Reach of Independent music will only grow, say When Chai Met Toast

Social media is where people find new music, share music & even get info on upcoming shows, vital for an independent artist today, says CMT

Even if you are not into Indie-folk, you would be familiar with their song, 'Joy of little things in life', one of the most widely used tracks for insta reels. The band named ‘When Chai Met Toast’ comprising lead vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar, guitarist Achyuth Jaigopal, keyboardist Palee Francis, and drummer Pai Sailesh, was in town for a concert.

WCMT members spoke exclusively to Deccan Chronicle about their musical journey.

Why the name ‘When Chai Met Toast’?

Just a name that we had to come up with before our first show. Guess it worked out well

Tell us about your recent concert in Hyderabad?

Hyderabad has always been a special city for us to perform in, so we gladly gave the nod to perform at such a concert there. And we were happy to be associated with Signature Green Vibes that promotes 'Live Good. Do Good'

Tell us about your recent Collab with Farhan Akhtar?

The collaboration with Farhan (Akhtar) came about from a mutual admiration of each other's works. We first spoke when he wanted to use our track ‘Firefly’ for the teaser of his upcoming film. Last year, Anurag (Farhan's manager) shared with us a scratch of 'Take Me Home', which Farhan wanted us to give a shot at producing. We got a month's gap in between our international tours this year, so we spent some time in the studio, and tried to give the song a WCMT flavour. It all came together quite quickly. We met Farhan for the first time when we travelled to Mumbai to record his vocals. He even featured with us on stage at our tour gig in Mumbai.

Which song of yours have to figure in every concert on public demand?

Probably Khoj.

What was the musical influence that helped you create your music which is more a fusion of folk and pop?

It's a combination of the influences of the music the four of us listen to. Since we are each into different kinds of music, we incorporate elements from different genres to the broad umbrella of pop music that we create.

Is your fusion music a result of the diverse taste of the band members?

Yes, we do have wide ranging tastes in music. At the same time, there are certain artists we all enjoy listening to. So yeah, what we listen to does play a role in shaping the sound of WCMT.

Your music is appreciated not only in India but also other countries. What aspects of your band do you think clicks with every kind of audience?

We feel the multilingual lyrics sort of sets us apart, and resonates a lot with audiences. Apart from that, it's also perhaps the relatable themes and hummable melodies that connect.

We often hear people talk about enjoying the little things in life. And one of your songs with the same lyrics is one of the most trending songs on social media. How did it happen?

It happened very organically to be honest. We had no idea that ‘Joy’ was blowing up on Instagram. Our friends and family would often share reels of people (often celebrities) using Joy, and we'd be pleasantly surprised.

Tell us the story behind your debut album, 'when we feel young'?

The album deals with thoughts about happiness, reminiscence, love and belief. Songwriting for us is about storytelling, and each song is a little story on its own, collectively forming the larger narrative of 'When We Feel Young'.

Are you open to Collab with other artists too?

Yes, we've done a couple of collabs, definitely open to more if the right song with the right person comes up.

How has the band evolved since your debut? Have you experimented with anything?

Yes, every release has been a progression in the sound of the band.

How much of scope does independent music have in India?

Right now, independent music is on par with Bollywood, and the reach is only going to increase. The market is now mostly limited to regional and Hindi music, so it'd be nice to see songwriters who write in English get more attention too.

What are your future plans?

New music in 2024 hopefully! We're also doing an Australia tour in March, and possibly more international tours later in the year.

Has anything changed for live concerts post-pandemic?

Concerts have witnessed massive spikes in attendance and we've seen many new festivals come up.

Has social media benefited independent music?

Obviously yes, Social media is where people find new music, share music and even get info on upcoming shows, so it's vital for an independent artist today.

What do you want your band to be synonymous with?

Feel-good, heartwarming, positive.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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