Salim Merchant, Antara and Ankita Nandy Harshdeep Kaur and Rahul Ram Grace The Next Sessions of ‘Green Room’
Weekly audio show ‘Green Room’ hosts iconic artists from the industry as they share their passion for their craft
Hosting promising and seasoned artists alike, Green Room has been home to celebrated artists such as Salim Merchant, Harshdeep Kaur and the vibrant future of the Indian music industry, Antata and Ankita Nandy. In collaboration with live audio-app Mentza, Green Room is a weekly audio show that brings together passionate and driven musicians from the Indian music industry to elaborate on their musical journey thus far.
On a rainy Monday evening, Nandy sisters- Antara and Ankita- hopped onto the Green Room circle on Mentza to reflect on their passion, inspiration and perform an exclusive set for the tuned-in listeners. Though the session of audio-only, the free-flowing banters and gripping live performance instantly engaged the audience, bringing them closer to the Nandy sister’s craft.
Explaining their journey thus far, Anatara Nandy- a finalist on the 2018 Indian singing reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs’ 2018, shares a mutual connection with the show’s host and Rolling Stone India’s Executive Editor, Nirmika Singh. “We’re both fortunate enough to share the same mentor, Mr. AR Rahman,” shares Singh as Nandy hums in agreement.
From Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs to a recognized Indian playback singer; Nandy pauses as she reflects on her journey, “It’s a journey and I’m still trying to make it to the artist I had set to become.” Crediting her family for her success, Nandy appreciates the support from her family and guru, Ustad Rashid, who’ve supported and guided her throughout her journey.
The festive special segment saw the Nandy sisters channel an acoustic ambiance, covering tracks in various languages like the 2017 Malayalam hit “Entammede Jimikki Kammal.” While the sisters confessed that singing in Malayalam was particularly challenging, the performance was flawlessly executed with near-perfect articulation.
Up next we had Salim Merchant take the stage. Speaking about his flagship project, Bhoombi 2021, Merchant further explained his endeavors as a creative entrepreneur and the workings of his label, Merchant Records; “It’s been a really interesting year for me. I had no idea the label would invite creatives from so many regions.” Driven by his vision to empower independent artists by releasing their work under his label, Merchant is thrilled to see his vision turn into reality.
As a seasoned musician with over a decade of experience in various works of the music industry, Merchant analyzes the changes in the industry; “It’s not difficult to put out your own material as an individual artist or through a label” Merchant comments on the label and distributors willingness to support local talent. “The name of the game is consistency,” Merchant points out, “that’s very important.” The celebrated artist believes having prolonged gaps between projects is not the best way to approach one’s musical career.
Indian playback singer Harshdeep Kaur joins the Green Room circle next. Like many artists, Kaur got the singing bug after her first stage performance as a child, “I still feel the journey is still going all. But it feels great to have the love and support.”
Kaur, who has been part of the industry since 2003, contrasts between the industry working. Kaur reckons technology to be a key player facilitating the change; “It was difficult reaching out to music directors,” Kaur points now, ” But today you can easily send your work through email or social media. Initially, you had to go to studios meet the music directors and physically give them your demos. ” Creating a Monday Mentza Moment, Kaur graced the Green Room circle with a stripped-down, vocal-only performance of “Tu Mila To Mili.”
The latest episode of Green Room hosted Indian Ocean’s composer and bass guitarist Rahul Ram. Mesmerizing Indian masses with their grand rock demeanor, Ram alongside his group Indian Ocean have been active since 1990. Sharing his philosophy about life, Ram makes a heartening observation about life; “We’ve all lost friends. We’ve had a lot of losses but frankly, life will go on.”
Ram further dived deeper into what makes an artist and theater authenticity is something young musicians should chase; “You have to be true to yourself,” Ram states. He continues, “Why do you do what you like singing instead of trying to grab onto anything.” While Ram understands that seizing every opportunity that presents itself may be crucial when an artist begins their career-especially if they’re trying to make a name for themselves in Bollywood- independent artists should refrain from falling into the trap of ‘trends.’
Catch #GreenRoom on Mentza every Monday night at 10pm.