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Interviews |  14 Jul 2018 17:21 |  By Namrata Kale

We like to play for 30-40 people who focus on your song: Band Cityhaze India

Cityhaze India, a three-year-old band that started in 2015, has shared the stage with some of the most reputed artists in the country. They have performed over a dozen gigs, both, in and outside Mumbai. In a short span of time, the budding band has gone a mile ahead, by collaborating with renowned names, including the national award-winning director, Jaideep Varma. They have stretched themselves in these years and have learnt a lot in this phase.

This crazy clan comprises of singer-songwriter Samyak, Mallar Sen - the producer cum lead guitarist of the band, on Drums there is Debatra Ghosh and Soham Sarkhel on keyboards and percussion. Sarkhel happens to come from an Indian classical background.

In an intriguing conversation with Radioandmusic, lead vocalist Samyak explains how the band was formed, challenges faced, learnings and more.

How was your band, ‘Cityhaze India’ formed?

Initially, me and Mallar Sen got together and started recording some songs. We wanted to do something creative and different. In-fact, we did not plan on a band initially. But, eventually, we did record an EP and it did feel right to us. After a span of time, we thought of coming up with a band.  We didn’t have to look for people as the five of us who started the band are all friends. We started with a home recording session that turned into a band.”

What were the challenges you’ll have faced initially?

When we started, we were a bit naive. We thought if the songs are good, we will put it out and people will see it.  But, then we realized that we need to build our audience. Once an artist advised us, ‘You can’t just make a good song. If you have to sell something, you have to package it well. You have to make a good video and have a good crisp audio for it, thus including all the elements the video would need.’ Another thing, we do lack in our socializing skills.

How has the learning phase been so far?

When we played at NCPA, an artist called Sushmit Sen told us, ‘If you are making original music, it takes three to four years for an artist.’ We, therefore, learnt that you have to have a lot of patience.

What is that one thing that makes the band special?

Our sound is relatively different from other bands. Everything has happened to us organically. We did our first album and sent it to people and they got back with us (documentary). So we realized that if we make good music, someone will see it and call us. Also, most of our musicians are mainstream. Our idea is that the concept should not struggle. We do not want to make a compromise on our work. For that our aim is that people should organically like us.

What is your vision?

Our idea has always been that before we became a band we were a recording artist. Hence, we don’t want to get into a zone, where we are playing too many live shows and playing the same songs. Our aim is that for a music artist or a band, your whole credibility lies in the number of albums, amount of work he has done. So that’s our motto of working. We want to keep doing that, keep recording.

What are your upcoming projects?

We have been doing live shows until now. But, now we are planning to record another album. We came up with new songs, last year. This led to the plan to do an album of seven to eight songs. We would be also doing a couple of web series.  We will record our songs and go beyond live shows, feature in our songs and collaborate with artists.

Is collaboration with some biggies from the music industry, in your plan?

We do hope that we do get the right producers someday. Right now we are not known as we are new. Working with a producer like Amit Trivedi would be nice. Also, we would like to get associated with big production houses.

What are your upcoming concerts?

We are always ready for concerts. We are always up when there is a good performance at a venue. We do play at a lot of gigs.

We like to play for 30-40 people who focus on our song than big venues where the crowd is distracted. When you are playing at a big venue people are less focused and busy ordering, especially in a pub.

Which band inspires you’ll most?

The Indian Ocean has definitely been an inspiration for us and a band, one can look out for. Also, we admire Parvaaz for the work they are doing and their live performances.

What is that one key challenge that the band has to go through?

What people don’t realize is that it takes money and investment. And it’s very hard on the Independent circuit to make money. So I think financially it’s a task.

Secondly, keeping your flock together is another challenge. As a band, people have different ideas. There also tend to be differences, when you are jamming in the room. You have to keep the band members together. All the bands have to go through this initially. Also, there is a financial expense for equipments, one needs nowadays.