Sunday, April 22, 2018
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City’s music scene unmasked

At city’s Organic Mandi, Anonymask performs with his band, U and Me; Chandigarh gets its first masked musician!22 Apr 2018 | 12:03 AM

Wearing a black and white mask, Anonymask, with his city-based band U and Me, performs at Chandigarh’s Organic Mandi every Saturday.

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Amarjot Kaur

Wearing a black and white mask, Anonymask, with his city-based band U and Me, performs at Chandigarh’s Organic Mandi every Saturday. Having been part of the music scene for more than 10 years, Anonymask is not looking for fame. He’s only looking to refine the way Chandigarh folk consume music. Keeping his identity hidden, he talks on: 

Tell us the story behind ‘U & Me’. How did the band come into being?

The band started out with a different name, as a four-piece band, but never saw the light of the day. After the fourth member was dropped, we worked on a new methodology, playlist, and practice routine. The line-up comprises Vishavpreet Singh on bass guitar and backing vocals, Aditya on drums and backing vocals and “Anonymask” on guitar and lead vocals. 

What’s your music all about?

As of now, we’re not playing original stuff and primarily doing covers only. However, unlike other so-called bands, we’re not doing the contemporary Bollywood and Sufi tracks. Instead, we’re trying to build our own sound, giving renditions to Retro Bollywood timeless classics. Along with that, we’re also covering western artists like Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Santana, Jon Bon Jovi and Metallica etc.

How do you feel about cover music? Do you think it is killing original music?

Cover music has always been popular and has been done by innumerable bands all over the world to an extent that there have been tribute bands covering a particular artist/band. So, it’s not bad or wrong. However, the professionalism required to do a cover that justifies the original is missing. 

What makes you guys perform at Organic Mandi, considering there aren’t many youngsters who visit the place?

Organic Farmer’s Market is a great endeavour and a revolution in itself. Being a part of this revolution is what makes us play there. 

We spotted you wearing a mask while performing. Why?

Haha! My mask seems to be grabbing a lot of attention! Well, it’s part of my ideology and there are many reasons that I use the mask. A quirky reply that I use to answer a question like: “Hey! Why do you wear a mask?” is a simple two-word question, “Who doesn’t?”

On a serious note, it’s a salute to all the wonderful musicians (classical and gharana based) and lesser known artists and independent musicians who never make it to the fame that ‘they’ actually deserve. They are as hidden as I am. They say mob has no face. I am every common man. 

How financially viable is it for you to make music in this city, especially for a middle-class working man?

Making quality music has never been easy for the middle-class man. It has always been a privilege of the few or the prodigy. However, where the digital platform has distorted the entire music scene, it has also worked in favour of musicians like us. Setting up a small home studio requires just a high-end computer with an above-average sound card, a good pair of headphones/speakers/monitors and some recording microphone etc. In fact, gadgets like iphone/ipod and even other smartphones enable music production for the newbie. The quality may not come out to be too professional but independent music can be recorded and produced. However, for stepping in to the mainstream, one needs to shell out good amount of money but the main investment is still required to publicize and market your music. Without visibility, even good music stands very low chances of getting in to trending.

City’s music scene unmasked
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