Kanchan Daniel and The Beards to Release Debut Album
Mumbai blues singer Kanchan Daniel and her band, The Beards, are singing about everything from comics to cosmetic surgery on their debut album, due in March
A man cannot profess his love for a woman because he suspects that she is a secret agent. Who would have thought a double crossing spy could be at the centre of a raging blues track? Twenty-three-year-old vocalist Kanchan Daniel did. Her track “The Road” might have been a song about beating cancer, but Daniel tells us that her ailment has been only one of the means to channel the blues. The Mumbai-based vocalist, who has just finished her course in clinical psychology says that she finds inspiration in all kinds of art including the music of Canadian blues singer Layla Zoe and even the silent comic strip Spy Vs Spy. Says Daniel, who fronts the band Kanchan Daniel And The Beards, “Most of the songs are based on personal experiences or the fact that I’m pissed off with somebody and want to put it down in a song.” Of course, one of her more popular songs on stage is about fake boobs. Says Daniel, “I wrote it (the song “Superficial”) about fake tits, but the idea behind it is about being true to yourself, and that’s what I hold to the blues.”
Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, all either in their early Twenties with the exception of guitarist Kush Upadhyay  and keyboardist Mukesh Lobo , have a great time playing the blues, and bring in other influences including R&B, soul, funk and psychedelic rock to form a free flowing stream of sound. The band began taking shape in 2012, when the vocalist met Lobo. After a few lineup changes, they settled on drummer Varoon Aiyer [from Mumbai rockers Split and formerly of alt punk band BLEK], Upadhyay and bassist Anand Kamath who comprise “The Beards”. Says Lobo, who runs Globe Studios in Mumbai, “I’m not a blues person. I’m a New Age person. If you want to hear my music, I can play it to you. I started composing music and realized I can keep shifting genres. That happened the moment I met Kanchan. It’s not about having an attachment ”“ it just comes naturally.” Daniel adds that despite her parents’ love for blues, she only got into it when she started college. “I just find it easier to connect to this music,” says Daniel, who has even composed a tribute to the genre called “Why I Sing the Blues.” Other songs on their as yet untitled debut seven-track album include the raging blues of “Black Heart,” the dedication to Layla Zoe’s stage persona that is “Blue Rain,” the spy love story of “Tick Tock,” and the soul-soaked “SOS.”
With the album due in March this year, the band hopes to play bigger stages across the country and introduce the blues to younger audiences. Says bassist Kamath, “We get to play blues and be hip at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, As We Keep Searching perform at Hard Rock Andheri, Mumbai on February 12th, 2015. Entry: Rs 250 + Rs 250 (cover). Event details here.