#RSOffStage feat. JosÃ© 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
JosÃ© 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.