Kaali, from Hyderabad talks about his experiences as a musician and forming a new band
Back in the day when live music and gigs were a regular feature in most cafes and bars, Anirudh Chaganty, popularly known as Kaali, played for band Capricio. Now post the lockdown, the 28-year old, who knows the pulse of the city's nightlife quite well, has gone on to form his own band. As the shows start to pick up pace in the city, we talk to Kaali who now is a part of a brand-new outfit — Elyzium. Excerpts from the interview:
Your journey as a musician started with the Capricio and it went on to be quite popular. How did it feel to start afresh?
Honestly, it was both easy and difficult. It was difficult since there was emotion involved. I was a part of the band for a long time. It was easy - because to move forward, you must do what is required.
Tell us how you formed your new five-member band, Elyzium...
Dinker Kalvala —the vocalist of the band — is the true mastermind behind it. My job was to take care of what we play on the stage. Bringing people together and setting up an administration was all done by him.
How did it feel to be back on stage for the band’s debut performance?
Oh, it was exhilarating. We had a full house and honestly, I for once did not expect this kind of reception!
The pandemic halted the world around us. With live gigs cancelled how did you cope with the lockdown?
I think the lockdown gave me immense happiness. There were no people on the road, no traffic and everything was just so calm. So you can say that I found it thriving and relaxing.
What’s the inspiration behind the original composition, Pretty Ponne?
We thought it would be fitting to start off with a massy commercial number just for Hyderabadi listeners. Our idea was to first give people what they like and then keep them grooving to our music. The song was composed by Vidhya Sagar Nagavelli.
Prior to becoming a full-time artiste, you were also a photojournalist. How did the transition happen?
Yes, I did work as a photojournalist for a very brief period. While I was quite passionate about photojournalism, it was only after Capricio did my actual career kick-start. Otherwise, I have been a nomad — a free spirit.
On a personal note, where do you see yourself in the coming years, in regard to your career? Does the guitarist have a plan?
Yes, I do. With Band Elyzium, I look forward to enhancing Hyderabad’s culture itself. I want the city to be another Bengaluru or Chennai. Not that I want to draw a comparison, but I wish to see the City of Nawabs lose its raw and rustic image. I want to see the ‘90s era coming back. I would also like to build a nice space for artistes in the city to grow and thrive in different genres of music. And, maybe, hopefully people from other cities will come down and see Elyzium perform live.
What is next for Elyzium and you?
We hope to deliver more original tunes. We have a strong band and it is safe to say that we will only emerge stronger.
Elyzium performs today at 8 pm, at Posh Nosh.