For vocalist-cum-guitarist Abraham Varghese, it was always about learning anew which egged him to pursue music. While the steadily growing music scene in the city is something he's stoked about, the promising Bengalurean tells us how he's also deeply saddened by a few perceptions about artistes. In a candid chat, Abe, as he's popularly called, tells us more...
"I've been a vocalist for as long as I can remember, but my on-stage singing career started when I won my first solo competition in college. Since then I've always had a guitarist accompany me for my gigs, so I never felt the need to learn an instrument myself. But when I started doing music full-time as a profession, I didn't have a choice but to learn the guitar. I've been playing the guitar for a little over two years now," shares the versatile artiste.
While he may not have many firsts to his name, the 30-year-old voice-over artiste and vocalist-cum-guitarist does have a few notable works to his credit. “I had the opportunity to sing for the President of India a few years ago along with Benny Dayal and our ensemble acapella band in Chennai. I was also one of the artists featured in the song that was produced in memory of the victims of the Japanese flood of 2011. I've also been invited to judge music competitions and give talks to students on what it takes to be a full time musician."
Despite being certain about what he wanted to do, mounting bills and the lackadaisical behaviour meted out by organisers left this youngster scouting for other options on the side.
"When I first moved to Bengaluru, I was pursuing music full time; trying to make a living off of it. But the growing bills got me to take up a day job as well. Well, the live music scene here is quite happening and we do have a lot of avenues to perform at right now. But at the same time, I'd also like to reiterate how most event organisers or owners of venues still don't realise how much goes into a performance, and always try to get the most by not appropriately remunerating us. They fail to realise how many hours of practice goes into a gig, how expensive our gear and jam rooms are, and like everyone else, we have to wade through city traffic to get to our destination as well. So, while there's steely passion, we're yet to arrive at a stage where youngsters can take the plunge to become independent musicians," reveals the conference producer rather pragmatically.
Having regular performances at least twice a week and a day job, Abraham has his hands full. And between it, is there a time to pursue his other interests, we quiz. To which, pat comes a quick reply, "Apart from music and other avenues which allow me to experiment with my voice, I'm also an outdoor enthusiast and traveller. I make it a point to get away from the city on a hiking trip at least once a month with a Bengaluru-based adventure group to explore places and rejuvenate myself from my generally busy week."
In addition to a slew of performances lined up in the coming weeks, Abe signs off by hinting how there are bigger things on the cards." Five years down the line, I hope to be producing my own material, be a successful Voice Over artist, and provide a range of voice-related services through AbeVoices.com. I don't see myself doing just one thing in terms of a career. So by God's grace i hope to have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C running simultaneously!" Abe aka Abraham will be performing at Big Brewsky, Sarjapura on September 28 and Easy Tiger, Church Street on September 29