Celebrating 175 years of Chennai's oldest music salon
Who'd have thought that a Portuguese music lover named Misquith would come to Madras in 1842 and make way for a music salon that would soon become one of the city's landmarks for everything that translated to music? Musee Musicals has seen everyone from a young AR Rahman to Ilayaraja walk through the aisles, scouring for instruments and inspiration. It seems apt that they bring in three Tamil independent bands to celebrate their 175th year of existence.
For the love of music
Melvin M Ranjan has been working at Musee Musicals for over 10 years now. His only quest has been to promote music and encourage new talent in every way possible. "We are not genre-based at all," says Melvin. "We want to give back to the community in whatever way possible through music. Every musician now has been our customer at some point. Even if they've come in to just buy a plectrum, they feel its a blessing to come here." Melvin, in his journey to make music more accessible to everybody has also started School of rock, a part of Musee Musicals dedicated to rock music. "To me, it's not a job. It's my love for music. It's about being responsible to the community. And we are not an event company. We are merely there whenever a musician needs support." Celebrating their 175th year, Musee will have gigs and workshops until the end of March.
A Tamil redux
Kurangan, comprising Kaber and Tenma, a Tamil alternative music project is best known for their raw lyrics, eclectic musical style, and rousing live performances. Their act is considered the most original non-film music to emerge from Tamil Nadu in recent times. Kaber Vasuki singer-songwriter of Kurangan says performing at a prestigious establishment like Musee is nothing short of an honour. "Every successful musician has been inside Musee. It's legendary! Kurangan's first exclusive show was at Musee so it's been our lucky charm. The music circuit took note after we performed here. And honestly, this place has the best vibes." The other two bands in the mix are Othasevuru, a two-member act comprising Tharun Sekar and Pravekha Ravichandran and Siennor, a singer-songwriter. While Othasevuru dabbles with folk riffs, Siennor experiments with electro-contemporary-carnatic music. "All three bands coming together for this celebration are Tamil bands and we write original music and lyrics," says Kaber. "Anybody who follows Tamil independent music should know that this is going to be the gig of the year."
22-year old Pravekha Ravichandran of Othasevuru says he's excited and thrilled about performing at Musee. "It's our first time in front of an actual audience that's there just to watch us perform," says a visibly exhilarated Pravekha. "I've been in Chennai for over 20 years but I've never known much about the Tamil indie music scene. We were completely inspired by Kurangan and their performances. However, ours have always been on terraces, parks, or on the streets where we would busk occasionally. So this is really new for us and we are stoked!"
At Musee Musical, On November 4 from 5.30 pm onwards.