Penn Masala in Mumbai
South Asian group Penn Masala, students from the University of Pennsylvania, claims to have pioneered South Asian a capella. Varshil Patel (VP) and Ram Narayan (RN) answer some of our questions days before their performance in the city
How has your music evolved since you performed in Mumbai last?
VP: Coming to Mumbai gives us the opportunity to perform for fun, energentic audiences. This time around, we eagerly look forward to interacting with our fans in Mumbai and hopefully further spreading South Asian a capella.
Since our founding, we have been at the forefront of South Asian-Western fusion and have pioneered South Asian a cappella. Since our last visit to Mumbai three years ago, we have placed an emphasis on innovation. Rather than simply combining Western and South Asian music, our mashups have evolved to blend and weave the sounds together through complex arrangements. Our selection of songs for covers has also become significantly more diverse.
Which artistes inspire you?
RN: We are inspired by a variety of artistes, including AR Rahman, Sonu Niigaam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, U2, John Mayer and Coldplay.
Are you likely to perform covers during your performance?
RN: Yes, we will perform a combination of covers and originals during our performances. A few of the Indian songs we’ll be performing include Woh lamhe, Dheere jalna, and Tu aashiqui hai.
AT: Hard Rock Café, Mumbai
ON: January 4