As World Music Day celebrations kick off this weekend at multiple venues, it’s interesting to know how life plays out for many of the younger musicians who are passionate enough to pursue music for the rest of their lives.
One such band — Paristhiti, which is performing in the Music Day celebrations, comprises of band members who think of nothing but music. Shayne Reynolds, the lead guitarist and singer says, “I first learnt piano at age of six. Sadly, it got discontinued till I restarted with my guitar in the year 2008. I now perform rock, country, blues, pop, Bollywood and sometimes even Punjabi music which can get the audience onto the dance floor.”
But Shayne admits that it’s not easy to sustain a musical career in a city like Hyderabad. Highlighting some of the issues that plague musicians in the city, he adds, “There are many venues which call us for a ‘free demo’. That’s like giving a free gig without any future programme offers. Most of the time, we have to do our own marketing and promotion, and the organiser tries to find out how many guests would be coming from our side to pick up the tickets. This takes away a lot of time and energy.”
Further, he says, “Payments generally come late or sometimes not at all. How will a young musician sustain in such a situation? Also, I feel that musicians in the city are a divided lot. If they do not meet often and understand the problems being faced in a collective manner, the chances of things getting streamlined for the benefit of all musicians is very dim. The music trends are also changing fast, from metal to Bollywood and regional languages like Telugu and Tamil.”
Singer Dhaval Taliawala is versatile and fluent with songs in many languages like Hindi, Marathi, Spanish, Nepalese, Russian, Spanish, Punjabi and Gujarati. For him, life has been a rainbow of dark and bright colours. Says Dhaval, “I got nicknamed ‘Jack’ as I used to do lots of odd jobs in Belgium when I worked in a company sorting diamonds. But then, I got annoyed with my boss and quit the job. Before my visa expired however, I started singing with the street musicians in Belgium, learning English songs while they would sing Hindi songs! After I came back to India, I decided to remain in music as it gives us a new opportunity every moment. I do not like 9-to-5 jobs in a ‘repeat mode’ workspace. Life is full of surprises and music satisfies my creative urge.”
Meanwhile, lead guitarist Kaushik quit his lucrative BPO job to be a full-time musician. “It feels good to play music all the time. I am self-taught and also use the Internet to improve my skills. For music theory, I took guidance from Savio Gaikwad in Mumbai. Now music is my career,” says the youngster confidently.
Singer Madhuri Kumari has also been into music since childhood and is presently taking formal lessons in Hindustani music. “It’s my dream that this band will go national and then international. One has to keep moving along and understand the music being created by all the band members. The aim is to bring in classical music elements and create a rock fusion genre with elements of Bollywood music,” adds Madhuri.