What started as guitarist and composer Sanjay Divecha approaching singer-songwriter Vasundhara Vee with an idea to collaborate, soon saw a trio of talented musicians — Gino Banks (drummer), Karan Joseph (keyboardist) and Sheldon D’Silva (bassist) — recruited to form the group Merkaba.
“Our music is a combination of a variety genres including Pop, R ‘n’ B, Blues, Rock, Soul, Jazz, Gospel and Funk,” said Divecha, who has worked on the soundtrack for the film 127 Hours and has also performed with musicians such as Angelique Kidjo and Carlos Santana. “We are exposed to so many styles of music today. So, when I write and compose, all these influences are already there,” he explains.
Vocalist Vasundhara Vee says, “The music is consumable and listenable because of the rhythm section, which consists of Gino and Sheldon pieces. Thereis a lot of harmonic richness in the sound, but the groove is paramount and all the songs are grooving really hard.”
Vee is currently working on The Next Collective, which is based out of Delhi, with musician Tarun Balani.
“We are re-inventing R ‘n’ B music. However, most of the content is based on our spiritual philosophies that are specific to India,” she says.
When asked about the future of Merkaba, Divecha says, “This is a huge project and it has barely begun. Right now, the collaboration and the songs are just taking birth. The idea would be to keep playing it and in a while record this music. But, most importantly, play the music so that each time we can expand it and take it to new heights.”
Divecha who was hesitant to label the genre said that to him it is simply music with soul and a modern sound. The set-list comprises 11 original songs, with lyrics that delve into a variety of topics including social issues.
On: May 13, 7 pm
At: Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Cost: Rs 500 onwards