Mumbai's three-piece band talk about their love for music and DIY videos
Their camaraderie comes through in their humility to gently take a step back when the other is talking
Three friends spend a gruelling winter in a Siberian forest and they survive. When they come out of it, their bond is unbreakable. Such is the tale behind Mr Maloouk and the Goombas, a Mumbai-based funk/soul band's journey, founded this year, by keyboardist and producer Avyay Gujral, guitarist Ashwin Raghavan and vocalist Urmila Sivadas. Their camaraderie comes through in their humility to gently take a step back when the other is talking. And perhaps that is why, their latest song titled Caterpillars, released late last month, is a cracker because good chemistry necessarily preempts good music.
For them, the band, the video — which has been produced at zero cost — and the music itself was largely a product of trial and error that developed organically over spending an unending number of hours together cooped up in a room.
"It's a song about people who want to grow up but are having second thoughts," Gujral tells us. The one question plaguing them is, "Will we make it?" Resonating with the thoughts of hundreds of young people who are crossing into unchartered territories, beginning from getting a job to paying rent.
The song begins with Sivadas' powerful voice, which is raspy and warm in equal measure. She's standing alone, the gloomy palettes of the video mislead us until the whole thing turns into a big funky party. Gujral who's played guitar and keys adds a bass-heavy feel while Raghavan's guitar licks are on point.
"Our friend, Neilloy Chakravarti — who has written the storyboard, shot and edited the video — got in touch with us and said he wanted to help us shoot a better video. So, we roped him in and shot in these little lanes he found in Bandra and the rest on a rooftop," says Gujral, elaborating on how the video came to be. "I had an SM58, which is a very basic recording mic," Sivadas adds, "Yeah, and I have a sound card which you can connect directly to the guitar and record," Raghavan chimes in. "The rest of it was Avyay on Ableton" they tell us, about how the song was recorded, highlighting the simplicity with which everything came together.
We are not sure what exactly about a forest in Siberia attracts them or if winter refers to something else. But that they have spent a good amount of time together and that there is a metaphor hiding in that fictional story is evident in the easy-going nature of their music that really is just asking you to take a breather and who knows, maybe even break a leg.
Just a year after forming their hip-hop, reggae and funk band in 2010, rapper Bob Omulo, guitarist and bassist Ruell Barretto, producer and DJ Major C and now an ex-band member and drummer Levin Mendes released a video of their song Hip Hop Never be the Same that they had shot and produced themselves. They reveal that they spent only on the recording session. "Four people in a band equals a tremendous pool of resources. If anything, it's easier today, so young musicians should take the leap and make use of the technology that is available," says Ruell Barretto about the need and benefits of going DIY with music videos.
Gari-B is a fictional character created by Tadpatri Talkies, a sketch comedy group of content producers. The group is popular for their humorous, snippety videos that are mostly self-produced. "We do it guerilla style and most of our videos are stripped down with no frills. You don't really need equipment worth thousands of rupees or shoots running into several days. I'd like to tell all the young people out there to be honest with their resources, to educate themselves and to concentrate on the content because in the end, that's what matters," says Raveendran elaborating on why DIY videos are the way to go.
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