#RSOffStage feat. José Neil Gomes: “There’s No Honking Here; That Makes My Life So Much Better.”
The multi-instrumentalist talks about his love for the arts, including the art of silence, for our photo series on artists’ lives beyond the stage
José Neil Gomes’ cozy Versova residence is blissfully tucked away from the chaos at Mumbai’s core. The multi-instrumentalist grew up in the green (relative) peace of Goa, so he tries to recreate that same sense of calm in his own home. “There’s no honking here; that makes my life so much better,” says Gomes.
His place doesn’t just serve as a refuge for him alone, however. Backpacking friends and fellow musicians from the 20+ bands and groups he’s been part of often crash with Gomes when they pass through the coastal metropolis.
“I love photography, wish I had more time to pursue it,” Gomes says. “I’m also a huge fan of ballroom dancing and other Latin forms of dance. Dancing is one of the best forms of expression.”
The Mumbai-based composer’s love for visual storytelling is no surprise. He recently put together an audio-visual set for his violin looping/synth/bass project Bowjob at Mumbai’s Summer House Cafe.
Gomes loves infusing West African elements into his music, and friends and collaborators will testify that he often, somewhat inexplicably, breaks into a Japanese accent while talking. In addition to loving cultures from other parts of the world, Gomes is also kind of superstitious.
“It’s flat number nine, I have a lot of affinity to that number,” he says. “It’s also on the third floor.”
Check out more portraits of artists at home in our OffStage series here.