So many of us don't end up following our dreams...Come meet four talented youngsters who have. Working in the day to keep moonlighting as musicians.
Lawntuba currently comprises of Siddhant Vernekar, Krishna Purohit, Shalom Benjamin and Suyash Medh. Sometime in 2011 Siddhant got introduced to Krishna through a friend and they started hanging out at that friend’s house listening and playing music together apart from exploring the independent music scene in Mumbai. Around 2012-2014, they decided to make music together as they felt they had very complimenting musical sensibilities as well as personalities. They started off by playing at some of the open mic venues like The Hive and Bandra Base and eventually started work on their first compilation of songs. In May 2016, they released their first EP called On Silver Clouds. The five song EP was liked by some of the most avid independent music scene followers both in Mumbai and outside. Thereafter, Lawntuba was invited by the Sofar Sounds Bombay community to perform at one of their gigs. This was when Shalom Benjamin and Aarifah Rebello joined the band to handle bass and drum duties. After having played with the band for nearly one and a half years, Aarifah left the band and was replaced by Suyash Medh on drums in 2018. Since then, all four members have been integral in the songwriting process of the band.
Emotional, melodious, tribal, childish and conducive to invoking movement.
Thoughts on the indie scene...
Everything from the music, live performance venues, events, sponsorship and even the crowd that attends the live gigs, have become very polished and presentable now. This wasn’t the case ten years back. You made a friend on the train ride back home after a gig. There’s a lot of networking among everyone in the scene now. Many musicians consider actually studying music and doing music professionally, more now than it was ever before. A lot of artists have marketed themselves really well and are going international. The quality of music videos has gone up incredibly.
Siddhant comes up with a structure of a song with words and some music. This is followed by a lot of ideation sessions between everyone in the studio so as to what direction the song can be taken to. This can take a lot of jam sessions spanning months. Eventually, Krishna produces and starts giving shape to the song in his studio.
We haven’t experienced the “industry” as yet. It’s difficult to say whether the industry is nascent or is dying. Anyone and everyone who is into making original music is doing it because a. they can afford to do so and b. for the sheer love of it. There is very little to no financial growth in the industry of original music. All original music that one makes ends up being a portfolio piece that eventually gets the musician commercial work. This has also a lot to do with the attitudes of original music consumers in the scene. No one wants to pay for your music and no one wants to pay for your live gigs. All artists are doing music knowing that they are making art for themselves and their little group of friends and that’s their scene, if it goes somewhere – great, if it doesn’t – well at least you tried.
The Way forward
We are working on a bunch of new songs that we’re hoping to complete and release late this year or early next year. And we’re working on improving our live set.
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani