ANNIVERSARIES:

! Boz Burrell (Bad Company) 1-Aug ! Chuck D (Public Enemy) 1-Aug ! Coolio 1-Aug ! Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) 1-Aug ! Robert Cray (1953) 1-Aug ! Tiger Varadachariar 1-Aug ! Prema Hariharan (Chennai) 2-Aug ! Sushama Reddy 2-Aug ! Zelma Davis (C+C Music Factory) 2-Aug ! Chhannulal Mishra 3-Aug ! James Hetfield (Metallica) 3-Aug ! Tony Bennett (1926) 3-Aug ! Sharon Prabhakar 4-Aug ! Vellore Ramabhadran 4-Aug ! Vishal Bhardwaj 4-Aug ! Ganesh Jain 5-Aug ! Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai 5-Aug ! Pat Smear (formerly of Foo Fighters) 5-Aug ! Aditya Narayan 6-Aug ! Cyrus Sahukar 6-Aug ! Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice of Spice Girls) 6-Aug ! Bruce Dickenson (Iron Maiden) 7-Aug ! Cyrus Broacha 7-Aug ! Suresh Wadkar 7-Aug ! JC Chasez ('N Sync) 8-Aug ! Raza Ali Khan 8-Aug ! Shawn Mendes 8-Aug ! Asgari Bai 9-Aug ! Sawan Kumar Tak 9-Aug ! Sulkshana Pandit 9-Aug ! Trichur V.Ramachandran (Chennai) 9-Aug ! Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) 10-Aug ! Ustad Alladiya Khan 10-Aug ! Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande 10-Aug ! Ramashreya Jha 11-Aug ! T.H.Vinayakram 11-Aug ! V. Doreswamy Iyengar 11-Aug ! Kid Creole 12-Aug ! Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) 12-Aug ! Pat Metheny 12-Aug ! Nalin Shah 13-Aug ! T.K.Murthy 13-Aug ! Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts) 14-Aug ! David Crosby (Crosby, Stills & Nash) 14-Aug ! Manohar Iyer 14-Aug ! Michael Graham (Boyzone) 14-Aug ! Sunidhi Chauhan 14-Aug ! Amir Khan 15-Aug ! Bharati Pradhan 15-Aug ! Pandit Prasun Banerjee 15-Aug ! Prof. T.Viswanathan 15-Aug ! R.Durga Prasad 15-Aug ! Srimushnam V.Raja Rao 15-Aug ! Emily Erwin (Dixie Chicks) 16-Aug ! Hemlata 16-Aug ! Kishan Bhutani 16-Aug ! Madonna 16-Aug ! Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar 16-Aug ! Belinda Carlisle 17-Aug ! Donnie Wahlberg (New Kids On The Block) 17-Aug ! Daler Mehndi 18-Aug ! Dennis Elliot (Foreigner) 18-Aug ! Gulzar 18-Aug ! Jon Higgins 18-Aug ! Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar 18-Aug ! T.S.Balakrishna Sastrigal 18-Aug ! Abdul Rashid Khan 19-Aug ! Ginger Baker (Cream) 19-Aug ! Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) 19-Aug ! John Deacon (Queen) 19-Aug ! Ken Gosh 19-Aug ! Demi Lovato 20-Aug ! Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) 20-Aug ! Naresh(Mahesh Brother) 20-Aug ! Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) 20-Aug ! Uday Tara Nayar 20-Aug ! Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) 21-Aug ! Kenny Rogers 21-Aug ! Liam Howlett (Prodigy) 21-Aug ! Melissa Schuman (Dream) 21-Aug ! Sriram Brahmanandam 21-Aug ! Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) 22-Aug ! James DeBarge (DeBarge) 22-Aug ! Paul Douchette (Matchbox 20) 22-Aug ! Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears) 22-Aug ! Tori Amos 22-Aug ! Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) 23-Aug ! SkyBlu (LMFAO) 23-Aug ! Basavaraj Rajguru 24-Aug ! Billy Ray Cyrus 25-Aug ! DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy)25-Aug ! Elvis Costello 25-Aug ! Gene Simmons 25-Aug ! Rekha Chinniprakash 25-Aug ! Rob Halford (Judas Priest) 25-Aug ! Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) 25-Aug ! Adrian Young (No Doubt) 26-Aug ! M.S.Anantaraman 26-Aug ! Shirley Manson (Garbage) 26-Aug ! Rajarathnam Pillai 27-Aug ! Shania Twain 27-Aug ! Tony Kanal (No Doubt) 27-Aug ! Voletti Venkateswarulu 27-Aug ! Chris Copping (Procol Harum) 29-Aug ! Kyle Cook (Matchbox 20) 29-Aug ! Micky Moody (Whitesnake) 30-Aug ! Debbie Gibson 31-Aug ! Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions) 31-Aug

The Trance Effect

As the song goes,
"Its alright, no more pretending.
Just ride without no worries
 Its alright, don’t hide.....
Just free yourself and let it dance...."
Trance Effect, the Indie Pop Rock band from Nagaland takes us on a nostalgic journey through their music.They want to use their music to spread the message of positivity and overcome the hard times that people,specially the younger generation are going through with their music.Music really can heal the soul. We meet up with Trance Effect to know more about the members and their music

Give the readers a brief introduction of the members and how it all started.
We are a band from Nagaland. On Vocals, we have our dynamic and compelling performer Iuli Yeptho. Sosang Lkr on Drums, a quiet but an expressive player who never fail to capture the right beat at the right time. Temsujungba on guitars, the bigger than life character and an outstanding showman.Tako Chang on Guitars, his unique approach to music sets him apart, drawing more into melodies and catchy riffs. Imnamaong Imchen on Bass Guitars, with his experience for performing life music and minimal playing adds just the right amount of colour to make the audience groove into the music.It was in fact our bassist who came up with the idea of the band. He was keen on making music in a band and sounding like no other,but honestly it’s because we came together  to make music that all of us enjoy- I guess you could call that our secret ingredient.


Can you name the Biggest influences of the band. What inspired you guys?
We are influenced and inspired every time when we see a great live performance. It was the love to perform live music and create music that drew us into forming the band, it motivates us into putting in the hours until we get the music straight. We grew up watching our local artists and bands perform, they’ve had quite an impact to all of us.

How would you guys describe the bands sound? How are you guys different from other bands in the country?
Well,we would describe our sound as somewhat of a melodic approach to the Indie genre of music. We're all from different musical background and genre but the love to create beautiful melodic music brought us together.

The bands Name 'Trance Effect' how did it come about? What is the story behind the bands name?
Well, we wanted a name that would set a difference to the music scene in the country, that's why the name Trance Effect, which is a more melodic off shoot from Techno or House music is what drives our music even though we don’t have a DJ in the band. So, we named the band Trance Effect.

About the journey so far,how has the experience been?Tell us about you favourite gigs and festivals?
We'll,so far we've had a few gigs and played at festivals like Orange Festival in Dambuk, The Drift Music Festival in Guwahati but yes every gigs would be considered as the best because of all the different venues and different crowds. It helps us to make a beautiful story of our musical journey.

Tell us a little bit about your single ' Stop Pretending' what inspired the song? 
The song was written by our vocalist and it talks about the struggles and hardships a person faces in life. It talks about trying to Stop Pretending to be something one is not and to have a positive view on life. Well if you guys haven’t listened to the song then you can just stream it from all the steaming platforms like Apple Music, JioSaavn, YouTube etc 

Any upcoming release,if yes give an insight on what's next for Trance Effect?
We're working on our EP right now and yes Hopefully, we may have it completed by the end of this year and also a music video along with it. 

Lastly, any message to the readers and your followers.We’d just like to say be who you are, be original and just spread love. With our Dedut EP coming out you are going to see a different side of us. So, let’s go on a musical journey together. Thank you for your support, we love you.

Spitfire :Ink set on Fire

In the world of the written and spoken word, a name like 'Rumi' resonates a certain quality of depth and wordplay. In a contemporary context, 'Spitfire' aspires to be as great. The word 'Spit' is slang for the power of the spoken word. The word 'Fire' empowers the words to provoke or destroy anything that stands in his path. His weapons for peace and war are his words. Now imagine a word spoken, visible, soaked in the gasoline of depth and meaning, and then set it on fire. Spitfire embodies Ink set on Fire. Nitin Mishra is the real name of 'Spitfire', the young rapper from small-town Madhya Pradesh. The “Asli Hip Hop” hook from the Gully Boy that you’ve been tapping your foot to was created by him.

Swaddled in his grandmother’s frosting coated love since childhood, Nitin Mishra was not taught to stand up to hood bullies violently, which is probably why he took to the might of the word so easily. Growing up in small-town India, Nitin grew up completely unaware that hip-hop was not a dance form. This was only until he met his accomplice and brother Ayush Khare, who pushed Nitin to experient with the genre. Together they formed the duo, ‘RAPresent’ with Ayush as ‘Wordsmith’ and Nitin Mishra as ‘Spitfire'.

Scribbling lyrics about teachers and organizing casual rap battles in school not only seeded Sptifire’s initial inspiration, but also got him kicked out of school in the 11th grade. A darkness in disguise, Spitfire hung onto the one thing he had: a desire to express his thoughts on notebooks that weren’t just meant for examination answer sheets. Inspired by the likes of rapper-poets like Bohemia, who deftly spoke to the world in a language comfortable to them, Spitfire overcame his self-consiousness about his English and started working on rhymes for all the Hindi and urdu poems he had scribbled over years in his notebooks. Thus began Spitfire’s journey into underground hip-hop in India.

Spitfire has come a long way from surfacing the dust roads of an early teenage to showcasing his flawless poetry on the big screen, and has proudly been representing the heartland of India: Madhya Pradesh, or ‘Midzone’ as he fondly likes to call it. His lyrical fluency and way with words became apparent with his contribution to Gully Boy, for which he wrote most of the protagonist, Murad’s rap battles. His single for the feature, ‘Asli Hip-Hop’ was used to introduce a Bollywood dependent audience to the real value of Spitfire’s beloved genre.

His debut EP “Paathshala” is about how Spitfire saved Nitin Mishra. The EP speaks of an old wealth of knowledge based on experiential learning that guides us to who we are. Art and expression had once saved Nitin, so he has now found the strength to give back and spit words soaked in truth. You can feel his frustrations and his release juxtaposed in every word, in every song.

Fueling ink with ignited angst, Spitfire is a humble voice of surety as he rolls (read ‘spits’) out poetry in purity of truth and intent. His debut EP ‘Paathshala’ is a testament to this vision and creative dexterity. An EP with a profound lyrical quality of poetry that is timeless, is why Spitfire is fondly known to those around him as Little Ghalib: a poet whose words penetrate through you, surpassing time and trend.

Sherrin V connects with 'The Circuit'

Sherrin Varghese has played many roles in a career spanning almost 20 years - Singer, musician, actor & host. It all began with The Rubber Band, the first band he played with, before he was  picked and packaged along with four other guys, going down in history as India's first boy band, A Band of Boys. The Boys hit the big time with their 2002 debut album, Yeh bhi woh bhi, performing numerous gigs all over India and venues around the world. In 2004 they did their first film Kis Kis Ko. Since then the band members pursued their individual careers but still got  together to release four more albums over the years.More of an indie musician, Sherrin too charted his own path, curating his own brand of Electro Pop, Commercial EDM / BDM, Dubstep, Tech House, Techno & his own genre which he calls Bollytronica. He has acted in a few films and numerous TV shows and also done lot of music and shows in the South where he has a huge fan following. He has recently launched his online show called 'Circuit' where he hosts various artists to chat and create music. Raga to Rock caught up with this multi talented artist to talk about his new show.

What is your show The Circuit" all about ... and its USP?
The show is called "The Circuit" & this is a live streaming chat show with musical performances by noteworthy musicians hosted by me. 
It has a couple of USP's, firstly that it is a live show in the truest sense, cos we are streaming live. Which means there is zero post-production and the entire live switching, editing, lower thirds, show flow, encoding, streaming etc., are all done live. Since it's a live show the audience watching can participate, give comments & suggestions & they are are all attended to, responded to in real time, which raises the presence & kicks in the reward algorithms of the internet a lot. 

Secondly this is a show with only performances by artists with original compositions of either the artist themselves or perhaps a song which they have originally sung or performed for someone else's composition, arrangement or production only. The performances & interaction of these artists with me, most of whom are peers and colleagues along with the live engagement leaves the audience in an immersive feeling of participation in the now & that's  what I feel is the USP of the show. 

How did your show name 'The Circuit' come about? not any influence of Munnabhai MBBS....  
The name came about cos I'm a singer & music producer with heavy Engineering & tech influences and the insides of my studio looks like a Printed Circuit Board and when the time came to build an IP, I couldn't think of a better name, cos it literally is my circuit of people who are being put out there and they are handpicked based on merit only. Also it spins into pop culture references such as Pop Circuit, Rock Circuit, Indie Circuit, Bolly Circuit, Short Circuit, Off Circuit etc.

How did the show come about? 
This was originally conceived as a 24 minute episodic content of 7 songs where each episode would have an original composition of mine, produced by writers, musicians, arrangers & producers who are better than me & the initial 20 minutes of each of these episodes would be interviews by the several artists, lyricists, musicians, music producers, sound, recording & mix engineers who have helped, write, put together, arrange, record, capture, produce, mix & deliver a master to these songs. The last 4 minutes of each of these episodes would be a live performance by an in house live band of the same song. I pitched the same to Harman Professional Solutions of whom I am an endorser and they wonderfully supported & came on board as the chief sponsor & provided all the record, capture & playback gear for the same. Several other partners have joined in, namely Musikshack who came on board as the instrument partner, Desi Tortillas & Sagar -The family Treat as our snack & food partner. 

While putting this together I realised that just putting these 7 songs just like that on the internet would not create a ripple loud enough hence decided to produce the current live streaming episodes of guests performing their songs with interviews as a prequel to build up the property to a sizeable number of episodes and then drop these 7 episodes with my songs as the hero content of the season finale

Who are the Artists featured...and the best part of each one of them...?
These are all artists who I have a personal connect with and most of them are from my Indi-Pop batch from the 90's and just the welcoming nature with which they have agreed to grace us with their presence has been the best part about each of them. We've had multi-intrumentalist, Sidd Coutto, ace guitarist Chandresh Kudwa, Indie baritone benchmark act, Anand Bhaskar Collective, ultra talented Raman Mahadevan, mademoiselle Shibani Kashyap so far & several other beautiful artists lined up for Season 1.  

How do you produce it..Budgets, sponosors?
Producing this has been a lifetime of my studying, learning & understanding of all my engineering, conceiving, conjuring & production skills coming together. They have all been tapped into & put together to produce what I believe has the potential to be a very unique & interesting show. This series has the backing of a highly efficient & talented crew comprising of an Executive Producer team, "iDreamzzs", who does the live switching/editing, streaming, encoding etc, along with my live sound engineer Sigmind Quadros, who does the live mix, ensures top notch audio quality to the stream & makes sure that the tech riders of each of these artists are met with all the gear and instruments provided by our partners. Also 2 young musicians & producers Nischal Chaubey & Adrian Fernandez who don the roles of tech assistants are the hands and legs of this show without whom the show would just not work. Just the research, trial & error & execution required for such a show has been so rewarding that we all thrive in the knowledge share & the DIY nature of it. Our main sponsor is Harman Professional solutions

The difficulties being a producer?
Everything about the show has been a huge learning curve. I had to take a call on whether to use the sponsorship monies towards hiring the right equipment & a professional crew needed to pull this off or to buy the gear and learn how to do a #LiveConcertStream with a skeletal crew myself as the former had no direct advantage except the launch of 7 songs for me.
I consciously chose the latter which meant researching, learning & figuring how to do everything right from lighting, camera work, switching, encoding, streaming on my own and then figuring a crew which would learn to do this with me & work through the trial & error. We finally bought all the equipment including lights, stands, chroma, cameras, switcher, encoder etc., & fixed my studio space into a shooting floor with all the audio video treatment needed. Then we created a design, look, feel, tone & the content needed to produce a show of this nature with this crew along with paid consultations from experts around the world who do such shows. I spent 3 months scouring the internet figuring compatibility, requesting demos, commissioning & buying the right equipment with zero tolerance error cos the budget restrictions meant that I couldn't afford to buy the wrong gear. The hard work paid off & I have put together a unique show which could become a way of life with me henceforth & right now I could give a master class in streaming anything!
My influences for the same are PhotoJoseph, Snarky Puppy, Sofar Sounds, Cercle & locally our very own Coke studio. All in all it's been a very rewarding experience and the very fact that in 9 episodes with 3 of them being completely trial & error ones, we have managed to pull off what generally takes an entire television network and channel to figure, I'd say we are in a good space right now with the merits far outweighing the difficulties!

How has been the response to the show..Views, Interactions..etc.
The response to the show is amazing. All our partners are very happy with the visibility and the interaction is top notch. Subscriptions have gone up on my channel and the comments keep us going and the best part about the internet is that anything you plant there, grows!

Plans for season 2?
Season 2 will see us going into product placements and endorsements and an upgrade into the content where I'll be calling singers, musicians, & artists to  guest & collaborate with me on an original composition of mine which they will perform live with me & the in house band. This I believe will be the turning point of this property and if all goes well I see myself producing original Indie content and becoming a force to reckon with in the music field as a composer, producer & artiste.
I would love to be filling in the Joe Rogan, Jimmy Fallon space in our country with an extension of "The Circuit", currently on Thurdays to an alternative "Celebrity Circuit" on Wednesdays and also "Circuitry" featuring DJ's & Live Electronica artists on Fridays. Given that I have had first hand experience of working with Shekhar Suman on Movers & Shakers ( Sony Entertainment Television) for the same, I hope & pray all that experience comes in handy!

What are your future plans...songs ..album ,shows,etc..
This whole program has been conceived to release one original song, every week, constituting albums of work & eventually boosting the Live stage gigs which I'm prolific for. I met Prasoon Joshi on a flight who remarked that in India one has to constantly churn to be relevant. It is true for himself, Javed Sahab, even Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy & A.R. Rahman. Therefore I believe I have produced a platform which lets one churn at the economic & efficient best of oneself. I look forward to associating and acquiring more business partners onto this IP. Here on it is all up to the almighty. Praise the Lord!

InDoor Gharana - Hoping to Live

InDoor Gharana is a Hindustani Electro Fusion Band consisting of  3 members, Deepak (Composer/Guitars), Neehar (Composer/Keyboards) and Nitasha (Singer & Songwriter).Their music is an eclectic mix of being experimental, electronic, fusion, lounge, trance and folk. The core of the band's ideal lies in the fusion of diverse and distinct cultures, sounds, ideologies and lyrical representations. InDoor Gharana are the winners of the Songdew-Raga to Rock contest for the most liked Fusion Band held recently.  Raga to Rock decided to check out the band and talk about their Music.

Q. What is the story of your coming together as a Band?
It started with a song - “Hoping to live”. Neehar and Deepak, already knew each other and were working together on some wonderful projects at Chennai. Nitasha wanted to learn more about Music Technology and that is when she met Deepak at an institute, where he was faculty. She sang one of her original compositions, Tore Bina and the ball got rolling.
Meanwhile Deepak came up with a few guitar riffs and progressions which were recorded. To that Neehar added programmed beats, chords and textural elements. Both, Deepak and Neehar really liked the way the track had a central theme of ”Hope”. But there was a Hindustani section in the middle which needed to be worked on. Both felt, Nitasha could add something to that section. Having already sent the track to her, there was a curiosity over what would come by. When we all met, she had composed a perfect part to suit the section. When she sang, we just knew this is it.
This one was an effortless, spontaneous collaboration between the three. Our music wasn't a representation of one person's ability, rather a unique amalgamation of the three individuals ability and we knew at that point we needed to do more songs together.

Q. How did the band name InDoor Gharana come about?
We wanted the name to represent our musical ideologies and uniqueness as a band. To be a bridge between classical and quirky. The name InDoor Gharana is wordplay and our modest homage to the gharana system of Hindustani music.

Q. Any special InDoor Gharana achievements?
It would have to be the release of our album, “InDoor Gharana”. The release was a culmination of years of hard work that we put into the making of each song. Each composition beats to the rhythm of our hearts and dances to the bliss of our souls. It brought forth so many emotions as we realized this dream. A dream we saw collectively, of bringing our music from inside the four walls to the limitless expanse of our audiences. To over 30 million households through the SongDew network. We feel fortunate, overwhelmed and deeply humbled by all the love and responses we have received for our music. Some genuine blessings, appreciation and encouragement for the work we do. To connect with our audiences in this way is extra special.

Q. Could you share some InDoor Gharana highlights:
1. Featured in Top 20 indie music releases of 2018 on Songdew
2. Over 10K+ hits in just a few days of our debut album release 'InDoor Gharana'
3. Our Album has time and again topped the list of Friday Hits and have been listed as the top 5 songs on Songdew.
4. Even before our release, our music was chosen by one of the most imminent brands of the country - FabIndia for their Fab Cafes, those are spread across the country.
5. We received unprecedented support for our campaign on thunderclap, in favour of our Album. Our target was to reach a humble 100 supports and we had a social reach of more than three lakhs!
6. Our single, “Aye Badara” garnered more than half a lakh views on youtube with in 2-3 days of its release.
7. And we performed on Chennai Live 104.8 FM, with RJ Tausif on "Artist Special". 
(https://youtu.be/icE8KXyY-tI)

Q. What have been your struggles?
To balance different aspects of our work schedules and ensure we took out the time to jam and make music which we are passionate about. Not knowing what’s the right time to bring the album out. The confusions about the other aspects - which record label, monetary considerations... Involving the right video team and working out schedules around the shoot of the videos. The “if’s” and “but’s" about which track is perfect for a music video. To persevere, overcome the obstacles and complete the process as it pans out across years is overwhelmingly fulfilling.

Q. Your aspirations as a band.
The love and support that we have received from our audiences is overwhelming and it makes us work sincerely, focused towards growing in our craft and staying true to our music. That is all we want to continue doing, keep making our music and reaching out to our audiences.

Q. Could you tell us more about the process through which the songs came about?
There was not a particular flow of events that we followed through the songs. Each song took us on a journey and unfurled layer by layer. All we did was to keep following our creative instincts and build on that. At times the composition came in first (Tore Bina, Aye Badara), at times it was the groove that started it all, (Amaani Shukraani). At times the literature spoke to us, (Aye Sakhi). Each song has a story to tell. “Hoping to live” was recorded at three different places. It was like three composers composing sections of a song. “Tore Bina” was soulful and we experimented with lounge. “Aaye Badra” was a beautiful ode to the rains. “Jogi” tells a journey of a,’Jogi’. We are happy to have collaborated with Abhay Jodhpurkar singing the male sections for that song. Also we never tried to follow a Charnam - Antara traditional structures. We believed the flow is more important and should be intuitive in nature. So we never over-planned. Every song was done in a flow which felt right at the moment to our musical sensibilities.

Q. What do you do when you are not making music?
Deepak: I am quite passionate about the field of teaching and training. I feel that teaching is one of the noblest things one can do to stay humble as an artist. Imparting knowledge only makes you & the industry better. Being a part of A R Rahman's School "KM Music Conservatory", I had to stay updated as a teacher and now its just part of my lifestyle. I feel happy to contribute whether its by imparting knowledge or making substantial or minor contributions, to me everything counts.
Neehar: I am drawn towards sketching and painting. I enjoy the process of creativity finding a tangible outcome. Any art form has a structure or a symmetry. Sometimes it's well defined and sometimes blurred and abstract. I look for an imagery, a sense of connect. Does it remind me of a place a person or nature? Does it remind me of a past I have never lived? Art has to transform and impact and when it does, you know it’s working. It’s creation out of displaced, magical blocks. For me personally there are no rules. It’s just the blend that needs to feel right. The senses don't lie. So I wait till the time mind goes beyond logic and intellect and feels right. A zone where reasoning is absent.
Nitasha: I am a mother of a toddler, a yoga teacher, a training consultant and a psychologist, so that’s quite a few hats to juggle through. I am blessed to have the unconditional support of my family, my husband, Dr. Vikram Sharma and our son, Anaadya, even though he is just over 2 years. They both are extremely encouraging and understanding of my pursuits. That helps me to focus on different aspects of my life. At a deeper level I believe in harmonizing these different facets of my life. I truly believe in the pure potentiality that we all are predisposed to. To recognize and realize that potential, for my self and consequently helping others to do that is what I aim for.

Q. Piece of advice to artists and band carving their way in this industry.
Be authentic, leverage your strengths and create a unique niche. Amidst all this, be patient and perseverent.

Q. Details of any debut EP/Album release
Debut Album Name – InDoor Gharana
Record Label – Songdew
Link – https://songdew.com/albums/indoor-gharana/151
Music Video Amaani Shukrani – https://youtu.be/3uEkOrKO7DA
Music Video Tore Bina – https://youtu.be/4YVi3ZkmBdw
First Single – Kesariya Baalam
Music Video – https://youtu.be/-azSt-tl2E8
Second Single – Aye Badara
Music Video – https://youtu.be/L30bPPmxEOg

 

 

Meeting the Vidwan of the Violin

Dr.Mysore Manjunath is the son and disciple of violinist Prof. Mahadevappa, Manjunath performed his first concert at the age of 8 in Mysore as a child prodigy.He is one of the Mysore brothers duo. Dr.Manjunath did his Masters of Music at the University of Mysore securing first Rank with 4 Gold Medals and was awarded Ph.D by the University of Mysore.Manjunath started performing at 8. His initial concerts were with his father and brother. From child prodigy to trail blazer, Dr.Manjunath has created an amazing record as Star performer in prestigious organizations world over. He regularly performs along with his elder brother Mysore Nagaraj. His Violin Concerts are featured at some of the major International concert stages including Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Oxford Universityto name a few.On his recent visit in Mumbai to the Transcendence concert R2R caught up with him.

Tell us of your childhood,Musical interest and the Violin?
My father Prof Mahadevappa is my Guru and Mentor.He is the reason for whatever I am today.I was born into a family of musicians, my elder brother is also a violinist, initially I never showed interest in playing the violin and my father was worried for me as I did not have that passion for music which he had, he tried a lot to push me, but his efforts were not working at all. One day my father forcefully took me to his concert and made me sit on the stage behind him and my elder brother, as the concert concluded, all the musicians who performed had the privilege of receiving a garland which fascinated me as a child, and I also wanted one so I begged for it but my father refused as I did not perform with them, and everyone humiliated me on the stage. Eventually this frustrated me, Later on, I was promised not 1 but 5 garlands if I perform on stage. Then after returning home, I rushed to my father to get the violin lessons, a boy who never touched the violin suddenly became so much obsessed with the instrument and within 1 and a half year, I learned the violin, performed live and received the garlands which felt like an award. My father had a very strict persona, he never let me play outside or pass time with friends and I disliked him a lot due to this but as a musician, I got recognition at a very young age and that is when I realized the importance of music and since then I started worshipping my father.

What was the chief reason to become a professional violinist?
Later it was my father again, who had been my source of inspiration all the time. With music 24 hours at home, with regular concerts, practicing sessions, and a wonderful Musically charged atmosphere at home with so many musician friends of my father always visiting our home and singing /playing, naturally the music sanskar rooted much deep inside me.

What is it to be a professional Violinist?
One must be greatly fortunate to become a musician. Having music sanskar, finding a good guru, having family support, and progressing in a right direction - all these contribute immensely for the success of any professional musician. Fortunately, I am blessed to experience only great things as a professional violinist. Violin being a western instrument and so wonderfully adopted in to Indian classical Music, has an unique place. Violin, being one of the most beautiful and popular Instruments in the world of music, offers so much for any musician to explore!

Is Carnatic music is for a niche audience or do you see it spreading itself?
Happily, we are witnessing more and more youth finding carnatic Music interesting and listening to it. It is quite evident that a good number of young musicians performing with great success also.

Is there a North-South divide in terms of Carnatic-Hindustani music
Naturally, carnatic music is more widely popular in the south. Instrumental music has wider reach in terms of attracting more listeners beyond geographical boundaries. With wider exposure possibility in the modern scenario, division should not be much distinct and wide. Jugalbandhi concerts are one easy way of bridging these two systems.
  
What do you think about Fusion music?
Fusion is an interesting concept in all disciplines. It immensely helps for a newer concepts and creations. Music fusion has always entertained music lovers across the globe. It provides a great scope for two totally different music genres to come together to create one beautiful melody. Fusion need not be noisy at all. Highly eminent musicians can bring all the subtle beauties of different music styles togethre on a single platform.

How was it performing with Mr. Louis Banks & team on Jazz music?
It was wonderful performing with Lous Banks, a veteran Jazz musician of high caliber. He is such an amazing player. Loved sharing musical ideas with him. We had a great team. Each one being immensely meritorious, we all knew it was going to be a great music concert ! Felt happy that packed audience loved the concert immensely.

Tell us of your tribute segment to T.Chowdiahji?
T.Chowdiah, being a legendary violinist of the last century, It was a great idea by Gigue to have a tribute concert for him. Mumbai did not hear much about T.Chowdiah and a great occasion to pay tribute to him. I chose Rag Purvi Kalyani and Kapi for my segment as they are very distinct in terms of the structure and also Thalas. Enjoyed elaborating Ragas which are the primary improvisational parts in Carnatic music

How was your musical interaction with Pt. Yogesh Samsiji, Amritji & GIno and the finale.
It was too good. They are superb musicians and all of them rose up to the occasion. They all are extremely sensible musicians with great rhythmic approach towards any composition and any speed. Loved performing with them.

Are the structures of Carnatic & Jazz Music similar in any way?
No. They both have totally different  structures and approaches to music. How ever, experience musicians can blend and gel them beautifully.

Wild by Nature

Grammy award winner Ricky Kej, who is a big supporter of Nature & Wildlife has composed the Music for the Documentary film of "Wild Karnataka" an epic nature film which took four years and 400 hours of footage and is  India’s first blue chip natural history film narrated by the living legend Sir David Attenborough. Karnataka is one of the most Bio-Diverse regions on Earth, having the largest number of Tigers and Elephants. The documentary which captures the breath-taking natural wildlife of Karnataka is a product of a team of world-class Indian filmmakers with Kalyan Varma and Amoghvarsha JS.

At the film premier recently Ricky Kej had to say “It has been a dream come true to create the music for this spectacular movie, and I hope you enjoy it :-).

how did you go about composing the Music..?
To begin with, Karnataka is my home and I have always been a proud Bangalorean so when I was approached by some of the best wildlife filmmakers in the world to score music for a film that showcases the beauty of Karnataka to the world along with Sir David’s Attenborough’s impeccable narration at the helm, it was an absolute no brainer. Wild Karnataka is one of those films that brings out your inner child as you watch every stunning frame with a sense of awe and wonder. It forces you to realize how amazing Mother Nature really is and she has always been the primary source of inspiration for me to create music.  I am also a huge fan of Sir David Attenborough and it is a tremendous honor for me to have composed music for a film that he has helped bring to life. The stunning visuals of Wild Karnataka inspired me to create an original score that complements each scene and I am sure that audiences around the world will be moved by both the film and the music. This was also an amazing opportunity for me to work again with fantastic musicians with whom I have had the honor of collaborating many times and to showcase the glory of Indian classical music to the world.

What have you put forth with your music…?
Music is an extremely powerful tool and a powerful background score that complements the story and the visuals help elevate the film. I worked extremely hard to ensure that we came up with a spectacular score befitting this timeless movie. I wanted the audiences to feel like they are a part of the film, not just spectators and through my music, I wanted them to experience a whole range of human emotions.

Your connect with Nature and Wildlife…?
It was through music that I fell in love with our natural world. I found a deep connection between music and nature. I also realized that I loved hanging around with animals and within nature and I would see personality in every single animal I saw.. including perceivably scary animals like insects and reptiles. There is a deep connection between music and nature and my music is a reflection of this and an extension of my personality.

Music and conservation have always been the two pillars that have defined my life and ever since I won the Grammy Award in 2015, I have dedicated my life and my music towards raising awareness on various social and environmental causes. 

I have performed my music at the United Nations General Assembly, NY among other prestigious venues all over the world and most recently at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. I have performed my music to thousands of people at historic venues in over 20 countries now to audiences comprising of World Leaders, Change-Makers, legislators, scientists, environmentalist and tens of thousands of the general public.

Israeli Chicken Masala

Hod Moshonov, also known by his stage name BEMET, is an Israeli record Producer. His primary genre can be characterized as Electronic Hip Hop but includes influences from EDM, Electro Pop, Arabic, Reggaeton, Drum and Bass, Jazz, and Rock. He has a huge fan following all over the world with the core in Israel, Brazil and India. He is also a qualified Jazz musician, Pianist and a great Performer. Bemet has been seeing great success with his latest song and video ‘Chicken Masala’ and also performing at Sunburn 2018. Raga to Rock decided to get an update from his beginnings to his love for ‘Chicken Masala’.

How do you describe your Music?
In my music there is a lot of Fusion, it's has Jazz, Classical, Oriental or Indian music and my videos are a little bit sexy. It is the larger part of my performance, and I think when people get to know and there are good vibes and positive responses.

What kind of DJ you wanted to be?
First of all I got to say this, I am not a DJ. It’s not a DJ show, you know, ‘DJs are the Rock stars today’. But I cannot call myself a DJ because you know when I see DJs I am not a DJ. First of all I am a Music Producer, Musician, Performer, Video Director all this I do myself, I do electronic music shows which looks like I am doing a big DJ show. First of all I play my guitar and I sing and I want to be recognized, I want to be a mainstream success and I want to be recognized in every household in the world.

Who is the artist you look up to?
There are some people, I am very influenced by, do you know people like Skrillex, you know I was a Jazz Musician I mean I am still a Jazz Musician. I play Piano, I like wearing suits and everything. One day I hear this guy Skrillex in my  school days, and I was like depressed for 1 month. He changed my life, so it's not that I want to be Skrillex, I want to be Bemet. He has done something amazing for Music, he made Electronic music for low people like non mainstream DJs who would think Okay!!, he is a DJ he is not a musician. But Skrillex came and changed the game.

How did you decide to make ‘Sababa’ song’s video in Chennai ?       
It was not in purpose I just felt it you know I was in Chennai and when I saw the streets ohh....it was so beautiful, the colors, this waslike a trip, like a song you knew.  I just took the camera walked around and shot the video and this is how video it was created.

?How did 'Chicken Masala' come about??
As you know in my video I always try to? explore more of the Indian culture., which i love so much and getting into the Bollywood vibe and mixed it with my eastern culture the place I come from Israel. There is Arabic rhythm and  melodies as well. I got this Israeli Indian singer Liora Isaac, she used to be a Bollywood singer in the 90's, she has  a great story then we started to work together. Every time I am on tour in India we are ordering food in the hotel, and the guy giving you the list of items on the menu and he always says order Chicken Masala without me having to say it. I found it funny. So in Hebrew I said Hello Raja, Chicken Masala and found it funny. Then I got this actor Sara Gurpal  she wanted to be on my video because she had seen ‘Sababa’..(my earlier video).Then we hooked with another sponsor and Tinder and they liked my song and we figured out my video , they liked my vision of this massive video.

How did you go about shooting your video?
?Chicken Masala ?for me is not a song but a project that took over 4 months I had  the vision of the video clip in my head. I knew I wanted color , humor,?? ?and i wanted to bring the movement of Me Too?.. I like women doing manly stuff and stuff like that. We went to Punjab and Rajisthan and we got this castle and we had a big Production? company?, they  do a lot of Punjabi and Bollywood films. I directed the video and I also wrote the script and edited, styling, choreography. It was my vision that came to life in this video

What is your next project?
We are working on it really hard on it right now. It is supposed to happen shortly and we are collaborating with one of the famous artist but I cannot reveal his name. He is a very famous Bollywood singer and I will be rapping with him and there are my own friends like DJ Sabbah and few more artists.

All the best…Bemet from all at Raga to Rock.

Play on DJ

DJ Aqeel Ali is  a highly respected and renowned DJ. He is also a singer and composer. He speaks to Monarose Sheila Pereira about his career and foray into music.
So let's hear him spin his song.

What is the scope for DJs today?
The scope of DJs is endless as there are so many bars clubs pubs private parties also so many different genres of music also with film songs and production ghost productions music for add films and background scores live dj sets and I could go on and on and on

What is your job profile?
I specialize in DJing, Entertaining, Music Production, 

What inspired you to become a DJ?
Inspiration came from my love for music and watching super DJs like Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren. They are a great source of inspiration.

What is your latest project?
I am working on my album along with that, a few film songs. A couple of them will be releasing in the next two months.

What do you like about being a DJ?
I was one of the first djs to play Bollywood music in night clubs, festivals and private parties. No one was doing all this 20 years ago. I feel really proud to start the Bollywood music movement.  My career is amazing. I make music that makes people happy, dance and forget all their problems. My music also inspires people and motivates them. Basically I make people feel really good and happy.

Why did you decide to be a DJ?
I always loved music and wanted to do something related to music hence I thought of djing and then music production followed.

What do you like about it?
It is amazing. Music makes people come together. I love travelling and my DJing has taken me all over the world and across the seven seas.

Tell us about your training?
I wanted to be a DJ and so I asked a lot of people to show me and
help me but they all said I cannot be a DJ and with no YouTube back then, or any other source and no djing schools I had to just figure it out myself. That was the most challenging part of my career. However, I overcame it and rest is history. Today I am a rocking successful DJ.

What kind of investment did you make? 
I have invested lots of time, time and time.

What is the remmunertion as a fresher? 
My first gig got me Rupees 3000 from that I had to pay Rupees 1800 for transportation and rentals of sound and lights. I used to carry the
speakers and connect them myself and play for 8 to 9 hours. I have spent lots of long struggling hours but it is worth it.

How long does one take to become a professional? 
Today, in this day and age I will say it will take about 1 year for you to be super professional.

What is the remuneration of an established professional? 
As an established professional one can earn anything from 3 to 5 to 10 lakhs a month and even more.

Does a DJ have to supplement the income? 
Luckily I made a career out of djing and did not need to do anything else besides this. It is very rewarding.

Name some advantages in being a DJ? 
The best part of my work is that I love my work and I get to meet great people, network and travel.

Any difficulties in being a DJ? 
The biggest difficulty in this field is having to sacrifice your family time specially on weekends and also late nights, and lack of sleep. Most shows are on weekends and at night.

Any plans for the future? 
I plan to keep DJing and making music for films and my private songs and remixes

What advice do you have for those who want to to become a DJ? 
My advice for those who want to become a DJ is - work hard, believe in yourself, make your own music and play instead of just downloading music; look sharp, dress well speak well; have a great social media following and never give up.

Monarose Sheila Pereira is an author, journalist and media lecturer. She has published several books and has written for all the major newspapers and magazines. She has worked for All India Radio and Doordarshan. She also conducts self improvement workshops.

Interviews

Venues

Best Jazz Venue in India

Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival  of live music.