HUNGRY FOR MORE THAN AN OPENING ACT
Indian musicians are happy to collaborate in the West, but say it’s not as big a deal as it’s made out to be. They crave bigger, better independent opportunities
It’s always great to hear about an Indian musician bagging the opening act in an international biggie’s concert. Only last week it was announced that Delhi-based guitarist Keshav Dhar’s metal band Skyharbor will open the show for American alternative metal band, Deftones, in Europe. And Point of View will perform just before American rock group, Guns ‘N’ Roses, in Dubai. The same goes for collaborations — singer Akasa Singh recently joined pop sensation Ricky Martin for a fusion version of Martin’s 2016 Spanish hit, Vente Pa Ca.
While these musicians are happy with the opportunities, they say it would be wrong to brand them as torchbearers for Indian talent.
“I won’t be arrogant to say that I have achieved so much for my country in the space of metal music. No one in the band is making music for anyone. For me personally, it is a big thing — something that you write in the bucket list. But it does not mean that I am going to create a revolution of any sort with this,” says Dhar.
Arsh Sharma, the guitarist of Point of View, also insists that their Guns ‘N’ Roses association is “no big deal”. “We don’t want to remain an opening act. It’s a great thing to be opening for such big giants in the industry, but at the end of the day, we would want the number of people attending GNR’s concert to attend ours where we are the main act,” he says.
Akasa, the Tu Khech Meri Photo singer, however, believes otherwise. She says that associations in the West give one an opportunity to showcase their talent, and expand their fanbase. “Collaborations are important because Indian musicians then get [to perform in front of] audiences from across the globe. From that perspective, it’s a really big deal. With this song (with Ricky Martin), people will know that I just don’t have a penchant for Bollywood songs, I can sing Western songs too,” she says.
(Top to bottom) Metal band Skyharbor, singer Akasa Singh and rock band Point of View