Sonam Kalra has been trained in Indian Classical and Western music traditions and is equally adept at singing both genres. Sonam has learnt Indian Classical music from Smt. Shubha Mudgal and Pt. Sarathi Chatterjee and has also studied Gospel and Jazz with Ashley Clement in Singapore,as well as classical opera under the noted tenor, Hur Chul Young. Sonam is known for her powerful yet sensitive voice and ability to blend styles, yet stay true to the music. Her singing reflects the special meaning it holds for her and she brings to it a truth that can move you from deep within, with a freshness and gaiety that are both invigorating and infectious.
The Sufi Gospel Project
The Sufi Gospel Project is an effort to blend all the voices of faith, through the use of song, music and the spoken word. Traditional western gospel melds with Indian classical sounds, and Indian spiritual texts are enriched by elements of western poetry to create a sound that touches every soul. Revealing that no matter what the language of the lyrics, or the ethnicity of the sounds, there is but one language, the language of faith. And that is the universal truth. Khusrau blends with Amazing Grace, Kabir shares the stage with Abide with Me and Bulleh Shah’s voice is heard amidst English and Gaelic texts.
Owing to her versatility, Sonam is fast becoming a familiar voice at prestigious venues and festivals. Recently, Sonam performed at Muzaffar Ali’s Jahan-e-Khusrau World Sufi Festival, where she sang at the finale, immediately before the legendary Abida Parveen. The following week she sang at a fund-raiser for the Indian Head Injury Foundation for an audience including Sting and at the residence of the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, where she and her musicians collaborated with a group of 60 Manganiyar musicians from Rajasthan.
Sonam has just returned from a series of very successful concerts in London where she sang at the residence of the Indian High Commissioner, at the Nehru Centre, The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and for the Lily Foundation charity.
Some of the festivals she has been invited to include Kalaa Utsavam in Singapore, The India Show in Toronto, the Delhi International Arts Festival, the Bengaluru International Arts Festival, The World Sufi Spirit Festival in Nagaur, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Jodhpur and several others. Among other venues, Sonam has sung at the French and Italian Embassies, the British High Commission and at the American Embassy to welcome the new Ambassador to India, Ms Nancy Powell. She has performed at the NCPA (Mumbai), the Weaver’s Collective and Anantara (Kolkata), TEDx Talks (New Delhi and Rourkela), Blue Frog (Delhi and Mumbai), Chowdiah Hall (Bengaluru), JT-PAC (Kochi), Neemrana Fort Palace, at Rajiv Gandhi’s Samadhi on his birth anniversary in front of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, the Union cabinet, members of the Gandhi family and many others and in cities as diverse as Srinagar, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Kasauli. Earlier this year she sang at a concert for peace to commemorate the European Union being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012.
In January, 2013 the Mail Today newspaper listed Sonam as one of “the 50 creative powerhouses & impresarios who have elevated Delhi from a cultural desert to one of the world’s leading arts capitals”. Elle magazine profiled Sonam in a list of “Transformers : Women Who Own the Future”.
Stefan Kaye – organ/vocals
Nikhil Vasudevan – drums
Tony Guinard – bass guitar
+ whoever we pick up for the night
Stefan Kaye and Nikhil Vasudevan formed the band Emperor Minge sometime after the Big Bang. They recruited other sonic miscreants as needed and performed only originals, including the infamous “Choot Song”.
Sometime later Stefan, Nikhil and Tony formed ‘The Ska Vengers’. Until recently The Ska Vengers were India’s only ska band. This has now changed since the formation of ‘Los Jazz Bastardos’. Ska with a Latin flavour (or possibly the other way round). Formed by Stefan and featuring fellow B’stard Nikhil on drums and several other top performing talents.
Stefan hatched the plot for The Medicine Show and enlisted a nebulous cast of musicians, actors, performance artists, comedians, dancers and other firestarters, both homegrown and imported. Thus launched India’s one and only, vaudevillian variety show, modernized of course, and with the requisite desi twists, Delhi’s kinkiest and kookiest extravaganza of offthe- radar creative talent, a parade of poetic perversity (e.g. a recent TMS sketch featured two guys in big bunny suits doing… um, what rabbits do). TMS caught on like wildfire since the chaotic editions at Hauz Khas Village weirdo hub TLR, quickly expanding to sold-out larger venues and then, nationally to Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore.
The Jass B’stards first conceptually coalesced as the accompanying orchestra to TMS. Amidst the jazz standards and operatic scores, they developed a sketch portraying beatnik jazzbos jamming in a pointcounterpoint game that ends in a cacophonous confrontation; hilarity ensues.
Eventually, it became clear that even the expansive scope of TMS couldn’t provide the appropriate environment for the JB’s to blossom into its own thematic entity, so a semi-regular residency was secured. JB’s blaze through psychedelic disco / caveman funk / lizard lounge rockabilly renditions of what sounds like riffs from the hottest jams of the ‘70s and ‘80s yielding a distinctly LCD Soundsystem-ish experience. A range of special guests turns every JB’s gig into a mini-TMS, but more intimate and thus more manic. The last JB’s gig transformed TLR into a pimping harem of Egyptian belly dancers weaving through the crowd as Arabian doumbek drums jolted out their staccato syncopation like lightning flashes to the JB’s thunderous krautrock chug.
Once upon a time (sometime early 2012) in a place called Chennai, the F16s were born. This dashing, debonair, good looking baby was of some fairly exotic parentage-‐ eclectic indie, mad garage rock, a little bold alternative and electronica. He was also second cousin to glitch hop and quite a few pints of lager beer
Jokes apart, we are The F16’s -‐ a Chennai-‐based band influenced by artistes such as The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Foals, Mutemath, Alt-‐ J(among many others) and hailing from musical backgrounds as diverse as Tamil rock (Poriyal) and prog rock, we can’t help but sound a little clichéd when we say we like to make music that sounds fresh, crazy and makes you happy!
Joshua ‘Josh’ Fernandez is our flamboyant, dramatic and crazy vocalist. He is also the only Dubai-‐ bred Malayali with a British accent with a vague resemblance to Lenny Kravitz. Josh’s favourite bands vary from stoner rock to synthpop, dubstep and Indie. He is also a closet LMFAO fan. True story.
Vikram Yesudas is the former drummer of Intonation X, Chennai Air Force’s band and tamil rock band Poriyal. Influenced strongly by Arctic Monkeys and Mutemath, Vikram is a true madman with his drumsticks!
Viraj ‘Chomu’ Yesudas on lead guitars-‐ loves to experiment with effects and ambient music. Formerly Poriyal’s bass player, Viraj is a flag-‐waver for Mutemath, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys and Jet; his guitar tones vary from Coldplay-‐esque to pure rock ‘n’ roll. The band’s resident prankster, he often wakes up mistaking himself for Brandon Boyd.
Sashank ‘Skank’ Manohar, a.k.a. Omla is our skinny, popculture-‐junkie bassist, also a part of Prog Rock band Totem. Big on Foals, Two door Cinema Club and offbeat electro, Skank’s trademark Basslines are his catchy grooves, the result of his channelizing all that Golti rage into his playing style.
Harshan Radhakrishnan, keyboardist and electro-‐genius has a flair for the offbeat. His samples and tunes add spunk and surprise to our sound, while his afro hairdo certainly works with the ladies 😉 Previously the keyboardist for band Totem, Harshan’s influences include Foals, Mutemath, Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-‐J amongst others. (Disclaimer-‐ Any resemblance between Harshan and Josh is purely coincidental. Really!)
TRITHA ELECTRIC is an Ethno Punk outfit from New Delhi.
The band is led by the classically trained Tritha Sinha on electric guitar, drummer Paul Schneiter (Also of Menwhopause & Indigo children) and Jack Daniel Rock Awards winning bassist Tony ‘Bass’ Guinard (also of The Ska Vengers
Having performed over 80 concerts across India and Europe, the band will release its debut album PaGLi in September 2013 on Sony Music’s Day 1 records.
Sabelo Mthembu is a musically dynamic South African singer and songwriter whose passion for music can be traced back to his very early childhood. Like most artists, he started singing at the tender age of five in church and became an instant favourite. He holds a strong background of classical music as both a singer and a writer having sung in the University of Johannesburg Choir for 6 years, conducting and directing an acappella music group called Quava and writing and arranging numerous choral pieces widely sung across choir competitions in southern Africa. He has pursued a solo music career since his 2007 success on South African Idols. He has since worked and performed on various stages with various artists such as Zamojobe, Louise Carver, The Muffinz etc. His debut album “Songs of Brotherhood” is a culmination of seven years of planning, hard work and music experience accumulation under his own music company was released recently and rapidly became a roaring success.
Bangalore-based stoner/doom/metal quintet Bevar Sea has been functional for the best part of three years now, having started out in 2008 and becoming a serious performing and recording act in late 2010, and having since gathered an unprecedented cult following in the country, as well as the doom circles abroad in such a short span of time.
Influenced by heavy blues-rock of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the band is focused on presenting classic heavy metal exactly the way it should be, by employing an organic, no-frills approach to songwriting and live musicianship.
The band draws inspiration from a plethora of highly influential bands, the obvious ones being Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Rainbow, Saint Vitus, Sleep, Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Grand Magus, Trouble, Pentagram, Electric Wizard, High On Fire, and Kyuss.
Throughout their various live performances till date, Bevar Sea has paid tribute to these legendary acts with their own renditions of some classic tunes, as well as deep cuts. They have even played full sets of just Black Sabbath and early Pink Floyd songs, and have also done an exclusive show as a tribute to their other influences. However, it’s their original material which has proven to the most popular among fans.
The crowd favourite is ‘Abishtu’, a song about a serial killer and his ride that goes around tormenting hipsters and is always on the run from the cops. Another song of note, ‘Universal Sleeper’, has become their set opener with its twin guitars, the 70s style hooks, and the classic bluesy doom grooves. Set in limbo, a drug fiend spawns a generation of workers, a populace bent on mind domination. The story spills over into another song titled ‘Sleeping Pool’, when it all goes bad, and musically it takes the band to their doomiest and the bleakest yet. Album opener “The Smiler” is another live staple with its tip of the hat to the likes of classic Black Sabbath and Dio. The most ambitious effort is the 14 minute doom and gloom epic ‘Mono Gnome’, a song about a midget, and the flame he carries for a witch. Their commune results in a fire because of a curse that the witch carries, and that sets the world on fire.
Mixing up their setlists help make their already powerful live act more interesting for both their existing fans and new audiences alike. This dynamism, along with the heavily stylised accompanying artwork, and their DIY attitude to organising shows, putting out their album, and promoting themselves, have combined to make Bevar Sea one of the most important bands in the Indian underground music scene in recent times. Rolling Stone India acknowledged this by giving them the Best Emerging Metal Act award for the year 2013.
The band’s first album was released in October 2012 to great response from both the local and international audiences, and favourable reviews from critics everywhere. The album was recorded by the band themselves at The Doom Cave, and was mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson (Melvins, Neurosis, Sleep, High on Fire, Agalloch etc), and featured artwork by the band’s lead guitarist and artist Rahul Chacko. Bevar Sea are now working on finishing writing for the second album, planned for a 2014 release.
Metalheads, be prepared. Bevar Sea is getting ready to spread the doom all over India and beyond!
1001 Ways World Fusion Project works together with various international guest musicians and is founded and lead by violinist Tobias Huber, who hails from a musical family (His Grandmother comes from the Django Reinhardt family and his Father Klaus Huber is a well known Composer). Tobias is based in Switzerland and is truly about global music. Hi have recorded the CD “Gandhi”. It is based on musical and spiritual traditions that are thousands of years old as well as blending modern pop sounds and chill-out elements. The truly exciting aspect of the CD is the combination of there extraordinary music with the rare recording of Mahatma Gandhi’s voice (It comes with the blessing of Dr. Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson). This CD did break borders in all senses. 1001 Ways had performed at International Festivals around the world and are touring now with there energetic multimedia live performance, including original Film footage’s of Mahatma Gandhi. The Project had international media coverage on BBC, London to Night, Forbes TV, Asian Voice, India Digest, Culture Times, Pakistan TV, Sirus Radio… and had worked together with international artists like: Farafina (Real World), Fathy Salama (producer of “Egypt” for Youssou N’Dour), Omega III (producer of Madonna…), Elan (The Wailers), Pras Michel & John Forte (Fugees), Gypsy Kings, Tony Scott, Boddy Miles, and Calvin Owens.
Virginia Martinez, Blues & Jazz Singer, Has Performed With Or Opened For Shirley King, (B.B. King´S Daughter), Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Kim Wilson, Billy Flynn, Sean Costello´S Band And Nerak Roth Patterson Band, Among Others, And Shared Stage At Festivals With Big Names As: Phil Guy, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Sugar Blue, Donny Nichilo, Tinsley Ellis,Etc…
She Also Took Part Of Several Jams In Chicago, Memphis, Ohio And Houston, Some With The Most Remarkable Bluesman Of These Cities, As Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Etc, Only To Name A Few. At This Moment,She Performs In A Large Number Of Jazz And Blues Festivals And Events In Europe, Australia, Usa And All Over Latin America. Her Work With The Blues Has Been Declarated Of Cultural Relevance By Her Country’S Culture Ministery, And She Also Has Been Inducted As A Great Blues Artist In The “Blues Hall Of Fame”.
Siddarth Abraham, Sylvester Pradeep, Akhilesh Kumar, Joel Rozario and Samson Phillip got together by forces which they now like to call destiny or whatever you term it these days, and started making music almost randomly, and Bangalore saw a band that played their music “Live and Loud” and contributing their two bits to the independent music movement on India.
With a line‐up at equilibrium and a defined sound, the gigs and the competitions(runnersup Strawberry Fields 2009 ,Bangalore Winners of YamahaAsian Beats 2010, Bangalore Winners of Channel V Launchpad 2011, Runners up of Chennai Live Band Hunt) kept coming and with it Solder developed a reputation of being electric,energetic and fun on stage. The Solder show is like one big party, completely informal, with the feel good vibe, bringing the house down with funk, soul, rock and twenty‐something energy. And with this passion for music and their ability to connect with their audiences, Solder started winning over fans at every gig they’ve played, and made audiences feel the vibe that they call “Live and Loud”!!
Often described as a unit of five drifters glued together by music, Solder was born with the intention of writing feel good songs, and belting them out “Live and Loud”.
Now with all the varied influences bouncing off each other, Solder slowly created a sound space underlined by groove and layered with vocal melodies and harmonies, accompanied by screaming guitar licks and reverb laden drum sounds
The Ska Vengers is a new Delhi based band who blend ‘ska’ rhythms with elements of dub, punk, jazz and rap to come up with a form of music that is refreshingly different, energetic and highly danceable.
Keys man, Stefan Kaye rounded up a few of his musician friends to form the band in the fall of 2009. The band was put together since there was a lack of energetic, harder edged dance based live music in India.
Nikhil, Stefan, Tony and Samara play in acclaimed psychedelic disco band Emperor Minge. They are regular performers on India’s first cabaret show ‘The Stiff Kittens’ Medicine Show’; various members have either won or been nominated for Jack Daniels Rock Awards in keyboards, bass, drums and vocals categories. Samara is also an actor and equally well known as a TV presenter on NDTV Good Times. Delhi Sultanate has garnered much praise for his highly skilled, socially conscious rap with drum ‘n’ bass team BASSFoundation and collaborations with ‘dalit icon’ Bant Singh whilst Raghav is also known as selecta with DJ collective ‘Reggae Rajahs’.
The Ska Vengers play very much for the moment as carefully worked out structures are at times elongated and receive dub treatment and Delhi Sultanate’s unique and highly rhythmic patois provides a suitable foil to Samara’s more sweet and soulful vocal styling. They add their unique take on songs from reggae and soul legends such as Lee Scratch Perry, Betty Harris, Marcia Griffiths and when reworking classics from the likes of Velvet Underground, The Clash and even RD Burman, but really come into their own with their original
Following the release of their first song ‘Rude Boy Skank’ on the Stupid Ditties IV compilation album in October 2010, the band created huge waves with a handful of gigs at Ska! Ska! Ska! evenings at Q’BA with their now expanded line up featuring Rie Ona (sax) and Yohei Sato (trombone). More recently the group played a storming set in Delhi with ‘banghramuffin’ legend Apache Indian and brought the house down during a full set at the ‘Justice on Trial’ event at Alliance Francaise. The band have a number of notable musicians and writers among its fan base and received a request from author and social activist Arundhati Roy to perform at the launch of her latest book in May 2011, where as part of their set, the band collaborated with Roy and performed a specially written piece accompanying a monologue she had put together for the occasion.
The band completed their first album in December 2011 and released it officially in December 2012. It was mixed by acclaimed UK based music producer and winner of last year’s JD Rock Award for best Indian producer, Miti Adhikari (Radiohead, Coldplay, Foo Fighters as well as India’s Menwhopause, Supersonics and Them Clones). The album has become a landmark in the Indian music scene since it is the first home-grown full length album devoted to ska and reggae genres with all live instrumentation. Phyiscal copies were produced independently on Stiff Kittens Records, and Times Music are looking after digital sales. The album has this year been nominated as best album of the year for JD Rock Awards and received NH7’s album choice for 2012.
In April 2012 the band staged the largest rock concert to be held in an Indian prison, performing for 2000 prisoners at Asia’s largest jail, Tihar. The group managed to donate $5000 worth of musical and sound equipment to the music wards of the jail. The event was picked up by international media and covered extensively in The New York Times, BBC World Service, China Post. Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Arab News and many others.
They have received much praise from critics and audiences alike. Closer to home The Ska Vengers have had articles appear in many publications including Vogue, Marie Claire, Platform, Rolling Stone, Grazie, MTV Noise, Tehelka, Caravan etc and most English language dailies. TV channel VH1 India have devoted a 20 minute show to the band featuring songs from the album with specially made animation to accompany the songs. Samara C, Nikhil and Tony have all received nominations for JD Rock Awards in best singer, best drummer and best bassist category respectively. Stefan picked up his award last year for Indian keyboard player for the third consecutive year. Tony Guinard this year won best bassist of the year. The band were this year nominated in best band and best album category.
Currently the band are nominated for two much coveted prizes for MTV music video awards. Best indie group and best indie video. They are widely considered to be one of the more vital and relevant live musical outfits in India today.
Miss Samara C – lead vocals
Delhi Sultanate – lead vocals
Stefan ‘Flexi’ K – keyboards/vocals
The Late Nikhil Vasudevan – drums
Tony Bass – bass guitar
Raghav ‘Diggy’ Dang – rhythm guitar
Rie Ona – alto sax
Shiresh Malhotra – tenor sax
Amayama proposes to give the welcome to the new ages. A show that fuses prayers (mantras) with energatic dance and natural sounds in the rhythm of dance, hip-hop, electronic experimental and visuals. An experience that takes you along a journey internal and external, wich proposes an open mind to encounter a new vibration.
Amayama feels that the mystery of life can be managed from LOVE. Due to a myriad of experiences by all components of the group, born naturally the desire to express and share music, dance, visual and workshops.
“To believe is to create” is the group’s philosophy. To be clear about the purpose of your acts is very important to us. AMAYAMA is looking, in a simple way, to fillup hearts with happines.