For the band, the bonding is perfect
Chennai-based Oddsox has been crowned the winners of Parx Hunt 2018. We chat up the band’s frontman and lead vocalist to know what’s their secret formula.
Neil Cornelius, frontman and lead vocalist of Chennai-based alt-rock band Oddsox, says that when he started studying in college he was always on the lookout for people who wanted to be a part of a band and play music. “I have always loved singing and playing the guitar so when I joined college I wanted to form a band. I loved jamming so I started looking out for people with similar interests,” he says.
Cornelius was lucky to find like-minded people and started Oddsox, which includes Andrew Deepak (lead guitarist), Balaji Krishnan (keyboard), Nithin James Peter (bassist) and Erai Arasu (drummer). They emerged triumphant and won the title of India’s Best College Band at the recently held Parx Hunt 2018.
Taking part in the competition was not a planned process and Cornelius says that everything happened out of sheer luck. “One of our college mates informed us about the competition and we thought of sending our video entry, and honestly, we weren’t even hopeful of getting a call back but we did and it changed our lives forever,” he says.
Having won accolades and a hefty prize money after winning Parx Hunt 2018, Cornelius says that they have big plans now. “We plan to use the money to release a video soon and a couple of singles which should be out in a few months,” he says.
He also mentions that such competitions are a great platform to not only build a fan base but
also to prove their mettle. “Despite the presence of social media, being an independent artist in India is difficult,” says Cornelius adding that only your immediate friend circle shares and appreciates your work on social media. “For the fan base to grow, it takes tremendous amount of time. We are at the mercy of social media users, but that is now slowly changing with a number of competitions and live shows coming up which boost our confidence and also push us to perform better.”
He believes that what makes Oddsox stand out from other bands is that all the members are friends. “The friendship that we share with each other is probably one of the very reasons we won Parx Hunt 2018. The level of comfort and understanding that we share with each other is definitely a plus point for us, and winning the competition as friends and bandmates is definitely going to add to our success in the coming years,” he says.
Talking about the music scene in India, Cornelius says that the growth in venues where live music performances can be hosted and people can listen to their favourite bands and interact with them is a good thing. As there is a demand for such events it also gives bands the opportunity to grow. “Since we have won the competition now, we are playing on all weekends at different venues across cities till January which is a tremendous boost for us because earlier, we mostly used to jam for our friends and families,” he says.
What he truly enjoys about live performances is the experience which he says is purely magical. “Of course it is challenging to perform in front of a sea of people, especially if you are new but once we get the flow, then there is no stopping. That is what artists live for — to enjoy that moment with the people who are there giving us their time. We just cannot let them down, it is our job to keep them happy and be there at that moment,” he says.
Ask Cornelius what makes a band successful and he says, “All it takes is patience — no matter what, stay together and make it work. You should never give up even if the road is bumpy. It is a full-time job and you have to work hard. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun all along and remember why you chose to be in a band.”