In Full Swing: IndiEarth At The Park
“We weren’t expecting such a rager of a night”!
While Imaad Shah – one half of nu disco/funk act Madboy/Mink – had heard good things about the burgeoning music scene in Chennai city, he didn’t expect Chennai to party quite as hard as it did, or for the night to rage on as madly as it did. IndiEarth At The Park this past Saturday, May 10th proved to be an explosively potent elixir of good music, good vibes, and good people all united under the umbrella of music. “We’ve been touring over the last month and had seen some fun and wild nights,” says Imaad. “We’d also heard lots of good things about Chennai city — IndiEarth has a reputation for putting together good nights and good gigs. But the gig exceeded our expectations! For the last three or four songs, people were actually singing along, a lot of them had downloaded the EP before the gig. We really felt a sense of people digging the vibe of our music.”
Madboy/Mink – comprising Imaad Shah on guitar/synths/production and vocalist Saba Azad – seeks inspiration from eras gone by, filtering these influences through an aesthetic that is distinctly ‘Madboy/Mink’, and unique to their individual tastes and sound. “We use guitars, synths, vocals, and a fair bit of samples — that forms the backbone of the set,” Imaad told IndiEarth. “The productions are mine and we play all our elements live. Our sound is hard to describe – it’s funk/disco from the 70’s and 80’s, there’s also a Harlem swing vibe from the 20’s and 30’s (which is back when dance music was in its raw form). We’re trying to go back to the roots of that. I’m also very inspired by 40’s and 50’s French swing, Django Reinhardt style – I mean these guys were geniuses. The kind of guitar sound this guy achieved with just two fingers – it’s mind blowing”!
This past gig at IndiEarth At The Park was part of the duo’s tour to promote their latest EP “All Ball” – available for download here. “Our sound is essentially a mixture of the stuff that turns us on,” Imaad continues, “We’re both junkies of music from all sorts of genres – our musical vocabulary is huge, but when it comes down to songwriting, it’s just us”. Their electrically charged performance was as musically stimulating as it was dance floor friendly, and was met with a sweaty floor full of Chennai fans dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
Also on the line up for the evening was Chennai based singer/songwriter act The RJD Experience, featuring Ritesh John Dharmaraj, who opened the evening with a mesmerizing acoustic performance. “This gig was all about playing my stuff – my original material, for people. I wanted to finally get my originals out,” says Ritesh. “My songs have a lot of harmonies and vocal melodies, groove and rhythm that stems from my drumming background. I’m actually a drummer, but it’s not like I can play a drum beat and write my own music right? [laughs] So I had to pick up a guitar”.
The crowd was highly receptive to Ritesh’s soulful vocals and rich melodic textures — have a listen to his single ‘Soldier’ right here. “The show went really well!”, he smiles, “The crowd liked it, it was absolutely brilliant. I want to thank IndiEarth for giving independent artists this opportunity. I’ve played a lot of shows, and most often the band is just on the side, or people come out just for the alcohol. This time at IndiEarth At The Park people came just for the music, they came to watch the artists. And the only guys who are making this happen are you guys. I really had a ball!”
Check out all the pictures from the night on the Facebook album here.
The next edition of IndiEarth At The Park in June will feature another unique line up of independent artists – watch this space for more details.