All that glitters

Updated: Dec 04, 2019, 09:14 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

Gold, a new collaboration between expat vocalists Lydia and Elena, who were roommates in Mumbai, makes its debut in the city

(Left) Lydia Hendrikje Hornung and Elena Friedrich
(Left) Lydia Hendrikje Hornung and Elena Friedrich

Those who have watched them live may say vocalists Elena Friedrich and Lydia Hendrikje Hornung look alike. But it's when they start singing that you notice the difference in the textures of their voice — and how uniquely they blend together to form one unit.

It's these quirky harmonies that the fo­rmer roommates aim to bring to the stage with the launch of their new collaboration Gold, in the city this weekend. Besides having a glam and disco vibe, the name of their project is also a reflection of their friendship. "Our friendship is precious," Elena says.

The two met when Elena moved to Mumbai a year ago to teach in the same school as Lydia, who moved from her home in Germany years ago. Living together in Bandra West led to the two hanging out more often even after Elena moved out. And conversation turned to work and how commercial projects help you make money but weren't have passion projects. "We started exchanging ideas and realised that we wanted a fun, groovy band, where we could write what we were feeling. Working with friends is easier as we know each other and so, can also connect musically, even though we are now living in two different continents [Elena moved back home to Italy recently]. We ended up writing for each other too. We are around the same age and at the same phase in life, which helps. You can't just start a band with anybody," they both say.

So, how difficult is it doing this long-distance? "We stay in touch anyway. I'll send a melody, Lydia will sing over it and send it back; we'll suggest changes. Not only is it musically fruitful, but it's also an emotionally nuturing process. I'll send something that may lean on jazz heavily and then Lydia says 'but I want to dance'," says Elena.

And the two bring something different to the table. "Elena isn't someone who sticks to one idea. She's quite creative and I like that her quirkiness comes through in our music," Lydia says, as Elena adds, "Lydia speaks from the heart, which is quite refreshing. We all need that friend. This brings a fresh kind of catchy-ness to our music," Elena adds. The result? Though they started out thinking the collaboration would be more in the sphere of dance music, it's turned out to be quite experimental — they even have a spoken word section — and it's got an intimate-yet-dance-y soul vibe.

They will be accompanied by Aki Spadaro (keys), Marios Menelaou (bass), and Ishan Jadwani or Aron Nyiro (drums) for their upcoming gigs which will feature 12 original songs. They are releasing two songs early next year, besides also releasing a video.

On December 7 (Bandra) and 13
At Veranda, Bandra West; Levi's Lounge, Lower Parel.
Cost Rs 500 (Bandra); Free (Lower Parel)

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