I’m a Bengaluruean who’s lived in the city all his life, who joined the music fraternity in 2004. I’ve been playing music professionally since 2009 and have seen a change in landscape in music going all the way from Bengaluru being the centre of rock n roll with insane festivals like Sunday Jams, Great Indian Rock Festival festival, where everything was about furthering artistes in Bengaluru to the city’s metal culture to the Great Depression in live music, which is the EDM phase of Bengaluru.
The bands in the city seem to have grown in terms of calibre, artisitivity and in terms of music itself. I think artistes should commend the citizens of the city for that, as an increasingly large number of people are asking for original music.
Bengaluru has seen an evolution in venues. We have these venues that treat bands as background music. And I mean live acts – people who put their thoughts down, write the lyrics and put the music around it to find a way to express it and connect with another being. It’s so unfortunate that some venues want the bands to be in the background. I don’t see how artistes can connect to a crowd if the idea behind the show is that the music should be in the background. I think it is high time that all venues get together (not just seven) and start pushing live music in the way it is supposed to be. With all respect due to it, with the idea that their crowd or the people who are showing up at the venue can come and have an experience. I think venues in Bengaluru need to start pushing the experiences. There are venues doing that but it need to be a uniform.
The idea behind most of these other venues has to change. It doesn’t help that the city is international, where a lot of great starts have happened have some of these spot mark venues. Let me not diss them complelety as they do give a lot of artistes their livlihood. I just feel it is time Bengaluru starts pushing original talent than just cover acts.
The most recent trend that I’ve noticed is that a lot of Bengaluru bands are going on tours. This culture of touring which is happening, which is brilliant for a country like India. I’ve always maintained that India is in its nascent stages of just blowing up – we are just about ready to have our own personal woodstocks and stuff. We have so many festivals and venues right now that calendars can be planned around it. And, it is a very viable option.
Ending on a positive note, Bengaluru’s music scene is a lively scene. I’ve met so many artistes who are doing so much for themselves, for the scene. Like Suraj Mani, Naveen Thomas etc who are working together with other artistes so that they can share the music, share the crowd. This is incredible. I know for a fact that we are going to explode real soon (in a good way, of course). Because, I believe in the calibre and openness of big artistes from the city, and the small but promising wonders too.