Mumbai-based Aankh Micholi started their musical journey in 2015 when five students of the True School of Music got together to jam and fell in love with the idea of being together as a band. Since then it has been an exhilarating journey for the members — Osho Jain (vocals and guitar), Hansel Dias (bass and backing vocals), Pankaj Pathe (lead guitarist), Akshay Dabhadkar (keys) and Bharat Chandore (drummer and backing vocals).
Popular as an alternative folk fusion band, Jain says, “I am not sure if we can be labelled by just one genre because we believe in versatility and being different every time.” Dabhadkar further adds that they started off as a fusion band but not necessarily with a vision and goal in mind. “We primarily wanted to play music which was not only different from what was around already but which felt good to us, and was reflected and appreciated well by the audience too,” he says.
One does not need an Indian instrument to make folk-fusion music.
“Even people from different backgrounds and regions can come together and make fusion music. You just need the right energy and the right feel,” says Dias adding, “Like our music, our journey has been a dynamic one. Honestly, we did not think we would get this far because our main motive was to produce good music and release an album together.”
However, they never released their own independent album although they had the resources. Why? Because they liked the concept of performing live in front of an audience who would give them an immediate feedback. “We played at music festivals at various colleges and cafes in India. What we enjoyed was the fact that once we were done playing the set, people would still be humming our songs which kept us going,” says Dias.
Aankh Micholi even played at Winterfell Cafe, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Talking about this unique experience, Dias says, “The performance was not even planned. We just heard about the cafe and thought of playing there. They were very supportive of our idea and they did let us play there.” He adds that the audience and the people at the cafe enjoyed their music and songs. Jain further mentions that since the local youngsters were accustomed to the regional folk music, the music that the band played for them was something different. So they totally loved the performance. “The audience was really good,” he says.
About the music they produce, Jain says, “We want to produce original music which gets commercial in a way by which we mean more and more people should come and listen to us and increase our fan base.”
And what kind of experience can the audience take home from Aankh Micholi’s performances? “We want people to have fun and enjoy the music just the way we enjoy playing and performing on stage,” says Dias. They want to be as interactive as possible with the audience so that they feel connected with each other at the same level.
The band is looking forward to playing at Osho International Meditation Resort today. Sharing more about the type of set they will be playing at Osho Monsoon Festival, Jain says, “We have always enjoyed playing for an audience who are abstract just the way all our band members are and since the Osho sanyasis are known to be a dynamic and fun set of people we are excited to play for them.” Dias points out that they have prepared an all original set for the festival.
The band is also gearing up to release their album of their original songs towards the end of September this year.
ST Reader Service
Aankh Micholi will perform at Osho International Meditation Resort., Lane 1, Koregaon Park, on August 13 from 2.30-3.30 pm