Set to perform at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad's band Jammers talk about making mashups with Carnatic music
What makes city-based regional band Jammers stand out among their peers is that they can effectively weave Carnatic music along with film tracks. “I’ve trained in Carnatic music for many years now. It’s a genre that is liberating and there is so much to learn and explore,” says lead singer Krishna Tejasvi (KT), adding that the band is inspired by Bengaluru-based Agam.
Along with Krishna, the band consists of Shashank Bhaskaruni — a Grade VIII drummer from Trinity College, London, keyboardist Naren RKS, guitarist Chinna Swamy and bass guitarist Jagadish Chintala (trained from Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music). “Although I’m the only one trained in Carnatic, the others in the band are experts in different genres. While Chinna is self-taught, Shashank and Naren are Grade VIII musicians. So each of us brings in varied interests and experiences together,” he adds.
The regional band has been rocking the circuit in the city, giving Carnatic music a new edge. However, it’s the way Jammers presents their set that captivates the audience. They blend Carnatic kirtanas with retro film songs that have a similar raaga — for instance, Chiranjeevi’s Yamaha Nagari with a popular kriti Raghu Vamsa Sudhambudhi (composed by Patnam Subramania Iyer). “When you start off with a Carnatic kriti, it might not interest the audience. Instead, we make a mashup of Carnatic and film songs and that’s been working quite well,” says KT, giving us a preview by singing a few lines from the tracks.
Interestingly, it is the concept of mashups that first got these 20-something-year-old engineering graduates to start jamming. KT began jamming and creating mashups with a few friends and uploaded videos of the same on social media — some of them got more than one lakh views within hours. However, Jammers was formed only in April last year, with their maiden gig in an inter-college fest. Currently playing at watering holes like The Moonshine Project and Hard Rock Cafe, the outfit has steadily gained momentum in the city. But they don’t want to rush things and instead, want to focus on performing good music, even if it’s just once a week. “We were contacted by more than 20 pubs, but we have been choosy in picking our venues. Performing at Hard Rock Cafe was a dream, so we took it up instantly. Our idea is to perform for audiences that appreciate us as artistes and not as a regular band singing random film songs. The venues we are performing at currently, are known for promoting music,” explains KT.
March 29, 8 pm.
At Hard Rock Cafe.