ANNIVERSARIES:

! Amit Khanna 1-Mar ! Justin Bieber 1-Mar ! K.P.Sivanandam 1-Mar ! Kesha 1-Mar ! Mike D'Abo (Manfred Mann) 1-Mar ! Nik Kershaw 1-Mar ! Roger Daltrey (The Who) 1-Mar ! Anandji (Kalyandji) 2-Mar ! Chris Martin (Coldplay) (1977) 2-Mar ! Dale Bozzio (Missing Persons) (1955) 2-Mar ! Harry Belafonte (1927) 2-Mar ! Jay Osmond (The Osmonds) (1955) 2-Mar ! Jerry Fisher (Blood, Sweat & Tears) (1943) 2-Mar ! Jon Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi) (1962) 2-Mar ! Mark Evans (AC/DC) (1956) 2-Mar ! Rajeshwari Sachdev 2-Mar ! Sagarika Soni 2-Mar ! Ghulam Mustafa Khan 3-Mar ! Jance Garfat (Dr. Hook) (1944) 3-Mar ! Jennifer Warnes (1947) 3-Mar ! John Bigham (Fishbone) (1969) 3-Mar ! Pandit Puttaraj Gawai 3-Mar ! Robyn Hitchcock (1953) 3-Mar ! Ronan Keating (Boyzone) (1977) 3-Mar ! Shankar Mahadevan 3-Mar ! Tone-Loc (1966) 3-Mar ! Boon Gould (Level 42) (1955) 4-Mar ! Emilio Estefan (Miami Sound Machine) (1953) 4-Mar ! Fergal Lawlor (The Cranberries) (1971) 4-Mar ! Gautam Pyarelal 4-Mar ! Jason Newsted (Metallica) (1963) 4-Mar ! Patrick Hannan (The Sundays) (1966) 4-Mar ! Shakin' Stevens (1948) 4-Mar ! Alan Clark (Dire Straits) (1952) 5-Mar ! Aleque Padamsee 5-Mar ! Bubba Sparxxx (1977) 5-Mar ! Craig Reid & Charlie Reid (Proclaimers) (1962) 5-Mar ! Eddy Grant (1948) 5-Mar ! Gangubai Hangal 5-Mar ! John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) (1970) 5-Mar ! David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) (1946) 6-Mar ! Hugh Grundy (The Zombies) (1945) 6-Mar ! Kiki Dee (1947) 6-Mar ! Mary Wilson (The Supremes) (1944) 6-Mar ! Chris White (The Zombies) (1943) 7-Mar ! Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum) (1946) 7-Mar ! Peter Wolf (1946) 7-Mar ! Randy Guss (Toad The Wet Sprocket) (1967) 7-Mar ! T.V.Sankaranarayanan 7-Mar ! Taylor Dayne (1965) 7-Mar ! Gary Numan (1958) 8-Mar ! Kameelah Williams (702) (1978) 8-Mar ! Mel Galley (Whitesnake) (1948) 8-Mar ! Michael Allsup (Three Dog Knight) (1947) 8-Mar ! Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees) (1945) 8-Mar ! Peter Gill (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) (1964) 8-Mar ! Shawn Mullins (1968) 8-Mar ! Bow Wow (1987) 9-Mar ! Chingy (1980) 9-Mar ! Jeffrey Osborne (1948) 9-Mar ! Mark Linday (Paul Revere & Raiders) (1942) 9-Mar ! Martin Fry (ABC) (1958) 9-Mar ! Mickey Gilley (1936) 9-Mar ! Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five) (1968) 9-Mar ! Zakir Hussain 9-Mar ! Anwar Ali 10-Mar ! Carrie Underwood (1983) 10-Mar ! Dean Torrence (Jan & Dean) (1940) 10-Mar ! Douglas Ardito (Puddle Of Mudd) (1970) 10-Mar ! Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) (1970) 10-Mar ! Edie Brickell (1966) 10-Mar ! Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) (1963) 10-Mar ! Neneh Cherry (1964) 10-Mar ! Robin Thicke (1977) 10-Mar ! Timbaland (1972) 10-Mar ! Tom Scholz (Boston) (1947) 10-Mar ! Bobby McFerrin (1950) 11-Mar ! Bruce Watson (Big Country) (1961) 11-Mar ! Cheryl Lynn (1957) 11-Mar ! George Kooymans (Golden Earring) (1948) 11-Mar ! Joel and Benji Madden (Good Charlotte) (1979) 11-Mar ! Kalyanji Singh 11-Mar ! Lisa Loeb (1968) 11-Mar ! Mike Percy (Dead Or Alive) (1961) 11-Mar ! Nina Hagen (1955) 11-Mar ! Ramesh Narayan 11-Mar ! Falguni Pathak 12-Mar ! Graham Coxon (Blur) (1969) 12-Mar ! Jagannathbuwa Purohit 12-Mar ! James Taylor (1948) 12-Mar ! Liza Minnelli (1946) 12-Mar ! Marlon Jackson (Jackson 5) (1957) 12-Mar ! Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) (1957) 12-Mar ! Adam Clayton (U2) (1960) 13-Mar ! Anaida 13-Mar ! Common (1978) 13-Mar ! Neil Sedaka (1939) 13-Mar ! Colby O'Donis (1989) 14-Mar ! Jim Pons (The Turtles) (1943) 14-Mar ! Kristian Bush (Sugarland) (1970) 14-Mar ! Michael Bland (Soul Asylum) (1969) 14-Mar ! Paloma J. 14-Mar ! Quincy Jones (1933) 14-Mar ! Sameer Sen 14-Mar ! Taylor Hanson (Hanson) (1983) 14-Mar ! Walter Parazaider (Chicago) (1945) 14-Mar ! Brett Michaels (Poison) (1963) 15-Mar ! Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) (1955) 15-Mar ! DJ Joseph Hahn (Linkin Park) (1977) 15-Mar ! Howard Scott (War) (1946) 15-Mar ! Ila Arun 15-Mar ! Mark Hoppus (Blink-182) (1972) 15-Mar ! Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) (1968) 15-Mar ! Mike Love (The Beach Boys) (1941) 15-Mar ! Pushpa Pagdhare 15-Mar ! Rockwell (1964) 15-Mar ! Ry Cooder (1947) 15-Mar ! Sly Stone (Sly & The Family Stone) (1944) 15-Mar ! Steve McCoy (Dead Or Alive) (1962) 15-Mar ! Terence Trent D'arby (1962) 15-Mar ! V.V.S.Murari 15-Mar ! will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) (1975) 15-Mar ! Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) (1959) 16-Mar ! Lalit (Jatin) 16-Mar ! Nancy Wilson (Heart) (1954) 16-Mar ! Pamela Jain 16-Mar ! Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead) (1940) 16-Mar ! Stewart Kerr (Texas) (1963) 16-Mar ! V.V.Subramaniam 16-Mar ! Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) (1967) 17-Mar ! Harold Brown (War) (1946) 17-Mar ! John Sebastian (1944) 17-Mar ! Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole) (1972) 17-Mar ! Mike Kindup (Level 42) (1959) 17-Mar ! Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) (1951) 17-Mar ! Alisha Chinai 18-Mar ! Charley Pride (1938) 18-Mar ! Chitra Singh 18-Mar ! Devin Lima (LFO) (1977) 18-Mar ! Irene Cara (1959) 18-Mar ! Jeff LeBar (Cinderella) (1963) 18-Mar ! Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) (1966) 18-Mar ! John Hartman (Doobie Brothers) (1950) 18-Mar ! Queen Latifah (1970) 18-Mar ! Stuart Zender (Jamiroquai) (1974) 18-Mar ! Suresh Thomas 18-Mar ! Vanessa Williams (1963) 18-Mar ! D.K.Pattammal 19-Mar ! Derek Longmuir (Bay City Rollers) (1955) 19-Mar ! Paul Atkinson (The Zombies) (1946) 19-Mar ! Ruth Pointer (Pointer Sisters) (1946) 19-Mar ! Alka Yagnik 20-Mar ! Jimmy Vaughan (Fabulous Thunderbirds) (1951) 20-Mar! ! Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) (1961) 20-Mar ! Andrew Copeland (Sister Hazel) (1968) 21-Mar ! Bobbil1 Keshavayya 21-Mar ! Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) (1951) 21-Mar ! Eddie Money (1949) 21-Mar ! Jonas Berggren (Ace Of Base) (1967) 21-Mar ! MC Maxim (Prodigy) (1967) 21-Mar ! Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) (1950) 21-Mar ! Rosemary Stone (Sly & The Family Stone) (1945) 21-Mar ! Russell Thompkins, Jr. (1951) 21-Mar ! Sean Dickson (Soup Dragons) (1967) 21-Mar ! Ustad Bismillah Khan 21-Mar ! George Benson (1943) 22-Mar ! Patrick Olive (Hot Chocolate) (1947) 22-Mar ! Stephanie Mills (1957) 22-Mar ! Chaka Khan (1953) 23-Mar ! Damon Albarn (Blur) (1968) 23-Mar ! Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet) (1966) 23-Mar ! Ric Ocasek (1949) 23-Mar ! Sarang Dev 23-Mar ! Dilijit Kaur 24-Mar ! Dilip Sen 24-Mar ! Muthuswamy Dikshitar 24-Mar ! Nena (1960) 24-Mar ! P.A. Pasemaster Mase (De La Soul) (1970) 24-Mar ! Sharon Corr (The Corrs) (1970) 24-Mar ! Aretha Franklin (1942) 25-Mar ! Elton John (1947) 25-Mar ! Melanie Blatt (All Saints) (1975) 25-Mar ! Nick Lowe (1949) 25-Mar ! Ryan Lewis (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) (1988) 25-Mar ! Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) (1960) 25-Mar ! Diana Ross (1944) 26-Mar ! Fred Sheehan (Boston) (1946) 26-Mar ! James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) (1968) 26-Mar ! Jay Sean (1981) 26-Mar ! Juvenile (1975) 26-Mar ! Kenny Chesney (1968) 26-Mar ! Richard Tandy (ELO) (1948) 26-Mar ! Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) (1948) 26-Mar ! Andrew Farris (INXS) (1959) 27-Mar ! Ashok Jain(Venus) 27-Mar ! Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) (1970) 27-Mar ! Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) (1964) 27-Mar ! Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) (1975) 27-Mar ! Johnny April (Staind) (1965) 27-Mar ! Lovv Khussh 27-Mar ! Mariah Carey (1970) 27-Mar ! Tony Banks (Genesis) (1950) 27-Mar ! James Atkins (EMF) (1967) 28-Mar ! John Evans (Jethro Tull) (1948) 28-Mar ! Lady Gaga (1986) 28-Mar ! Reba McEntire (1955) 28-Mar ! Bobby Kimball (Toto) (1947) 29-Mar ! Chad Allan (Guess Who) (1943) 29-Mar ! John Popper (Blues Traveler) (1967) 29-Mar ! Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction) (1959) 29-Mar ! Rajesh Sharma 29-Mar ! Vangelis (1943) 29-Mar ! Celine Dion (1968) 30-Mar ! Dave Ball (Procol Harum) (1950) 30-Mar ! Eric Clapton (1945) 30-Mar ! Graeme Edge (Moody Blues) (1941) 30-Mar ! MC Hammer (1963) 30-Mar ! Norah Jones (1979) 30-Mar ! Tracy Chapman (1964) 30-Mar ! Al Goodman (Ray, Goodman & Brown) (1947) 31-Mar ! Angus Young (AC/DC) (1955) 31-Mar ! Dinesh Raheja 31-Mar ! Herb Alpert (1935) 31-Mar ! Pat McGlynn (Bay City Rollers) (1958) 31-Mar ! Robert Holmes ('til tuesday) (1959) 31-Mar ! Sean Hopper (Huey Lewis & The News) (1953) 31-Mar ! Shirley Jones (1934) 31-Mar ! Sidharth Kannan 31-Mar Hillary Scott 1-Apr ! Susan Boyle 1-Apr ! Jimmy Cliff 1-Apr ! John Barbata (Jefferson Starship) 1-Apr ! Leon Wilkerson (Lynyrd Skynyrd) 2-Apr ! Emmylou Harris 2-Apr ! Namagiripettai K.Krishnan 2-Apr ! Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) 3-Apr ! Cris Korea 3-Apr ! Hari Haran 3-Apr ! O.S.Thiyagarajan 3-Apr ! Parvati Khan 3-Apr ! Prabhu Deva 3-Apr ! Ram Shankar 3-Apr ! Musiri Subramania Iyer 4-Apr ! Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) 4-Apr ! Mike Starr (formerly of Alice In Chains) 4-Apr ! Craig Adams (The Cult) 4-Apr ! Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) 5-Apr ! Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA) 5-Apr ! ! Suneeta Rao 5-Apr ! Vimla Patil 6-Apr ! Pandit Ravi Shankar 7-Apr !Pt. Ravi Shankar 7-Apr !Saira Khan 7-Apr !John Oates (Hall & Oates) 7-Apr !Mick Abrahams (Jethro Tull) 7-Apr !Professor S.Ramanathan 8-Apr !Julian Lennon 8-Apr ! Izzy Stradlin (Guns N' Roses) 8-Apr ! Babyface 10-Apr !Brian Setzer (Stray Cats) 10-Apr !Kishori Amonkar10-Apr !Pravin Shah (Time video)10-Apr !Joss Stone 11-Apr !Adinath Mangeshkar 11-Apr ! John Kay (Steppenwolf)12-Apr ! Herbie Hancock12-Apr ! Nagamani Srinath12-Apr !Neena Mehta12-Apr ! Lou Bega13-Apr ! Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)14-Apr ! Luis Fonsi15-Apr ! Ed O'Brien (Radiohead) 15-Apr ! Samantha Fox15-Apr ! Mark Hoppus (Blink-8)15-Apr ! Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray)15-Apr ! Rockwell 15-Apr ! Brett Michaels (Poison)15-Apr ! Terence Trent D'arby15-Apr ! Dee Snider (Twisted Sister)15-Apr ! Ry Cooder 15-Apr ! Sly Stone (Sly & The Family Stone)15-Apr ! Akon 16-Apr ! Stewart Kerr (Texas) 16-Apr ! Nancy Wilson (Heart) 16-Apr ! Victoria Adams (Posh Spice of Spice Girls) 17-Apr ! Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) 17-Apr ! Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) 17-Apr ! Stuart Zender (Jamiroquai) 18-Apr ! Queen Latifah 18-Apr ! Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains)18-Apr ! Vanessa Williams18-Apr ! Jeff LeBar (Cinderella) 18-Apr ! Irene Cara 18-Apr ! Charley Pride 18-Apr ! MC Maxim (Prodigy) 21-Apr ! Jonas Berggren (Ace Of Base) 21-Apr ! Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) 21-Apr ! Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) 21-Apr ! Peter Frampton 22-Apr ! George Benson 22-Apr ! Damon Albarn (Blur) 23-Apr ! Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet) 23-Apr ! Chaka Khan 23-Apr ! Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) 24-Apr ! Glen Cornick (Jethro Tull) 24-Apr ! Barbra Streisand 24-Apr ! Sharon Corr (The Corrs) 24-Apr ! Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) 25-Apr ! Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) 25-Apr ! Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) 25-Apr ! Elton John 25-Apr ! Aretha Franklin 25-Apr ! Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) 26-Apr ! Jay Sean 26-Apr ! James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) 26-Apr ! Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) 26-Apr ! Richard Tandy (ELO) 26-Apr ! Diana Ross 26-Apr ! Sheena Easton 27-Apr ! Ace Frehley (Kiss) 27-Apr ! Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) 27-Apr ! Mariah Carey 27-Apr ! Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler) 27-Apr ! Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) 27-Apr ! Andrew Farris (INXS) 27-Apr ! Tony Banks (Genesis) 27-Apr ! Daisy Berkowitz (Marilyn Manson) 28-Apr ! Lady Gaga 28-Apr ! James Atkins (EMF) 28-Apr ! Reba McEntire 28-Apr ! John Evans (Jethro Tull) 28-Apr ! Mike Hogan (The Cranberries) 29-Apr ! Carnie Wilson (Wilson Phillips) 29-Apr ! John Popper (Blues Traveler) 29-Apr ! Vangelis 29-Apr ! Willie Nelson 30-Apr ! Norah Jones 30-Apr ! Celine Dion 30-Apr ! Tracy Chapman 30-Apr ! MC Hammer 30-Apr ! Dave Ball (Procol Harum) 30-Apr ! Eric Clapton30-Apr ! Graeme Edge (Moody Blues) 30-Apr

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.

The Greek Connection

Comprised of five of its most innovative musicians, Udopia is at the heart of Greece's vibrant musical scene, at the crossroad of East and West, tradition and modernity. Drawing inspiration from ritual dance music, urban songs, modern grooves and the country’s ancient musical heritage, the group's unusual and characteristic lineup of saxophones, oud, kamancheh, voice, accordion, tabla and drums creates an explosive blend of rhythmic elements that will dynamically carry the audience through the beauty of age old melodies. Udopia is Efthymios Atzakas (Oud, Composer), Konstantinos Anastasiadis (Drums, Tabla, Composer), James Godfrey Wylie (Saxophone, Kemenche, Composer), Fausto Sierakowski (Saxophone, Composer) & Avgerini Gatsi (Vocals, Accordion).

On their recent visit to India, we  got to connect with  Konstantinos Anastasiadis. from the band to share experiences of their visit to India and performing at Udaipur Music Festival.

Is this your first visit to India?
This is actually our second visit to India and we are so proud of it. The Indian journey has been amazing so far and we are very excited to perform in Delhi.

What are your first impressions of this country?
In my opinion, India is the most spiritual country I have ever been to. Everything feels different in here. Being here makes me feel alive as every day brings a new experience. 

Has any Indian musician or musical tradition influenced your music?
Yes, of course. A lot of music that we play is inspired by the Indian Classical music. In fact, I grew up listening to Shakti band- which plays acoustic fusion music combined with elements of Jazz, Carnatic music- which is music associated with Southern part of India and of course Hindustani classical music. My love for Indian music grew over time and listening to great Indian musicians on Youtube influenced me so much that I wanted to learn different Indian instruments like Carnatic Violin and Tabla. I have been practicing Tabla for 15 years now. Zakir Hussain and Tari khan are few of my favorite Tabla players from India.

Tell us something about your music and what musical styles have influenced your sound?
Udopia is still growing and exploring since it’s a fairly new band but our music is mostly influenced by Balkan style, Arabic sounds, Turkish sounds and of course Greek and India influence as well.

Has your music, which is essentially traditional Greek/Middle Eastern, changed over the years?
The history of Greek music goes all the way back to ancient times but not much has changed from ancient to modern styles. The origins of Greek folk song can be traced back to the first centuries where Greek tragedy of poetry, music and dance were a part of the daily lives of Greek entertainment. However, Udopia is of course changing as it’s still exploring and growing as it is passed and performed from one individual to another.

Popular music has a much wider audience, have you ever considered going pop so to say, to reach a wider audience?
Never

What do you think of the current world music scene?
I feel the music industry is going down and it’s not good because everybody is getting commercialized. They just produce music to sell.

What are your future projects as individually and as a band?
I  am currently playing with 15 bands. There are so many projects that we have tied up with across the world. I don’t know what is going to happen in future but we are definitely preparing ourselves with some new music, mix of traditional and modern music. It is going to be very exciting as it is not the instrument which is important for me but it is the communication and connection with the audience, that is how well your music is received and loved which is of utmost importance.

Any upcoming festivals that you are playing?
Lot of stuff for all of us. Playing in various festivals over the next two years.

Do you plan to come to India again and how was the overall experience?
Yes, of course. It is indeed a beautiful country and we would love to perform in each and every city of India.  We met some amazing musicians and artists in the city. Every time when you come to a new place like this, there is so much to sink in and experience it. It is only once you go back that you realise the worth of an experience like this. So you just go with your eyes and ears open, not thinking too much about it, just trying to take it all in and live it. It’s beautiful!

Did you get a chance to interact with other bands?
We couldn’t interact much with bands there as it’s a huge festival which means that musicians had to be spread over different hotels and 3-4 different stages. But great experience!
However, we did jam with some of the local musicians from Udaipur. It was a delight to be in that space.

How did you get selected for the Udaipur World Music Festival?
We came here last year which is the reason why we are here today. We played music for the Institute of Greek Indian friendship- Indo Hellenic friendship league. Obviously, we couldn’t have come here without the help of the Greek Embassy and the Chairman of Mawana Sugars, Mr. Siddharth Shriram.

They trusted me and my colleagues to present some elements of Greek music for this conference. The Greek Ambassador came to this concert and appreciated our music. During the summers, he called me and said that there was a great news for us, Udaipur Music Festival wanted some great musicians for their festival and Seher foundation proposed our band and also found a sponsor for us. So without them, nothing would have been possible.

We are talking about the experiences and our future goals but it is very important to remember that without the generosity and interest in cultures of institutions and private individuals, I mean to bring a band from Greece like that is just not possible.

The Sunburn Magic

Raga to Rock got Harindra Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, Percept Limited to speak about taking Sunburn back to Goa in it's new avatar, tie up with Klassique Events  and how he intends handling the differences he had with the Goa  Goverment.

 “Sunburn Klassique" is all about the original vibe of Sunburn. Right from the flea markets, experience zones, adventure activities and setup, the overall vibe will strike a chord of nostalgia. It will bring back memories of the good times fans have experienced in the past when Goa was home to Sunburn. The artist line up will reflect the very same sentiment. We will be bringing down artists that are iconic and reflective of the vibe of the earlier days of Sunburn Goa. The Sunburn Klassique format will be completely different from the Sunburn festivals taking place in different cities. From the setup to the stages and the artists, Sunburn Klassique will truly stand apart. Sunburn evolved to a much bigger and commercial format post exit from Goa. We all missed the original Goa Sunburn. It was cooler, more intimate, more emotions, experiences, pre post parties, shacks, local food and flavours. Sunburn Klassique will aim to bring back all of that.”

On the tie up with Mr. Shailesh Shetty, Klassique Events, and future plans for Sunburn in Goa, Harindra Singh responded, “We left Goa in 2016 with a very heavy heart. We tried really hard to recreate the magic of Goa across other destinations, however Goa is Goa....and it was impossible to create the Goa magic anywhere else. Recently we sensed an opportunity to return to Goa and were lucky to tie-up with Mr. Shailesh Shetty, Klassique who will be representing Sunburn in Goa and taking on the onus of handling all the local logistics, permissions and licenses for ensuring a smooth and successful homecoming of Sunburn Klassique in the State. The weekend of 23 & 24 February 2019 will be the first 2 day Sunburn Klassique showcase at Vagator. The plan is to start with one event and based on the success and feedback increase to 2 events. Ideally we would like to have one in the first quarter, one during the monsoon and one in the 3rd quarter.” 

On the differences cited in media between the Goa Government and Percept Live over pending dues, Harindra Singh replied, “At the time of its exit from Goa in 2016, Sunburn’s direct contribution to the Goa economy stood at close to Rs. 700 crores, besides generating employment and creating an entire ecosystem. Apart from putting the state on the world music tourism map as a preferred destination, Sunburn benefits and supports local businesses across hotels, F&B, travel, shopping and transport. We were waiting for an opportunity to return and host Sunburn in Goa. And when we read a recent statement of the Tourism Minister lamenting the exit of EDM Festivals and its associated impact. We saw a glimmer of hope and attained the confidence to look for a viable partner to bring back Sunburn into the State of Goa. In business there are bound to be differences. However both parties were proactively trying to seek solutions and arrive at a mutual resolution.  It feels great to have arrived at a consensus to bring Sunburn back to its State of birth and continue to engage proactively to narrow past gaps and close. I can state clearly that we are close to resolving all matters amicably and the gaps will soon be a thing of the past. We will work assiduously with the authorities to get all the requisite permissions to ensure the event goes off smoothly without any glitches, and also adds tremendous value to the local eco-system. We are very thankful to the Government for its support and recent announcements.”

Pulling Strings

Sheldon D’Silva is currently one of India’s leading Bass guitarists having performed with legends like John McLaughlin, Sting, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Avishai Cohen Trilok Gurtu, Louiz Banks and at the Capetown Jazz Festival,  ACC World Music Festival  and 19th Ulsan Jazz Festival, South Korea recently to name a few. He also doubles up as a Composer, Music Producer, Music Programmer and Arranger. Monarose Sheila Pereira caught up with him rec and got him to share his Musical journey with us.

What does the Bass mean to you?
Bass for me is the ultimate element in the architecture that bridges and binds the rhythm and melody in a harmonious foundation that cements the structure of the music. Bass guitarists add a certain groove, swing, tone and texture that cannot be substituted by keyboard programming. The Bass Guitarist plays a very important role in an Orchestra or a Band; he brings a certain charm and form to the music.

What does Music mean to you?
Music eventually becomes a voice of everything that you are molded from, so the more knowledge and experiences you fill yourself up with, the more profound your music will be. The bigger picture is all art, is beautiful and is all connected. . Music comes from a sacred place, it will feed your body and soul, so treat it with love and respect.

‘Music comes from a sacred place, it will feed your body and soul, so treat it with love and respect.’

How did you become a Bass Guitarist?
Music is my greatest inspiration. I never dreamt it would one day be a career, as I always thought I would be a Pilot or something nerdier. I was an A+ student pursued to study Applied Art at B.D. Somani School of Art and Fashion Technology and all along, Music was my only constant, my liberation from the world. It etched at me and showed me a world far greater than the one forced upon children these days. I was warned it would be a very difficult life and not very lucrative, music was the only path that set me free. I simply surrendered to its force, leaving my life in the hands of the Almighty.

What do you like about your career?
When you choose to make a living doing something you love and that makes you happy, it doesn’t feel like work, and in turn you put more effort, heart and passion into it. That eventually serves a much higher purpose, you become a better person, you innovate and become a role model for future generations Materialistic gains can only take you a certain distance, but the respect and satisfaction you get after doing what you love, is priceless, as you get to change the world and make a difference with innate qualities that you have been uniquely designed with. It’s a superpower, don’t ignore it, implement it. God takes care of artists, so don’t be afraid.

Tell us about your training?
Music practice is something that shouldn’t stop. Discipline is mandatory and to never stop practicing. I’m constantly thinking, breathing music don’t rush and be impatient, learn the nuances, learn its history and let it play through you. Do it as much as possible, and look into a practice regime by finding constant inspiration. Listen constantly to artists and watch them and copy them before you can find your own voice. Increase your vocabulary at the instrument, so you don’t stammer on your instrument. Ear training is a must. Thinking fast is harder than playing fast. Do your homework before you reach the workplace. Broaden your mind to all kinds of music without judgment, it will benefit you. Be present at all possible music events, watch and meet musicians and learn from their experiences. Play till your hands drop! Once in a while, shut yourself off and do something entirely different other than music and then restart. Very importantly when applying the above methods, make sure you are always happy doing them!

How long does one take to become a professional Musician?
Just remember you have to be good enough, that someone will want to pay you, for what you do. The more the payment, the more you need to be able to deliver. Professionals are capable of producing art that’s packaged well, is money’s worth, is innovative, serves the requirement in a timely manner and have the morals and ethics essential for a work environment. However long it takes you to achieve this, is how long you will take to be a professional.

What do you think of the current Music scenario?
An ever growing competitive industry, that has its flaws, can be demoralizing. Today the use of technology has put tons of musicians out of work; it’s a growth and understanding that we need to evolve from to realize what is more important. We as a community need to help one another, otherwise it’s a whirlpool that will eventually pull everyone down, including the ones who think they are in power. Artists are supported by their audiences and audiences are regaled by these artists, it’s a give and take, if either side stops, it will all end. Music is not a hobby; it’s a part of human growth and sustenance, so we should fund music and other art forms. Musicians and artists are the closest form of magic, perfection, and connection to God, that stir the audience’s soul and, they have bills to pay too.

‘Musicians and Artists are the closest form of magic, perfection, and connection to God, that stirs the audience’s soul and, they have bills to pay too.’

What do you like about being a musician?
The advantages are countless, you get to travel the world, stay in the fanciest of hotels, see places in the world you would have never dreamt of going on your own, meet people of all sects and societies, rich and poor, celebrities to heroes, enjoy plenty of luxuries, but more importantly make a difference to society and the world. You can have a voice than can change history, have the ability to help people and create awareness. Your name could be immortalized through your contribution, becoming an inspiration and guide to the youth and future. You can be the miracle and crux of evolution.

What are your plans for the future?
Honestly I’m not much of a planning type of guy. I go with the flow. If anything, I keep a few bullet points in mind. So some of them are working on my solo album and for my band Violet Chords, along with Reenie Mansata,Tubby, Gino Banks and Ravi Chary.  finishing up with projects that are pending, , honing my skills as a bass player and producer and probably looking to do more production, besides recording on multipleband projects like Merkaba, FunkTub, The Mekaal Hasan Band and Nexus. I’m also producing Ad jingles and recording on Bollywood movie soundtracks.

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

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.

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.