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Growing Down: Live and Unplugged in Mumbai

By Arun Kale | November 11, 2009

Split Magazine: Growing Down

Photographs by Aashim Tyagi and Shilpi Gulati. View photo gallery »

Growing Down‘ is an ongoing initiative to produce a compilation of music (open to all languages and styles) exploring aspects of childhood and play. The compilation has been inspired by the fragmented conversations we have with the child within us.

The first round of submissions for the compilation came to a close on October 15, but a few days before that (on October 10), we organised an informal unplugged gig on a terrace in Khar, Mumbai, featuring some of the best singer-songwriters in the country. Musicians who performed at the gig included Noush Like Sploosh (MySpace), Gowri Jayakumar (MySpace), Atul Paranjpe, Ashima Aiyer (MySpace), Krishna Kumar Venkitachalam (MySpace), Nikhil D’Souza (MySpace), Vinay Lobo, Howard Pereira and more.

A month after the terrace gig, some of the artists and audience members present at the gig spoke to us about Growing Down, and their experience at the gig.

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Split Magazine: Listen“Well, I have to say first up that it was a very enjoyable experience from the get-go. Finding the place was an adventure and then walking into the intimate venue, with the audience itself comprised of super-talented songwriters and musicians all cheering each other on was special. The ladies were radiant and I loved all the performances, especially Gowri. She’s awesome. The music was great, the people were chilled out, the bar was stocked and the general ambience itself was a very pleasing and different experience. I hope you guys do more of the same and wish you the best for the future with the album.”

Howard Pereira

“A chilled out, feel-good affair, Growing Down is a concept I connect with quite spontaneously. The debut session at a pal’s terrace in Mumbai, with a small gathering of musicians, artists and art-lovers was ideal. With acoustic music, booze on the house, some of the city’s finest storytellers and lots of chiller fun, I am looking to perform at more sessions of Growing Down.”

Gowri Jayakumar

“Growing Down, for me, is about holding on to things that mattered when you were young; before the nine-to-fives. I have a day job so I’m constantly trying not to let it take over my life. So I think it’s a great concept. Terrace gigs are always fun. They’re informal, so you can hang out, play music, and make conversation.”

Ashima Aiyer

“There’s nothing I like more than gathering on a terrace and listening to great music by good women, except being there, allowed to act like a twelve-year-old and make as much noise as I want.”

Noush Like Sploosh

“I’m more of an acoustic and unplugged person. Original poetry and self-composed concepts are what I’m fond of, and I have great respect for anyone who plays original music. I was very fortunate to be able to listen to many good artists at the Growing Down gig.
The performances were stunning, very soulful. I loved the concept of Growing Down and I found it to be a very honest initiative. I hope you enjoyed my music and I’ll surely love to come again and be part of it.”

Atul Paranjpe

“As someone who still goes to work wearing jeans and sneakers, I probably need to do some growing up. When I heard about Growing Down, somehow, I could immediately relate to the concept, and wanted to be a part of it. I couldn’t help with the organising of the event and missed out on Gowri and Noush Like Sploosh’s performances being stuck in the worst traffic ever, but when I did get there, I felt a sense of community that you don’t find at other gigs held in clubs or theaters. The intimate setting of an open terrace with people sitting down together and listening to the music, talking about music, sharing music (and cigarettes and alcohol) was exactly what is not found at most other gigs. Most importantly, the music was engaging and encouraging. No rock star posing and posturing. The artists were one with the crowd, talking about their songs, talking about their life, talking gibberish. No headlights and no loud blaring speakers. If you knew three chords and set them to words, you could be up there too playing to a bunch of folks refusing to grow up and continue growing down.”

Vishal Gandhi

“I think it is a fantastic concept of having small, intimate music sessions. I wasn’t sure what to expect and my earlier experiences at these kind of gigs around town have been disappointing, mainly because the venue is more of an advertising/marketing combat zone with too many sponsors, and the music is bland and not original at all. So having Growing Down being held on a terrace and with a good mix of people was encouraging in that it wasn’t going to be just another one of those gigs. Sadly, even though I could only stay for the first performance, I really liked Noush Like Spoosh’s set — she was witty, her songs original. More importantly, it really felt like a serious music event with the right intentions — young, progressive, and original, which is what we need.”

Aashim Tyagi

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