Masala Coffee to spice up things in Dubai concert

Michael Gomes
Filed on December 20, 2018 | Last updated on December 20, 2018 at 06.51 pm

The popular Indian band is out to mesmerise fans with their vast repertoire of multi-lingual songs this Friday at Al Nasr Leisureland

One of India's hottest bands in the Independent music scene today, Masala Coffee is returning to Dubai to spice up things at a live concert tomorrow at Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai. This is their fourth appearance here.

Formed in 2014 by Varun Sunil, the lead percussionist of the group, the eight-piece band features co-founder Sooraj Santhosh on vocals, Daya Sankar on drums, Preeth PS and David Crimson on guitars, Pauly on the bass, Joe Johnson on keyboards and Krishna Raj on the violin.

The band's foray into the music world started with the television show Music Mojo on Kappa TV (a Malayalam channel). Since then, Masala Coffee has given over 300 performances in India and abroad. They have also provided music for a number of movie projects and have composed four songs for Dulquer Salmaan's latest movie Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal.

Masala Coffee's music blend various genres, including alternative rock and folk music. They also weave other styles like Carnatic, Bhangra, hip-hop, funk, and jazz into their compositions. While their multi-lingual (Malayalam, Tamil, etc) compositions have fusion elements, Masala Coffee does not want to be categorised as purely a fusion band. "Though we like to mix up and try out new things, we're not a fusion band," clarified Varun Sunil, lead percussionist and founder of Masala Coffee, when asked about their music style.

One of their most loved songs is their folk and rock track Kaantha which has received millions of views online. Other original songs like Once Upon A Time In Punjab and Karikkinpattu are also very popular with music lovers. Their hits also include covers of songs like AR Rahman's Munbe Vaa and Snehithane Snehithane. Fans can expect to hear all their infectious Malayalam and Tamil hits as well as some new songs at the concert. Ahead of the band's visit to Dubai, City Times spoke to Sunil to know more.

Why did you choose to name the band Masala Coffee?
Just like the spices in masala, the eight members of the band, who come from different genres of music, came together to add their own unique flavour to the band's music. That's how we ended up being Masala Coffee.

How do you classify the band's music?
You could call it contemporary Indian folk rock genre.

What makes your music appealing to cross-cultural audiences, especially listeners who do not speak or understand South Indian languages?
We try to keep our compositions simple and easy to sing along to. We strongly believe that music has no language. Good music is always accepted.

What plans does the band Coffee have for Dubai? Any surprises?
We have something exciting in store for our fans in Dubai.  We will also be performing some of our new songs.

What's the best thing you like about performing in Dubai?
This is our fourth time in Dubai. We love the warmth we receive from fans every time we perform in Dubai, it's amazing.

Is Masala Coffee a fusion band, if so what elements/genres do you blend?
We don't call ourselves a fusion band, but we definitely like to mix up and experiment new things.

Masala Coffee does some amazing covers of A.R. Rahman's songs. Has the maestro ever heard the band or has he ever commented on your music?
We are not quite sure of that, but we definitely hope he has and we would love to share the stage with the maestro one day.

Which has been the band's most memorable concert?
Global Village in Dubai (in 2017) was definitely a memorable one and the other concert was at Esplanade Theater in Singapore.

How difficult is it for indie bands to break into mainstream music?
More than the genre, I would say it's hard work and persistence that matters most when it comes to making a break in the mainstream scene.

What's next for Masala Coffee?
We have released two new singles Arivaal and Safar from our debut album Kimaya, we are also looking forward to releasing our third single in the New Year.


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