There are many reasons that draw people to Orlem, Malad’s buzzing neighbourhood: there are great places to savour Goan food, it’s a melting pot of cultures, a football haven, it boasts of the Our Lady of Lourdes church (often referred to as the Orlem Church), and then there is the music...

Musician Aggie (on the trumpet) performs for Dischordian, The Howard Pereira Trio and Blind Mountain

The neighbourhood has been home to musicians such as Suraj Jaggan, Caralisa Monteiro and Sheldon Pereira, as well as bands like The Mavyns, Dischordian and Overhung. Several session musicians are also based here and are touring the world as backing musicians for Bollywood acts and popular TV shows including Nyzel D’lima, Thomson Andrews, Vishal Lomjail and Keisha Braganza.

Garreth D’Mello is part of  Dischordian and Split
Garreth D’Mello is part of Dischordian and Split

To highlight the locality’s musical talent pool and give it a boost, a series of musical jam nights, titled The Orlem Music Nights, have been devised by Coolwaters Entertainment and Longplay Entertainment. Their first event, titled Make The Scene Sessions, will be held this Thursday.

Chandresh Kudwa performs for the bands Freedom and Axetortion
Chandresh Kudwa performs for the bands Freedom and Axetortion

For the folks back home
Musician Howard Pereira, co-organiser of the event, states, “Orlem is home to several musicians who play all around the country and internationally. Our folks know that we work but they have never really enjoyed what we like doing best, i.e. making music. We wanted to host a night out to get our community together. The Make The Scene Sessions aim to get diverse artistes together to play live, without a set list. The sessions will he held on the first Thursday of every month.”

The Mavyns
The Mavyns

The organisers are also planning a feature called the Visa to Orlem Night, which will feature a band from another
suburb performing alongside a local act; and the Orlem Music Festival (planned for 2015). The latter is the brainchild of Aaron ‘Mr.Waters’ Gomes, who is the co-founder of the event, and will feature local and popular city acts.

Gomes admits that The Orlem Music Nights and the Orlem Music Festival are an attempt to make the locality musically abuzz on the lines of “how Memphis, Tennessee, or Seattle was in the 90s”.

Pereira adds that the festival aims to bring back the culture of listening to music: “Unfortunately, we live in a society that has almost forgotten that another option for a night out is to enjoy live music performances. Hopefully, we will inspire
other suburbs to develop their own circuit.”

In need of support
While logistical aid has been pouring in, the organisers are still looking for co-sponsors for the Orlem Music Festival. “Since it’s a ‘local thing’, it’s been tough to get sponsors. The long-term plan is to devise a professional set-up that is good enough to host any international band and give our musicians the grandest stage Malad has ever seen,” informs Pereira.