all believe that we should respect our influences allowing each other to contribute naturally to the band’s sound.
You are now part of the Orange family along with some of the legendary artists. How does it feel? Well, how do I explain this? It’s one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a guitar player. That is, being endorsed by a great amplifier company like Orange which makes such beautiful sounding amps! It’s a thing of pride and it feels fantastic playing with these rock heavy beasts!
Orange Amps imported by Bhargava’s Musik. Available in all leading stores across the country. http://www.facebook.com/OrangeAmps https://www.facebook.com/bhargavasmusikltd The
Viji Krishnan Viji Krishnan is a violinist stepped in global cultural and effervescent with a youthful approach to sound. She is, by association, the daughter of legendary violin maestro: T N Krishnan. We get talking to her about the release of her contemporary world music album Malabar to Morocco.
In my experience, music needs to put one to sleep. It will not be to create a state of hyper activity. The aim of my music, what I seek, is to put people into a melodic trance.
Our picks from Malabar to Morocco Ganesha It’s a beloved mandate to invoke the pristine Ganesha before starting a new adventure. This is definitely an interesting piece as it and we think it’s a good song to open the album with.
My Father, My Guru As evident as it comes, this song. The piece sees a guest appearance from the Maestro himself. We think it’s the sound of both their violins that make this a very charming number.
Kadambari To be honest, there is this underlying attraction to any structure of music that speaks about a woman and the way she relates to love. While the song was in places a little complex for the untrained ear, it definitely adds to the intent of the song itself.
Keeping our culture in mind, what are your thoughts on Music in general? Music is a part and parcel of our culture. We are exposed to it every day, even if we’re not musically trained. Thankfully so. The base of any music is rooted classically. There is always a raaga or a mix of them that acts as a platform for more variations. In fact, I find it difficult to listen to any song without breaking it down into various raagas.
What are the other things that you’re fond of? I love l languages. I’ve learned Japanese, Parisian, French and German. I love Europe and I travel there often for concerts. There is so much to discover there: there’s always something new and I’ll never get tired of exploring Europe. It’s unlike the U.S. In the sense that, it’s no a concrete jungle.
How is your day structured like and what are the things you look forward to? I’m not structured as such. It changes as and how. If I’m here, I like to go meeting my friends, have lunch and dinner. I try and meet people as often as I can. I tend to travel very often. In fact, on an average I spend 9 months travelling. On one such trip, I was in Ireland at a gulf. It was such a crisp day and I was at this tourist spot. There were no people living there, just a cliff with the sea and the rocks. I suddenly hear this music: a woman was playing her harp with her amp by the side. It was beautiful: the mountains, the call of sea gulls and the lashing water. It was magical to say the least. This is sort of a beauty: I look forward too.
In your experience, did music affect your personality? When I’m a musician, I’m a different person. When I am doing something else, I’m a different person. I was not brought up with norms. Norms like having to grow long hair or adore my hair with maali po (flowers). I don’t think music affects who you are. I think you choose to be affected by it: you choose to be taken in by a certain style and incorporate into your lifestyle.
What’s your advice to upcoming and aspiring musicians? Ah! Listen to the old masters. There is so much they have to offer: it’s a treasure trove when you hear their renditions. Make sure you are 200 % ready. It’s only then that you will be able to bring out 100% on stage. Pick the right event. The most essential of the lot: Don’t be taken in by flattery.
Born in Singapore, this girl already has collaborated in India with the biggest names in the music industry, including A.R Rahman Tamil rap artist and singer, Lady Kash looks to take it all on headlong and conquer
When asked if the knees were starting to tire and if she was tired yet, an enthusiastic Lady Kash simply shrugs and says, “I love the job and everything it has to offer.” With India picking up on everything hip and out of the box, Chennai soaking up the Hip-Hop Tamil artist and her style. Her hit song, ‘Irumbile oru Irudhaiyam’ for Enthiran stands testament to this and rightly so.
It’s rather simple, a few years ago before I started out I had this dream where I Femme Fatal dreamt of the name With her ep coming out in soon, an excited Lady Kash who is very much a feminist stands here for all her girls. She beams as she looks and I’ve stuck with into the camera and has a message to all her “girlfriends” out there, asking them to get out there and represent themselves. To be a part of it ever since. the system and the industry, to simply… make a difference. Because one
can. ‘Desi Pennae’ one of the artist’s singles tells such a tale. The fast life that has us going seems to put her music on the map of all that exists on the ever growing chart. Being a female Tamil rapper and singer did bring the open road to accomplish it all. She describes her music as fresh, hip and off the chain, while we think she rightly said so. What’s the story behind ‘Lady Kash’ one tends to ask. As did I. She smile as she replies, “It’s rather simple, a few years ago before I started out I had this dream where I dreamt of the name and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I know it raises a few eyebrows when I tell people on how I came about my stage name but it is what it is.”
Food Fatal When asked what she eats to keep her going and what appeals to her taste buds, “Mom’s food!” an excited Kash screams out who misses her mother very much. It is home that you think of most when out and away. Comforting, warm and that love filled roof most run after. It’s rather poetic for most artists on the road to tour and travel all over. To entertain and mould yourself as you’re out there. Make a few friends…a lot of friends. There’s always exhaustion and panic for those who walk long enough. Success does indefinitely knock on their doors, yet as all is said and done you can’t help but miss home and long to return. “I miss you, mom” says a heartbroken Lady Kash.
The top idiosyncrasies called Kash • An individual, unique in her own element and very much original: that’s what strikes you when you first meet Lady Kash. Whether it’s the shoes she’s got on or the tattoo that spells out dreams across her palm only seems. All of these seem to concrete where she’s coming from and to where is off to. • To anyone, whose judgment on Lady Kash seems rather ambiguous, I believe she is proof enough to know who she is and what she stands for. Fixed with what she’s looking for in her music to what it sounds like when there are so many around her. • A role model to any female rapper in the country or those looking to try their hands at a more cultural traditional language enough playing with its words, take notes. A rapper, a woman, an artist hungry for it all and who loves the sound of making it big. They’re the dangerous kind.
How did you get started and choose your instrument? I come from an orthodox South Indian Brahmin family. I’ve been exposed to Carnatic music from my childhood thanks to my grandfather who was a great patron of the arts. I learnt Carnatic violin briefly when I was 7 years old, but I was more interested in my martial art classes at that time. Then, I started playing guitar when I was 19 years old while I was studying to be a Civil Engineer in one of India’s premier institutions. I gave the drums a shot thanks to a friend of mine and found that it came quite naturally to me. There was no looking back after.
“The Drummerboy Project”. Tell us more. When I was done playing with No Idea, I wanted to experiment and start writing music as a solo artist. The Drummerboy Project was born out of that. I’ve been writing music for it from 2009 and I think I’m finally ready to release a 5 song EP later this year.
What are you working on currently? I’ve just started to collaborate with piano/synth genius Dondieu Divin on a synth/drums duo, called “Collision Course”. The music is freeform, experimental and with electronic elements. I continue to play with The Agenda (a neo-soul,RnB and Jazz quartet) with my wife Sunitha Sarathy, bassist Mishko M’ba and pianist Matt
Littlewood. I just produced my wife’s first single as an independent artist, which received critical acclaim from Shankar Mahadevan, AR Rahman, other such contemporaries and peers of my wife from the Indian film industry.
You are now endorsing Meinl cymbals and part of the elite artist family of Meinl. How does it feel? Why did you choose Meinl cymbals? I am on the artist roster of a company that has some of my drumming heroes too. I feel absolutely elated to be a part of the Meinl Cymbals and Bhargava’s Musik family. I have played cymbals from all the major manufacturers and only Meinl had the sounds that I was hearing in my head. It was so easy to pick cymbals that complemented my playing. I feel proud to be a part of a company that is constantly innovating and not resting on its laurels.
What are some special musical moments that have influenced you? A. Watching “Rush - Exit Stage Left” and learning Neil Peart parts and fills, in the days of the VCR. Some fills are still a part of my vocabulary. B. The Benny Greb drumcamp at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music.
1 Rahul Gopal, drummer for Eco-folk sensation Emergence talks to us about Meinl and his adoration for the artform.
Respect the people you work with, however unimportant the gig may seem to you. They just might give you the break that you were looking for. Getting gigs is also about networking well and being amiable.
NEVER diss the sound engineer. Learn up a bit about micing techniques, frequencies so you can convey better to the sound engineer what you hear in your head with respect to your sound.
Meinl cymbals imported by Bhargava’s Musik. Available in all leading stores across the country. http://www.facebook.com/meinlcymbalsfanpage https://www.facebook.com/bhargavasmusikltd
ey Shruti Pathak may be low-k Her but her voice surely doesnâ€™t. ambh husky rendition of Shubhaar an (from Kai Po Che), Mar Jaw (from Fashion) & Rasiya (from Kurbaan) has brought her y immense fame and popularit et which has made her our targ this month. I have two tattoos one is the Sanskrit sound Om with a peacock, a flute and a music note. Basically, all the elements that I love put together. The other one is of the Gayatri Mantra on my shoulder. I consider this mantra to be the most powerful one on this planet.
My best friends in the industry are Anusha Mani, Shilpa Rao & Tisha Nigam (Sonu Nigamâ€™s sister).
I have two crazy OCDs - a) whenever I take my car out, I have to keep checking whether I have locked it or not - b) If I am at home, I have to wash my feet every 15 minutes.
5 people I follow religiously on Twitter - Kamaal R. Khan, Bollywood Gandu, Paulo Coelho, Vishal Dadlani & Rajdeep Sardesai.
The songs included on the soundtrack of my life Lag Jaa Gale (from Woh Kaun Thi), Kuch Toh Log Kahenge (from Amar Prem) & Aas Paas Khuda (my song from Anjaana Anjaani).
I love to bake food. My trademark dish is Thai Green Curry. In confectionery, I love to make Walnut Brownies & Strawberry Quiches.
upon finding out! I instantly froze and refused to do it. My trainer kept coaxing me. Once I gave in, there was no looking back. I will always cherish that experience!
• I am born & brought up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Ever since I was a kid, I learnt music and sand at school & college functions. Nobody in my family is even remotely inclined towards music so I have built my entire career by myself. • As a kid, I used to get into a lot of trouble. I have been beaten up by teachers on several occasions. I used to take tuitions from my school teacher who made me copy some stuff once. Since I used to be a simple, straightforward kid, I really felt bad about copying and I went and reported him to the principal. In turn, the principal fired him. On other occasions, I used to make caricatures of other professors and I would invariably get caught. I have changed 11 schools during the span of 12 years since my father used to constantly keep getting transferred at work. • I moved to Mumbai in 2003. At the start of my career, I did a lot of jingles and television title tracks. For quite some time, I made a livelihood out of doing the same stuff. At some point in time, I met Salim - Sulaiman who loved my voice. We worked on a lot of songs which never got released until Fashion in 2008. Mar Jawan established me as a professional singer. Unfortunately, my dad passed away just before the release of the film so he never got to hear my playback debut. • I am terrified of ghosts, as well as, heights. Despite suffering from this phobia, I went ahead and paraglided 3000 feet above sea level - that experience was CRAZY! Before I dared to try it, I never knew I had to run and jump off a cliff to get into the air. Imagine my horror
My life begins and ends with music. I cannot imagine being in any other profession. If push comes to shove, then I could have become a psychologist but that is pretty much it.
My father understood me completely when I first told him about my desire to become a singer. Without his support, I would never have been able to take the first step towards achieving my dreams. I miss him a lot.
• I love to travel! I am so glad that my job requires me to travel since I love exploring new places. I have been to a lot of places in Europe including Switzerland, Paris, Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan etc. Another beautiful country is South Africa. I am dying to go to Australia. Though I must tell you that I keep missing my flights. My friends call me ‘The Flight Missing Queen’. • Since I love adventure sports but do not have the time to do any, Scuba-diving & Bungee jumping (eeks! I don’t know how I will get over the height!) are on my bucket list. Another desire of mine is to combine my two passions music & psychology. I have a plan to open an institution where I will be able to treat mentally challenged patients with music. God willing, I should be able to do it in the near future. • I think it is very important for every singer to never be happy with his/her voice otherwise the motivation to better yourself will never be there. Music is limitless and there is a lot to explore and learn. It is a journey, not a course. • Since most of my songs have been moody / deeply meaningful / melancholic, people think of me to be as serious as those songs. I do not know why they make that association. In reality, the word serious and I do not go hand in hand. I am a fun loving, simple, happy girl. • I do not record as often as my contemporaries since I want my voice to remain unique. Other artistes will sing 100 songs a year but I am happy if I do just 10. I do not want people to get tired of my voice.
I have done my Masters in Psychology. I come from a highly educated family - more than half my family members are teachers.
I am a klutz and I end up breaking a lot of things. Once, when I was recording (I will not mention with whom!), I ended up breaking the studio microphone. Since then, whenever I go back to that place, the technicians warn me in advance to not break more of their equipment.
I sang the song Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar for the album Baby Doll which became a huge rage. I speak, understand and sing in English, Gujarati, Marathi & Hindi but I have also sung in Tamil, Telegu & Kannada. Despite having a translator with me every time, I still do not understand any of my South Indian songs.
3 words that best describe me - easy-going, simple & modest.
carnatic segment sri lalgudi g. jayaraman To students of music, the great violin maestro Sri Lalgudi G. Jayaraman is an encyclopedia who has enriched the lives of so many (including mine) by sharing his insurmountable knowledge and depth in music with the world. He is my inspiration in music and my life. Last July, I had the rare opportunity to meet the legend. Sri Srikanth Chary, my Veena teacher who was visiting from the United States was going to meet his guru, Sri Lalgudi G. Jayaraman at his home in T-Nagar. Srikanth uncle called me and said, “Ananya, would you like to meet Lalgudi mama? I am taking some students along with me today.” I paused for a second. Was I really being asked this question? Was I really about to meet one of the greatest musicians of all time? Upon meeting him I was immediately struck by his piety and simplicity. Although age had caught up to him, his brilliance and love for music had not faded. His memory was razor sharp as he fondly recalled memories of years long gone, in perfect detail. Through my time learning from my vocal guru, Smt. Anuradha Sridhar and my Veena guru Sri Srikanth Chary, I have heard such inspiring stories of Lalgudi mama’s humble genius. After having met him, it was even more evident that he was a truly remarkable individual who did strive to do things the right way from the beginning.
Performer At a recent workshop, Lalgudi Jayaraman’s son, GJR Krishnan quizzed his audience, playing only the violin accompaniment and asking his audience to guess who the main artist was. After all, his father had a mind-blowing ability to absorb even the most complicated phrases that the main artist sang and incorporate it in his music on the spot. His aptitude for listening, registering, analyzing and reproducing any intricate musical phrase struck all with awe. He always played with purpose and passion. Rather than simply accompanying another musician with generic musicality, he tailored each musical response to fit each specific occasion. As a soloist he was a margadarshi (model artiste) who both entertained and educated through his performances. His mind was tuned to contribute continuously and abundantly. He was an innovator every step of the way that looked into every aspect of performance and constantly assessed what was lacking, from where, and provided insight in those areas. His concerts were a treasure and provided such deep insight and value to the listener.
1942: started his career as an accompanying violinist.
Illustration by: Nipun Garodia
1963: Bestowed with the
title ‘Nada Vidya Tilaka’ by Music Lover’s Association of Lalgudi
1966: Brought a paradigm
shift with the musical assembly of the violin, venu (flute) and veena
Though his supreme talent was daunting to some, Lalgudi sir’s teaching was nothing short of a privilege. My gurus and his other sisyas would often describe him as a taskmaster, as he took teaching seriously making sure each of his students understood what he conveyed thoroughly. He was a disciplinarian who emphasized perseverance and rigor in music. Every curve and every nuance mattered. He expected the same level of focus and attention to detail from his students. While he was stern with regards to focused practice, he was propagator of reason. While teaching the “what” and “how” aspects of music, he was very particular that one understood “why” it was so. He encouraged questions and was careful to avoid mundane instruction.
Composer One day Lalgudi sir wanted to show and ask for the opinion of Sri G.N. Balasubramaniam regarding his newly composed thillana in Vasantha. GNB, taken aback in the brilliance of Lalgudi sir’s composition encouraged him to compose more. While excelling as a performance artist, he soon became a vaggeyakara (A musician and composer). When I went to Cleveland for the Thyagaraja Aradhana, I met a couple from New York. They told me of an instance when Lalgudi sir once visited their area for a concert. The wife requested him to compose a varnam in the ragam Huseni. Lalgudi sir immediately responded, “Why not?” She didn’t think much more of it until he came the next year and played the newly composed varnam. He didn’t just love music, but was actually eager to compose in a rare raga. His passion and commitment truly touched the wife’s heart.
Lalgudi sir passed away on April 22nd, 2013. I had only met him once, and I will cherish that experience for the rest of my life. It is common to find a person to fulfill the role of a student, musician, vaggeyakara, and teacher. It is the unique greatness of Lalgudi Jayaraman to be all these and more. He dedicated each moment of his life to learn, think, create, and innovate. He knew no other way of life; these were the things that gave his life purpose. And what a glorious purpose it was indeed.
1972: Awarded with Padma Shri
1979: Honored with the
‘State Vidwan’ of Tamil Nadu and Sangeetha Natak Academy Award
citizenship of Maryland, U.S.A.
2001: Awarded with
THOMSUN MUSIC HOUSE
Star of the month
What does it take to be artist? Sanjeev Thomas, our star of this month, talks about the exuberance of being an Indie artist and the physical realities that he countered on this path of awe.
T he music scene for an indie artist is still a very hard career choice. Grassroot level development and exposure of indie musicians have considerably improved and venues of live music still remain to survive despite the difficulties attached to it.
Even though being Rahman’s guitarist, you’ve built a definite name for yourself. The journey, in totality tells a tale of any guitarists’ dream. How would you put it? Well, I would like to say that as long as you don’t stop that journey for purpose in your life, any dream is never too far. I would like to think purpose could always keep changing often. The beauty of music and art is that it could be articulated in so many forms of expression. I’ve been blessed to have worked with some of the best people in the music business. I’ve always been able to keep a certain pattern of growth over the years, which makes me go on for more.
Your sound is very unique with varying layers to it. How would you describe your music? When I started out as a full time musician and guitarist, I could have defined my music as being RocknRoll or Alternative. Over the years, I have simply expanded my genre space with my own unique expression. Now as an indie artist this year, I’d like to get back to recording live. The many years of studio production has drained me back to realizing a certain true value of recording live like back in the old days: A human essence which brings a very genuine energy unlike many studio productions. Apart from being an indie artist, I am a commercial music producer too and so I have my studio time with those projects.
You’ve, on a previous occasion, said you weren’t for commercial music. As time progressed, we’ve seen your hand at almost all and anything, Bollywood included. Comment. Like mentioned earlier, I have evolved as a musician since I’ve started out. When I became a full time musician after college, I would defend Rocknroll to the depths of my soul. But later on I realized and understood the value in every form of music. What is commercial to some may not be commercial to many others in different countries.
Your music influences and guitarists who influence you.
Sanjeev better !
The “Journey Home World” tour with A R Rahman alongside the most talented people I’ve worked and travelled with, from John Beasly to Taku Hirano, from Amy Tinkham to Kevin Stea and Legacy was a memory worth dying for. A quote I really like is from John Lennon. He says “Don’t hate what you don’t understand”. I think the award dearest to me would be when AVIMA (Malaysia) awarded me their “Most Inventive Artist”. I’ve always had trouble with focusing on more marketable outfits. So, the name of this award kind of had its fit. My current focus is my live album and Springr. Springr is an artist platform which works from a heritage space in Fort Cochin. I’m focusing on collaborating and bringing together many artists from India and abroad together here hoping to create that magic of live exclusives and raw renditions.
My music influences began with 70’s disco to 70’s Rocknroll. My all time favorite guitarists of all time would be Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Frank Zappa. My favorite band would have be Led Zeppelin. I’m very influenced by a lot of black music from Blues to Gospel to Hip and Glitch Hop. Right now, I’ve just been listening to a lot of radio, which some may seem as primitive. I don’t have an Ipod. Neither do I have a TV anymore.
A lot of guitarists out there that are in a ‘bid for artistic respectability’. How do you think one achieves that? Respect comes from dedication and perseverance. It also comes from making the right choices in many cases. If you go too early for the money, you could be giving up a lot of respect. Respect comes from how much you challenge yourself too and not just to stick within boundaries.
Many would consider you an integral part of the music industry. As an indie artist, what does the music scene in India look like? We’re addressing this one for all those aspiring guitarists. The music scene for an indie artist is still a very hard career choice. Grassroot level development and exposure of indie musicians have considerably improved and venues of live music still remain to survive despite the difficulties attached to it. For a new musician, you have better oppurtunities. But once you pass the stage of being a total newbie, we lack growth from here. Even though the Indie music industry has doubled its venues and agencies supporting it, it has still no support structure for its artists. This is changing rapidly. With the internet, more people will endorse indie music in the coming years. In the case of guitarists, to be completely honest with you, I have survived as a musician because of my evolution from just being a guitarist. It is the limits to which you can push yourself in hardship that makes you successful.
Band of the Month
Our Band of the Month for June is so scene and heard it would be wrong to put scene on them. We bring you an eloquent dialogue with the visionary band members of Workshop. Not!
Workshop is FUN, much like group sex. Sahil Makhija (The Demonstealer)
How did it all start? Why Workshop when Demonic Resurrection is going so great?
realized it’s a bitch to find us even with Google and we should have named ourselves ‘WORKSHOP’.
H: Even though this question is clearly directed to Mr. Thee Mann Stealer (he makes his fans lose their minds), I’d like to pretend like I’m supposed to answer it (assuming the fact that people actually know that I’m not the drummer of DR). Have you ever asked Shah Rukh Khan, why, inspite of having such a successful career as SRK, he disguises himself as Bobby Deol and releases a multitude of flops under that identity? Basically, Workshop is DR with a different look. They just don’t know it yet.
Workshop is known to have a complete mix of genres and nothing in particular. Why so?
D: Well, thankfully being in a band is not like a monogamous relationship with a woman; some men like to be with multiple women. The point I’m making is that a band is like eating dinner: you want to have the steak, the burger and the pizza. So, why deprive yourself. I like making music, I don’t restrict myself to 1 project because I do a variety of sub genres of metal. With Workshop, it is an extension of a different part of my personality.
Why ‘Workshop’? H: On extreme persuasion from Sahil, P Chidamkadam worked towards the Naam Karan of yet to be named Workshop by four names; Mammalian Death, Albatraaz 3, Cocaine-ish and Tool. He planned to write these names on a wall and keep looking at them in quick succession until Sahil stopped playing blast beats at 320 bpm. It was a fair and just concept, not very different from Musical Chairs. However, the problem was that Chindamkadam was cock-eyed and Sahil could only play at 242 bpm. They asked Riju the Flying Doctor to fly into one of the names on the wall. Sadly, he flew straight into a god damn Workshop. If only the name were as creative as the naming process. Sigh! D: We all did a guitar workshop together for ESP Guitars and Furtados Music and it seemed like a fitting name. Since Guitar Workshop was very complex we decided to drop ‘Guitar’ from the name and stick with just Workshop. Only later we
H: We have a genre and it’s called Heavy Mental. All our songs are musictheoretically-illegal bastardization of genres amalgamated with a dose of questionable humor. You can refer to us as trans-genres if that makes you happy. You see, the metal community started shrinking after import duties were levied on bacon coming from New Zealand. Foreseeing an inheritance problem, we decided to merge genres like Bhangda, Garba, Disco, what-wethinks-is-Jazz, Folk and Bollywood with Metal. The plan was to send out subliminal messages to the listeners of more popular genres and pull them over to the dark side. D: Most of our song ideas came from jamming around and randomly breaking out into various genres like garba, bhangra etc so we just infused that crazy element into our songs. It was a very natural thing. For example, Garba Gandu was born from Hamza playing a garba beat, then going into a death metal blast beat. We just used that basic idea for the song which is to switch from Garba to Death metal in a song.
What do you think about the Metal Scene in India now? H: I don’t think about it. What do you think about the economic crisis in Mongolia or the sanitary problems of suburban kids in the crowded alleys of Alaska? Apparently, you can only pee in a sauna over there. D: The metal scene is awesome. It’s like a big fucking facebook circus. We’ve got a Rakhi Sawant, we have a Arnab Goswami, I think I’m the Sanjeev Kapoor but yeah it’s going crazy with genre wars, mindless bitching, politics etc. Of course, if you cut facebook out of the equation we’ve got a nice developing scene all over the country, we’re seeing fans and bands showing up in smaller cities, we’re seeing more festivals, more growth. It’s beautiful and I love it. Which means stay off facebook.
Steps to music evolution in India land It will evolve over time and the process of evolution cannot be charted before hand, you cannot also charter the process of evolution. We tried to call god to skip the evolution process and give us the Adam and Eve equivalent of music so that they could procreate, spawn an incestuous family that would further multiply into retardation and eventual extinction but he was too busy chasing a snake with an apple so we just started writing music ourselves instead of waiting for him and that is how the scene is evolving.
adhithya r kumar
The extent of our success is currently being measured by the Census Board of India.
Hamza Kazi (The Hamzoid)
‘ESP Clockwork Zombie’ that different thing
The Hamzoid It eats other guitars. It’s actually a specially crafted weapon, devised by the evil genius of Mangesh Gandhi, brand manager of ESP guitars. Whenever a non ESP guitar comes within a 5 cm radius of a Clockwork Zombie, it sends out a message to Luke Kenny, Riju and Saif Ali Khan. The four of them combined, eat the non ESP guitar alive while it’s still squealing the solo of Paradise City.
The Demonstealer Contrary to Dr. Hamza Kazi’s description, it’s got these very cool graphics designed by Sam Sheron and it was limited to 200 guitars.
How to form a band?
Find live musicians who can play with you. From my personal experience I can safely say that dead ones are not very effective unless they’re to be used as stage props.
Don’t cover songs. The audience will know how bad you are. In fact, become a djent band and play one beat in 4/4 over every possible time signature and call it a polyrhythm. It worked for me.
Shower atleast once a day.
Always use good gear. Buy Mapex Drums from Furtados and Paiste Cymbals from Musicians Mall. Yes I’m a sellout but I also get gear from them that I can’t otherwise afford.
Get someone from Score magazine to make you band of the month. Thanks, Score!
Logo credits : Gaurav Basu
FURTADOS ULTIMATE Guitarist VIDEO CONTEST Gather around, all musicians. Here’s a chance for your talent to be recognized! Furtados is celebrating upcoming musicians in various cities by giving them an exciting opportunity to participate. The Furtados Ultimate Guitarist Video Contest is the first of its kind in India and is a hunt for that talented guitarist yet to be discovered. The Ultimate Guitarist Contest went viral on May 15th 2013. This is the first phase of the contest. Log on to www.furtadosonline.com to register and participate.
How to enter the Contest Option 1: • Backing tracks are available on Furtadosonline.com. The contestant has to download the backing track (.mp3) and play with his instrument, record the same and submit the video on YouTube. • The contestant needs to register on furtadosonline.com and embed the URL (YouTube link) which is the part of the Registration process. • The contestant will only be valid for “THE FURTADOS ULTIMATE VIDEO CONTEST” once she/he submits the videos on YouTube and completes the registration process on Furtadosonline.com (www.furtadosonline.com/furtados_ ultimate) • The contestant is free to participate in any music genres - Funk, Jazz, Blues & Rock.
Option 2: • The contestant has to submit their original video track (max 2 minutes) on YouTube. • The contestant needs to register on furtadosonline.com and embed the URL (YouTube link) which is the part of the Registration process. • The contestant will only be valid for “THE FURTADOS ULTIMATE VIDEO CONTEST” once she/he submits the videos on YouTube and completes the registration process on Furtadosonline.com (www.furtadosonline.com/furtados_ ultimate) • The contestant is free to participate in any music genres be it Funk, Jazz, Blues & Rock. • As soon as the registration process is completed on furtadosonline, the contestant will be sent a profile link on their supplied email id. • The contestant will use the same link to promote themselves through their network. • Furtados website will display the video of the musician who has entered the contest along with their profile, ranked by the number of votes they have. received.
Vote for the Ultimate Video To vote for the contestant the users need to be registered with furtadosonline or can use their Facebook login. In order to vote for the contestant the user has to click on “Vote this Video”. The user can only vote once for any contestant. Top 5 contestants receiving maximum number of votes will directly enter the final round and best 10 videos will be shortlisted by a panel of our young endorsees and will be showcased on furtadosonline.com. The best videos will be announced as winners (by our exclusive endorsees)
There will be 2 awards for each quarter:
1. The Furtados Ultimate title 2. The People’s Choice Award
(for the person who receives the maximum number of votes) This activity will be spread for an entire span of one year divided into 4 quarters. Each quarter focusing on the major instrument categories.
Time Period for the First Phase – The Ultimate Guitarist Contest
People can register and enter the contest for a period of one month i.e. the registration for The Ultimate Guitarist Contest started from 15th May 2013 and closes on 15th of June 2013. Short-listing of videos will start from 15th May 2013 and will continue till the 15th June 2013. More than 20 Videos will be shortlisted and uploaded for online voting from 16th June 2013. The online voting for the shortlisted videos will start once all the videos are uploaded The key to this promotion is the community that will be built around it. Furtados Music is targeting local musicians and their fans through this initiative building up this community of local musicians and their fans on social media .At the same time Increase customer engagement on furtadosonline.com So, there you have it. Get registered NOW and start shredding!
Feel like getting in touch with us? Call us at 080-41104304/05/06 or Drop a line at our website (www.furtadosonline.com)
The man behind The Bartender, comes as an unprecedented surprise. He is the singer, songwriter and music producer Mikey McCleary. What’s surprising about that, you may ask. Dig into our YouTube segment this month to know more about the man behind the sounds.
A quote I love about music
If music be the food of love, play on William Shakespeare
Top 5 things about
Mikey’s video 30
Each of his videos is a new story. There’s something different every time.
There’s also always a funny element to the videos. Some kind of joke or gag. Case in point: Inteha Ho Gayi Intezar Ki, the whole video is meant to be humorous.
What or who introduced you to Indian music and what made you stay?
There are many people out there who get ruffled when classics are tampered with. How do you deal with such criticism?
I met Lucky Ali in London in 1994. From that point onwards I made music for all his albums and kept coming to India for concerts or recordings. I gradually built up a feeling that I should shift here and eventually I made the move. I wish I had shifted here much earlier.
Many beautiful songs do get murdered by bad remixes. What people should realise is the song (or the composition) and the recordings are 2 separate things. The composition is like a beautiful woman and the recording is the clothes that she is dressed in. I simply try to redress that woman in more contemporary clothes so that people in younger generations can see how timeless that beauty is.
Your 2nd album ‘B Seventy’ is a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan for his 70th birthday. Why him? I was asked to make this album by the designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla who were the creative people behind Mr Bachchan’s 70th birthday celebrations.
You’ve worked with Anushka Manchanda and Mauli Dave before, but you’ve worked with Shalmali Kholgade for the first time here. How was the experience?
You’ve only used female vocalists for this album (and your previous one). What’s the reason behind this?
Shalmali has been a key part of our live act right from the first album. She is delightful to work with. I adore the sassy way she uses her voice and the unique character she gives each song.
I find these old songs more seductive in female voices.
We’ve also noticed you’ve left out one of your favourites Suman Sridhar as a muse on this album…Or are we reading in too much? Suman wasn’t chosen to be a part of the live Bartender act. I choose to record with the fantastic singers who perform live with me and the band.
All your recreations seem to have a very seductive and jazz lounge feel to it. How do you manage to incorporate this into the original composition of the classics? So many of the old songs already have such beautiful seductive melodies. I try to enhance these by playing with bass lines and chord progressions. Using brass instruments is also an important part of the sound.
Which artists would you call the best ones according to you in the Bollywood music scene right now? Shalmali Kholgade, Anushka Manchanda, Mauli Dave and Saba Azad!
Was it easier working on this album because you’d already worked with Anushka and Mauli before? Not really, I knew Anushka and Mauli long before I recorded the first album.
Will we see an album with only original compositions from you in the future? Yes, I am releasing an album of songs from popular TV ads which I have composed for brands like Vodafone, Titan, Levis and so on.
A man of Kiwi nationality but his heart lies in Bollywood music. He has worked on various movie soundtracks including Shaitan, Shanghai, David and the recent Nautanki Saala. He has worked on various ads including the famous invisible coke ad with the song ‘Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho’. Is that it? Nope. He also has 2 albums of old Bollywood classic recreations under this alias, the latest one being ‘B Seventy’ a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan.
Pretty women. All his videos have pretty women. Mikey McLeary’s muses are not limited to his music alone and they definitely make the videos look more appealing.
There’s always something seductive and charming about the videos just like his music. The bold video for Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein had me melting in my seat.
For an age where attention span gets shorter with every generation, his videos manage to rekindle interest in the old classics and entertain older and younger people alike.
In this journey called life, music is dope. Yes, we said it. Here’s our take on the crème of recently released albums this month
Bevar Sea - Bevar Sea (Stoner Rock/Sludge/Heavy Metal)
Top Picks: Aabhistu
From the beginning, these Bangalore lads have been proving one fact that music is a no nonsense business for them. In Kannada the word ‘Bevar Sea’ means someone who was abandoned by birth. As their name says, their music is pure and straight approach to classic heavy metal and stoner rock without taking any right or left overrated technical approach. It is pure, heavy as hell and straight in your face! This four track ep is definitely one of the most anticipated releases coming out from the Indian underground. Nevertheless to say that their music is heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and you can guess it from the heavily groove laden riff of ‘The Smiler’-the beginning track. My personal favorite is the second track ‘Aabhistu’. This song pretty much reminds me of the immortal and legendary vibes of the title track ‘Black Sabbath’ from the almighty itself. With lyrics like ‘beer, chicks and bong hits; the party meets a bloody end’, it will surely make you feel like taking out your dad’s old leather jacket from the wardrobe and become the bad boy of Rock N Roll. The other two tracks ‘Universal Sleeper’ and ‘Mono Gnome’ will take you to a much groove laden journey of riffs and will remind you about the classic era of metal in each and every essence. This is a must to add in your collection if you take music as ‘either you take it or you don’t’ kind of business. Go ahead, blast your speakers and open the bottle of your Old Monk.
Fragarak - Crypts Of Dissimulation (Technical Death Metal)
Top Picks: Insurgence and Effacing
Fragarak - the Delhi based Technical death metal band has just released their debutant album ‘Crypts of Dissimulation’ for digital downloads. And I have to say this, as debutant new outfit in the circuit, their effort is remarkable. The band has raised its presence from the remnants of Celtic mythology during the years 2010-2011 and had taken the oath to protect and shield the society and retaliate against oppression with their blend of technical and melodic death metal. The title track ‘Savor the defiance’ starts with a mellow acoustic tune but changes into a ferocious death metal track in the next few seconds. From the very beginning track they will not leave a single stone unturned to make you realize the brilliant musicianship they have! Personally I find influences from Bands like Demilich and more recent ‘Decrepit Birth’ in their music. But they also incorporated a few very much ambiance based elements in the songs which will surely remind you of Cynic. The song structures are carefully produced and you can find gut crunching solos coming out from the scene after a long time. And thankfully they are not going ga ga over breakdowns! And how do I forget about the amazing lower grunt vocals? Personally I am not an admirer of pig squirrels but the vocalist has combined both the blends together perfectly. The album has six technically rich offerings to pierce your ears. If you are a fan of technical blend of music and were wondering why everybody has been turning into djentlemans in the name of technicality then you should give an ear to this relentless effort. I am waiting to see them live.
Grasshopper - Mirrors of the mind (Psychedelic Art/Space Rock)
Top Picks: The Gatekeepers Speech II
This is a purely magical debutant from an Indian outfit which nearly left me in the state of no return and made me fly in my world of fantasy without help from any narcotics. In a hot sweat laden afternoon in Bangalore, it turned my head into a stargazer and for a moment I felt like I would find the glimpse of a heavily aurora filled sky in outside! ‘Mirrors of a mind’ is the reflection of our mind towards various conflicts we face in our modern day to day life. The whole album is heavily influenced by the likes of David Gilmour, Steven Wilson and The Pineapple thief. And yes may be you will find the titles of the tracks in English but the lyrical contempt is purely in Hindi. This is a pure desi psychedelic effort and they have perfectly blended the lyrics, ambiance and the hypnotic colors of their minds in a true essence. Well may be sometime the imitation of David Gilmor’s solos becomes a little too much but if you can ignore this obvious fact then the album will be a cheer eargasm for you. I have also realized a little bit of post black metal influence, especially in the song ‘The Gatekeepers Speech II’. The psychedelic/Post Rock genre is a comparatively newly found genre in India and a very few handful of people explores it. And if you are one of them then go give it an ear, it will leave you breathless. Right now, available only for digital downloads.
Devoid - The Invasion (Thrash/Death)
Top Picks: Brahma Weapon and Pandemonium is now
Devoid - the Mumbai based thrash behemoths are not new in the Indian metal circuit. The one band which always reminded you to bottle up enough amount of beer for another neck wrenching after party with the song ‘The beer song’ in the end of their playlist in most of their gigs. ‘The invasion’ is the latest offering by these thrash juggernauts and I have to tell you that with the recent line up change there are changes in their style of playing too. So if you are a straight ahead thrash metal fan and if you deeply follow their earlier efforts then you might find this one a little hard to digest. Personally I can hear a lot of breakdowns and even a bit of technical death metal influence. Even the drumming pattern is kind of similar to Polish Death metal power house Decapitated. There are changes in vocal style too and you can cleary hear it is taking a very much modern metal pattern. But I would like to state that it will not disappoint you at all if you are not a person who sticks to the strict ethics of your ‘school’. Songs like ‘Brahma Weapon’ and ‘Pandemonium is now’ will hit you straight in your soul and will instantly turn you into a mosh loving bull for sure. There is an youtube release for the song ‘Brahma Weapon’ and let me tell you it is 100% unadulterated metal! At Rs. 150 bucks, the album is a total worth!
Solar Deity - In The Name of satan (Black Metal)
Top Picks: Declaration Of Satanic Victory And Eternal Reign & Blasphemous Chanting On A Moonless Night
Black Metal is a genre which has not been fully discovered in India yet. The earlier efforts from bands like Arcane Ritual and Black Orchid had diminished over the time. Solar Deity emerged as a rescuer lately and has been becoming a force to reckon with their cinematic live shows. ‘In the name of satan’ is the first official release from the Satan worshippers and the album is a pure concept album about three priests worshipping the victory of Satan. The song titles such as ‘Declaration of satanic victory and eternal reign’ surely tell that they are in a serious business to glorify the satanic victory. Music wise they strictly follow the second wave of black metal sound in the vein of Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral and Darkthrone. From the very beginning of the first track to the fifth last track, they will make you feel the surreal state of a dark night in a haunted shore where the ritual to mystify the glory of Satan is taking place. And Solar Deity can proudly say the fact that nobody in India has ever tried to do something like this. The band had recently launched all of their songs in a three CD packs and if you are someone who can remember drawing the pentagram and the goathead in your school note books then you should not give a second thought to get them. This is black metal in the purest form and yeah it’s Indian as well. The band has given free download option for the album but if you are kind enough to show some satanic blessings then I suggest you to get the physical copy as well.
AUDIOPHILIC Frank Zappa once said that without deviation progress is not possible. This issue we see a testament to the above statement. M Gita Gurappa, the first From woman in the field of sound in TV and the DTS talks to us about her journey. Desk We see her as an example to not just those pursuing Sound Engineering but to all aspiring individuals who want to do something beyond than just being busy. Mr Ranjith Menon General Manager, Muzik Lounge
You really need to be passionate. There’s no two ways about that. You should have good ears and have a precise sense of judgement when it comes to sound. Family support is required: more so if it’s a girl. - M Gita Gurappa
How did you get into this field of Sound Engineering? It was entirely by fluke. My father was a Civil Engineer and was there to help me. When I was in my Pre University year, there was an opportunity for Diploma in Electronics and Communication. Doing a diploma seemed a smarter decision when we discussed it with my dad. In fact, when the TV came in 1984, I would spend all my time watching Chitrahara. So, when I got the option of specializing in the sound and TV aspect of Electronics, I took the chance. What did you do after you completed your diploma? I finished in 1988 and moved into Shankar Nag’s studio “Sanketh” for 1 year and then I moved into Prasad Studios and got into film recording. Who are your mentors at your work place? Sridhar.H always has and always will be. I worked with him from 1993 till 2008. It was actually my husband’s desire to work with him. My husband, he got me in to Media Artists and I worked with Sridhar. H there. Tell us about your experiences relating to sound. Dasavatharam was the last film I worked with Sridhar. While I have the experience of many films, I was still a little nervous. The feeling never wear off. In the movie, GOA directed by Venkat Pradu, the movie , there is a flashback
from the 1st minute to the 42nd min of a village backdrop. The 42 min is treated with the stero sound. From the 43rd min till the end is a 5.1 surround mix. It was to bring the authenticity of the sounds out. It felt so good working on those concepts. You have a lot of firsts in your name. Do tell us about it. I am the first woman sound engineer. I have worked from first DTS films (Karuparoja). I am also privileged to be the 1st Dolby Atmos engineer. I have really been fortunate to work on the latest formats and being part of Media Artist which a technically highly qualified studio in India. I am adept at using Pro tools, Adats, DD 1000, O2R. I have worked for more than 200 films in DTS and presently working with Dolby Atmos. It was interesting and thrilling to start with analogue and moving to digital. How was it being the 1st woman? It was tough for everyone. Initially, they are problems. When I started work, there was no timing per se. I had a tough time convincing my family about my choice of profession. It didn’t help matters that no one from my family side was in this field. My brother would pick me up and even when he would come he’d have to wait for awhile. It was then that he’d see all the things I was doing and would tell the rest of household about it. Gradually,
everyone started to accept my work. That’s just with family. There are always teething problems with new directors. It usually takes time for them to get convinced. It has been tough at times but after the initial few steps, they see I can do my job and that’s that. What is your advice to upcoming professionals in this field? You really need to be passionate. There’s no two ways about that. You should have good ears and have a precise sense of judgement when it comes to sound. Family support is required: more so if it’s a girl.
Testimonial Student : Rinossh Gopurathingal Course :
Diploma in audio engineering
It was always my dream to become an audio engineer and I was always fascinated by the world of music which I think started from my school days. I guess it was this fascination in music that made me to think more seriously about music and the technicalities involved in the same. Then started my confused search as in what I really wanted, when Muzik Lounge happened! Muzik Lounge has taken me to another world, a world which deals with the miracles in sound. I was satisfied in being in the highly capable hands of Sam Devassy & Stephen Devassy while inspirations flowed in from the likes of Renjith Rajan, Venkat Sir, Jithu Sir, Christo Sir and Ranjith Menon. Through disciplined teaching and strong roots in the field of audio, Muzik Lounge played a big role in making me a matured individual and a strong engineer. With proper training and knowledge, I was able to prove myself when I obtained the chance to work with famous music directors like Chinna Sir (Telugu Film Industry), M. Jayachandran Sir, Gopisundar, Rajamani Sir Etc. I am currently working in Media One TV (Madyamam Broadcasting Limited) as an Audio Engineer (Broadcasting). I would like to convey my sincere thanks to everyone associated with Muzik Lounge.
Admissions OPEN s) Batch for Diploma in Music Technology(18 month s). month (18 g eerin Engin & Diploma in Audio You can download the application form from www.muzikloungeindia.com.
Testimonial Student : Issac Joju Thanikal Course :
Diploma in audio engineering
Muzik Lounge is not just a college that teaches sound engineering or music technology. It taught me how to live and adapt to the different situations in the industry as well as life also. The fact that the college provides training within the field and gives us the experience to meet great people working in the field of films and music itself is the greatest thing that a student can ask for. Also, the placements they offer are just mind blowing. The management made sure that we felt as though we were working in the field rather than just studying by involving us in all the activities or events that took place in the industry. I feel that is what is important and that is what has taught me well. This kind of hands on training, I don’t think I can expect from any other college within the country. More over I felt at home when I was at Muzik Lounge. The students, faculty and Management were like family and made me feel like they were all there for me whenever I needed them. I feel anyone who wants to and is ready to put in equal efforts, with the help of the college, they can come out as great people.
Testimonial Student : Nithish. O. K Course :
Diploma in audio Engeneering
ML has an inevitable role in helping me build my career. They rooted in us the solid knowledge of audio engineering and its opportunities in today’s world. The able guidance of ML team - Stephen Devassy, Sam Devassy,Ranjith Rajan,Venkat sir, Harsha sir, Jithu sir, Christo sir and Ranjith Menon at each step. This gave me the opportunity to broaden my skillset and provided me the ability to engage in different areas of audio engineering. Now I’m the engineer of well known Malayalam Music Director Ratheesh Vega. The comprehensive and highly integrated curriculum has resulted in my engineering works. I truly feel that sky is the limit.
/MLSAT /muziklounge /muzikloungeindia
Does being more advanced and technical savvy indicate advancement? Before drawing conclusions, we would like to take a moment and explore the facts regarding the Indian music industry. This industry was estimated to be worth Rs 8.53 billion in 2010 yet a cursory search hardly yield music industry stocks being traded actively. One can find only a few major record labels that are even listed on the Indian Stock Exchanges.
in a shell There are many facets to music when it comes to the real world. We try to make coherence of the stocks making aspect of this creative process in this article. With words carefully chosen words.
Maybe there is actually no need for these firms to go public, financially speaking. But how about looking at this option from another angle: that to control piracy. What if shareholders can buy music at a discount and goodies available exclusively to them? Say something like a more concentrated form for crowdfunding. This will definitely generate lot of volume for trading; always for good thing, right? Live streaming of music at the shareholders mobile device when she/he fancies it is a good option to reduce piracy. It would be very difficult to beat something that is free but the idea is to build something that delivers music from a cloud with ease and the exclusivity, at a very low cost, which should ideally supersede the hassles and the guilt of torrenting music. Live streaming is complicated and the hacker Gods will always find a loophole to make copies of music. Pandora, the music streaming pioneer has been suffering losses in the sprint to expand But the big guns are already on it, Apple and Google are a step behind Amazon who seem to have better infrastructure. Then again, their presence in this field indicates that they are all very aware of the massive potential explosion of mobile music streaming. Saavn is a streaming service that has lots of Indian music and is now getting into mobile devices as well. The current record labels can team up with services like this minimize the piracy rate which will automatically increase sales and thereby increasing their share values, that is if they are publicly listed, which they should be. From a fan’s point of view owning shares of the record label that is investing in your favorite artist is not only showing loyalty and support but also a wise financial plan. Incentives you receive as shareholders would definitely create an image of ‘cool’. Investing in your favorite artist will give you a share of their success and you might even get to say “I own 2% of Shreya Ghoshal” at a party. The Indian music Industry stocks show a similar pattern on the charts, basically choppy with highs and lows. The stocks at the present are at low, comparing it with previous years prices. This could mean that there is a potential for the prices to shoot up if there is a proper stimulus. A proper stimulus like a cheap streaming service on your phone could just be the thing. If you are music enthusiast, keep an eye out for what the deals the record labels are signing up for. It would not be that hard for you if you are following an artist, just take an extra step as to what record label is signing her/him. Then, if you feel that the deals that Record Labels are signing look good, you can invest. Then again, it may not make sense to pursue music full time in this filed because trying to understand the stock market fully is like trying to understand a girl. Pretty close to impossible. The original point is that this is a way that your knowledge about music can make money for you.
SOUND BYTES Three generations of Sound Engineers collide in conversation Mr. Kishore Banan hails from the very first batch of AAT - SAE, Chennai and is today an accomplished name in the music industry. He is also a teacher par-excellence in both technical and aesthetic aspects of audio engineering and sound studies.
In conversation with Mr. Kishore is Shreyansh Misra, a student studying Visual Communication and majoring in Audio Engineering in AAT - SAE, Mumbai. Mr. Kishore currently teaches Viscom and Recording Arts / Audio Engineering batches in Mumbai branch. He provided an insight into his passion for teaching, his methodology and his constant research and study of technology, theory and software that aids him in delivering inside and outside the classroom. He shared with Shreyansh how formal education in sound engineering helps in strengthening the knowledge base and skill-set of audio engineers for finesse in output and ability to deliver topnotch quality of work. Mr. Kishore went on to talk about his dual passion of audio and teaching. He also mentioned that mere knowledge is not the only thing that supports teaching, but also interesting presentation of information to students at their level and the ability to make others comprehend complicated principles and working with software / workstations in the simplest way possible. He being an alumnus of SAE, and moving on from the other side of the classroom has today helped developed his attributes as a lecturer and capacity to understand the challenges of the students better. He shared how teaching keeps him on his toes and he is always goes back to the fundamentals and revisiting important aspects of audio engineering which one can tend to overlook if constantly working only in the industry. Shreyansh also had the opportunity of interacting with Mr. Ganesh, who is a Senior Sound Engineer at the renowned sound studios division of Yash Raj Films. He belongs to the 2006 Audio Engineering batch from SAE,
Kishore Banan currently teaches Viscom and Recording Arts / Audio Engineering batches in Mumbai branch.
Mumbai. He shared experiences from his SAE days and anecdotes from his days as one of the college studio supervisor. During this stint he dabbled with workstations and softwares that were ahead of his current program module and ended up aiding seniors in their projects. He also mentioned how he enjoyed helping in setting up consoles, wiring and other odd jobs on the studio floor as it enhanced his technical skill set. Ganesh went on to stress on the importance of doing a formal course in sound and also spoke about his intense research of audio courses in India before taking up the course in SAE, Mumbai which he believes is one of the best in the field. Having worked in films such as Chak De India, Dil Bole Hadippa, Dhoom 2 and currently busy with Aurangzeb, Ganesh advised students that to make it in sound as an engineer or even a composer, theory is as important as practical. He said that in todayâ€™s era anyone can compose with a couple of loops and put together a tune on a user friendly software but true craftsmanship is only backed by real knowledge of both art and the science of sound. Ganesh spoke about the years the college has gone on from strength to strength as a pioneer in sound studies and in providing competent artistes and technicians in the industry.
Ganesh is a Senior Sound Engineer at the renowned sound studios division of Yash Raj Films.
Shreyansh Misra, a student studying Visual Communication and majoring in Audio Engineering in AAT SAE, Mumbai.
Shreyanshâ€™s take away from the interaction He is indeed lucky to avail of amazing facilities on campus with state-of-the-art digital and analog studios, industry standard workstations, exposure to software like Protools, Logic, Nuendo and also the opportunity of using the grand ICON Command setup, which even certain big studios lack. Shreyansh also expressed how the course structure, specially designed assignments are so hands on and benefits students in learning by doing. He went on to talk about the faculty, industry interaction, and the creative ambience helps him in honing his skills in his interest area. He feels that AAT SAE is helping to fuel his passions and mould him to enter the vast arena of the audio industry.
and bengan india i tour live
Dubstep pioneers Skream & Benga tour India for the 1st time. These UK producers have been credited for revolutionizing music to include dubstep into the mainstream genres. Cheers to the music filthier than Megathon doing the mating dance.
For me right now, it’s all about showing people that I am still the future. It’s not that we bought dubstep to the table, but about what we’re going to bring to music, now and in the future. - Benga
To say we from Score are mighty pleased to have their interview is to say very little. Skream and Benga don’t just drop it but give us the bass that no boyfriend can. When you first started out, there was a very prominent dark vibe to your music. As time progressed, there was a more four by four curve to your sound with traces like acid techno. Some would cite your music as more mellow and mild. Did the test of time alter that nucleus around which you built your music? Skream - It was dark because it was all in one note. It was more of a frequency thing, and as time progresses, you learn more. You learn how to make music you listen to – you learn chords and you learn progressions that you couldn’t before. Right now I understand how to make something sound sexy. I want to make the music I listen to.
You’ve said that you’ll are looking beyond the fact that you’ve been created something that spiraled and moved up the music industry in such a short time. Clearly neither of you dwell on the past and the present fails to suffice, so it’s the future for you’ll...by default, what does that future look like for you? Benga - I think, one of the key things is that, in any music, it’s all about artists. It’s not really about the genre right now. It’s key to people’s creativity and it is the key to things getting oversaturated very quickly. I think people are actually starting to be more themselves and just write music. I don’t know – I don’t know if it’s a trend or dubstep will die – I just know that artists and their creativity will live.
You guys collaborated with the best in the industry as far as your genre in concerned. Do share some instances with us. Skream – For a band in the UK called Miles Kane – an indie artist. It was being in the studio for 3 days, and the whole process of taking full control of setting a band. Not to mention going – no no, do your drums this way. It’s really empowering being able to tell these musicians and have them do what’s in your head. There was a really great vibe on the session. As a studio session goes, that was by far the best.
The Pioneers Few artists have had more impact in the development of EDM sub-genre dubstep than Skream&Benga. The two producers,who released their first records at the early age of 15, have spent the last decade pioneering a bass heavy sound so unique that it’s broken ground far from its underground London roots and into the minds and hearts of dance music lovers around the world. Skream&Benga have released some of dubstep’s most popular tracks of the past decade - Skream’s ‘Midnight Request Line’, the remix of ‘In For The Kill’ by La Roux, which featured on the HBO series Entourage, and tracks by Benga such as dubstep anthem ‘Night’ released with Coki, and ‘26 Basslines’ which featured on Benga’s second studio album Diary Of An Afro Warrior.
Now Skream and Bengaare also part of dubstepsupergroup Magnetic Man along with fellow UK producer Artwork. The group released their eponymous debut album in 2010 and are currently working on their second album. Skream&Benga hosted the highly regarded BBC Radio 1 show, In New DJs We Trust, and in keeping with their widespread influence over new electronic music the duo were offered their own weekly show Skream&Benga that airs every Friday night from the London studio.
Benga – Trends are a trap.
Benga is currently focusing on his new album, Chapter II, which releases on the 6th of May, 2013, and according to him, is a very “diverse” album.
Why and how ‘Dubstep’? Was it fresh, raw and different? Did it please and sound right to you?
Skream – It wasn’t just us. It’s us and a collection of people Digital Mystikz and Loefah and Artwork and Hatcha. Luckily we were just part of something. We didn’t set out to make that sound.
Both Skream and Benga are now looking beyond dubstep and experimenting more outside of the genre. Having created a new genre that plays in every club from Delhi to Berlin to New York, they’re looking to bring the next wave of music too. Says Benga, “For me right now, it’s all about showing people that I am still the future. It’s not that we bought dubstep to the table, but about what we’re going to bring to music, now and in the future.”
Benga - We just did it. We didn’t know it was going to be this. We just made music. As part of their Asian tour, the duo played in Delhi on the 11th of May, followed by Mumbai on the 12th of May. The tour is supported by the brilliantly twisted music website Wild City and popular nightclub KittySu in Delhi and in Mumbai with Oji. This Indian tour is part of a full-fledged Skream&Benga Asian do, where the duo hit 9 cities including Tokyo, Jakarta and Seoul over a span of nine days. So, are they as excited about India as India is so for them? Benga says “I haven’t been to India before at all. It’s always exciting to see people’s reactions to your music if you haven’t been somewhere.”
ScoreNight EVERY FRIDAY!
only at BAK BAK BAR (Bangalore) Star Rock (Chennai)
For more gig reviews & pictures, hawk www.highonscore.com!
CLOWN WITH A FROWN “Someday you shall be a king with a crown. But until then, you’re just a clown with a frown.” Serious much? Hardly so. The gig with CWAF put a big smile on all our faces.
Summer hardly curbs the gigging spirit. Bangalore, even inspite of your sudden bandhs and idiosyncratic auto drivers, is churning out great gigs lined up all over. Be it the very special kids who always make us smile (aptly named Clown WiTh A Frown) or the insanely energetic Live Banned at ScoreNights or the talented misters of Parvaaz. To add to that, Veekes and Thomas, the people who bring European cuisine to the street had with us, the perfect Sunday open mic brunch. Chennai saw the The Acoustic call of Castor and Pollux courtesy Duality.
VEEKES N THOMAS OPEN MIC BRUNCH Veekes & Thomas, Bangalore and The Score Magazine put together an Open Mic Brunch. With a spring in our step and a tune on our lips, so to say. This is the first of many more to come.
DUALITY We’ve faced many artistic mediums, even if we say so ourselves. Yet the ScoreNight with Duality was an acoustic panel of Captain Awesome Rock. In a first for ScoreNight and Duality, we had a comic con inspired set list!
LIVE BANNED With their love for Autos and all things macha-type, Live Banned’s ScoreNight was the perfect Friday entertainment. Whatte show!
Photography by Mahesh Kumar, Venkat Balaji, Harsimran Basra
PARVAAZ Parvaaz kept it really simple through this gig at Counter Culture . There was less talk, and let their music do the damage. Khalid Ahamed’s powerful voice and Kashif Iqbal’s atmospheric guitar patches set the tone for a very fine show. The
the harmony makers
We always have our opinions, our invading lies, our floundering ways. Does one appreciate living to its fullest? On the many roads that lead us to awe, here are some taken by those who with physical or mental constrains lived a richer life. Hereâ€™s hoping we learn to be more able from these artists with disabilities which they make seem phantom. VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS
What is it?
What is it?
Caused either at birth or due to a disease developed in later years of life such as glaucoma and cataract. Leads to permanent blindness or highly defective vision.
Any form of auditory disorder. Ranges from inability to distinguish sounds to complete deafness. Also, a hereditary disorder called Otosclerosis which prevents transmission of sound vibrations from ear drum to the inner ear owing to the middle ear becoming fixed.
In what ways can this be a problem? Reading music, notes, playing instruments becomes a challenge in case of a defect and in case of blindness, impossible. Musicians faced with this disability? Ray Charles, soul singer, lost his eyesight at the age of 7 due to an infection. He went on to receive several honours in Jazz, R&B and Gospel music. Andrea Bocelli, one of the most respected contemporary classical musicians suffered from congenital glaucoma. Stevie Wonder, singer and multi-instrumentalist, was born blind. Made his recording debut at the age of 12, and played a host of instruments like piano, organ, harmonica and drums. Science to the rescue Braille music is a notation that enables blind musicians to read and write music just as the sighted can. The convention and syntax is completely independent and just as tough for a blind person as print music notation is for a sighted person.
In what ways can this be a problem? Need I describe this? Everything from hearing your own voice, to listening to what you doodle on an instrument, to hearing your own composition takes a hit.
Musicians faced with this disability? Ludwig Van Beethoven, with what started as a mild disorder gradually developed into complete deafness in the last 25 years of his life. Gabriel Faure, French Romantic composer, suffered from hearing problems and migraine. Evelyn Glennie, Grammy winning solo percussionist became deaf at the age of 12 due to nerve damage.
Science to the rescue Hearing aids, Stapedotomy (a bypass surgery to allow transmission of sound vibrations to the inner ear)
Illustration by: Nipun Garodia
5 Challenges faced by
disabled musicians Limited Facilities
There are schools for the blind and deaf, but music education in particular is not a very well looked after stream.
Lack of support With all its shallow talk of freedom of action, society would prefer their disabled stay shut inside locked doors, reasons often being embarrassment and impatience.
Time consuming Let’s face it, not everyone is a prodigy like ol’ Ludwig Van. Sometimes, being disabled requires you to give more time than usual in mastering a skill.
Tough to go mainstream In all practicality and with due respect to their skill, you got to accept that studios and venues and labels will have their notions before they take such artists seriously. What if it doesn’t work in the long run? Would the audience really buy it?
Sustenance Each day is a challenge in the life of someone struck with a disability. With the scene already too messy for existing artists, staying alive can be a real test of patience and determination.
5 things to learn from musicians who are disabled • Acceptance
• The biggest quality to learn from the disabled is to learn to accept yourself as you are, no matter what is wrong. That is the first step to figuring what you want to do with your life.
• Courage and determination • Not allowing their condition to affect their passion or kill their spirit tells you the level of hard-bound determination required to make your dreams come true.
• Undying passion • Recognizing and following what you really want to do, in the face of extreme opposition and limitations.
• Dedication • Developing a skill takes years of honing and practice and devotion, not least when the person is disabled. For instance, imagine the level of dedication a blind person must put in each day to be able to skilfully play the sitar?
• Not giving up • Its way too easy to hang up your boots and decide one day that all this is way beyond you. Think of some of the remarkable individuals who have gone on to create some of the best music in the world and understand that they had some sort of disability that prevented them from functioning as well as other human beings. Puts your problems into perspective, doesn’t it?
What is it?
What is it?
A type of learning disability or mental health issues. Schizophrenia, mental retardation, autism and Alzheimer’s disease are all a part of such disabilities.
Injuries, skeletal impairments, missing limbs, lack of muscle control/strength, co-ordination problems, head injuries
In what ways can this be a problem?
Mostly affects playing of any kind of instrument
Extreme mood swings, violence, no memory of compositions or songs.
Musicians faced with this disability? Buddy Bolden, often credited as founder of jazz, had fits of violence and was arrested for insanity for which he was shifted to an asylum. At the time of his death, he had no recollection of his work as a musician. Tom Harrell, trumpeter and composer suffered from acute schizophrenia before medication stabilized him.
Science to the rescue Medication, psychosocial treatments, treatment against drug abuse.
In what ways can this be a problem? Musicians faced with this disability? Tony Iommi, guitarist for Black Sabbath, lost the tips of his two fingers in an accident. He wore plastic covers over the two damaged fingers made by melting plastic bottles and dipping his fingers in while the plastic was soft enough to be shaped. The sound it produced is what is now called as heavy metal. Bret Michaels, diabetic lead singer for Poison. Kenny G, Grammy award winning saxophone player was diagnosed with asthma which proved an obstacle for playing a wind instrument. Folk rocker Neil Young was diagnosed with polio, diabetes and epilepsy. Apart from being a successful musician himself, Young and his wife started a school in California for the disabled and also hosts benefit concerts there every year.
Pakistan is a land filled with some superb musical talents. Overload is one such amazing musical force. I had the chance to speak to Farhad Humayun, the founding member “Overload” which is currently celebrating its 10th year of existence. Farhad was a treat to interview, read on to know more about this amazing person and his amazing band.
In my country, everyday is a challenge, we pay for electricity but we have major power outages, we pay for our internet and there is no power to use Nereya our devices. - Farhad
This is one of Overload’s biggest hits. The original song featured in the film Chooriyan and was rendered by famous Pakistani singer Saira Naseem. The overload video version is a very trippy cover. The video was a trendsetter in Pakistan. They did another version on Coke Studio featuring Rachel Viccaji which was more powerful and equally well appreciated.
Mahiya Probably their best song. Initially it was featured in their first studio album “Overload” with Shafqat Amanat Ali on vocals. It was then done one Coke Studio with Farhad singing it. Farhad turned on the swagger on this one with his colourful headset and honey sweet vocals.
sai adithya This wasn’t an interview per se, it was more of a freewheeling conversation between a very curious Indian and his Pakistani counterpart who has fought a lot of odds to establish his band and to keep the cultural scene in Pakistan alive.
Overload started off as “Pakistan’s loudest band” and is now more than just being loud. They have created some lovely melodic songs as well and are now one of the biggest names in the Pakistani music scene. They are one of the few bands from around the world which uses the powerful Punjabi percussion instrument called “The Dhol”.
Rahman on the guitars, Sheraz took care of the keyboards while Pappu Sain was their Dhol player. They were once Pakistan’s loudest band with sets which would last even 9 hrs. The Dhol and the loud percussion made them a stand out band. Farhad Humayun then recruited Meesha Shafi, I started off by asking Farhad how he went about a young vocalist whom they spotted in a college this. To which he said “In my country, everyday is cultural fest. This coming would be a turning point a challenge, we pay for electricity but we have major in the band’s life cycle soon. power outages, we pay for our internet and there is no power to use our devices.” (as we speak, we Meesha Shafi’s coming meant Overload was no had an internet outage and we had a snigger as we more an instrumental band. They released their connected again).“It is difficult to keep any form of second studio album “Pichal Pairee” which broke art under control, people when pushed to the limit, musical records in Pakistan despite being an fight harder and come out with great results.” album available for digital download. They started touring the globe When asked about and were starting how they go about to become a What’s Overloading? propagating music household name despite having in Pakistan. Currently, Overload has stepped aside from Coke rampant censorship studio and signed up to do a show called Pepsi and heavy rules Over the course Smash. The first song featured SYMT, a band preventing them of time Mehmood mentored by them. This is a new dimension for to host live gigs, he Rahman, the said “Some people guitarist and them, primarily because coke studio was a major like Rohail Hyatt Meesha got turning point in their musical career. (the brain behind married. She was the Coke studio expecting her first session) found a way child and wanted for this. We used Coke Studio as a platform to give the band to completely stop functioning since she people refreshing music, our live music is restricted wouldn’t be able to strain her vocal chords or stand to school and college shows which we do once in for long hours during shows. Farhad and Sheraz a while, with the advent of the internet, we could felt the show must go on despite Meesha not being spread our work easier. This is a good thing because there, they just wanted to go on with life as usual. people like you in India listening to our work”. Then This angered Meesha and Memhmood so much came the question about the birth of Overload. so that they stepped out of the band. During the Farhad, an art student was working with a theatre course of this they tried suing Farhad and Sheraz group in the UK and one fine day there was a huge over the use of the song “Bijli aye ya na aye” (which cost cutting exercise, he decided to come back to features in the reluctant fundamentalist).Once Pakistan. He joined hands with Sheraz Siddiq who they quit, Overload reinvented themselves only was a teacher and Mehmood Rahman, his cousin to become bigger and better. Their song ‘Nereya (whom he taught the guitar to as a kid) and thus ve’ became a cult hit with a video which was way formed Overload. While in the UK, Farhad saw ahead of time for their country. Overload’s Coke this live set by the “Dhol Project”. The Dhol is an Studio version of Nereya was also a viral hit. amazing instrument, typical to the Punjab region. Farhad and his colourful headsets became a rage. Overload started off as majorly an instrumental Overload found their footing again and were back band with Farhad on the drums, Mahmood on the centre stage.
Pichal Pairee This was a song from the Meesha Shafi phase. Meesha on vocals provided a different side to the ban. Farhad’s heavy drumming and Mahmood Rahman’s strumming coupled with Meesha’s spunky voice make this song a must listen.
Batti aye ya na aye This song was the bone of contention when Overload split. Initially done with Meesha on vocals with the lyrics “Bijli aye ya na aye, dhol bajega” referred to the never ending power crisis in Pakistan. Once Meesha left, she took these lines with her and Overload had to replace Bijli with Batti. The heavy Dhol and Farhad’s loud vocals make this song super heavy.
– “Live in the apartment” This is technically not a song of theirs, it is a Youtube video series Overload and some friends performed famous covers and different versions of their own songs. This whole series was done on a zero budget. The video looks simple yet visually appealing and the music obviously is pretty amazing too. The
We tame the Bollywood shrew with Salim-Sulaiman this June. That and much more: as always.