11 Jun 2021  |   03:27am IST

Changing tunes for changing times for Goa’s musicians

Musicians in Goa are adapting to changing times by setting up studios at home and producing music for production houses in Mumbai or working on improving their skills
Changing tunes for changing times for Goa’s musicians

Team Café

The restaurants and clubs are no

longer playing hosts to guests. The music has certainly stopped. Musicians who depended on these gigs to sustain themselves have had to be innovative and find new gigs to sustain themselves. Some of the bands have turned online and perform for corporates. Others have uploaded their compositions online and are earning money from these sites.

Colin D’cruz cottoned on to the fact that the future was online. He was also not very keen on doing shows online. Yes, if the gig was interesting he would consider it. But with more than a hundred compositions uploaded online on various platforms, he is able to sit at home and earn a pretty penny. He said his music was now being played on the premier jazz radio station which was available in America and Canada. Goa he felt would not be open to live music for a while though the number of online shows would continue to increase. He said a local advertising agency Slip Disc was organising a massive show featuring Goan bands online on June 20th. Many musicians he said had set up home studios and were producing fabulous music.

A musician doing very well for himself is Sancho Menezes, a pianist. He plays in Colin’s band but has a lot of work from production houses in Mumbai. He used to perform at gigs in Goa but since the pandemic hit, work has certainly slowed down. He is alone of very few musicians who can play the accordion and once when a script was written, his skills were needed for the shoot. He said as a producer and composer he could survive comfortably.

Nashvin Cunhagomes is into music production and has his own studio. The pandemic last year made him stop gigging. He intends to resume when the situation improves. He said “I have a few clients for whom I keep doing work. I prefer to do background work. I am composing an album and doing interesting stuff. I have content on various platforms like Spotify under Rebel Pundits”.

She has been singing for thirty years and this break is giving her the time to do something for herself. Sharon Rodricks is not doing anything online but has been keeping herself doing something for herself. She said “I come from a family that is drenched in jazz but I had to sing pop during shows. I had Covid in the month of April, so that took a while to recover for me. This is a break I am quite enjoying”.

Her son Jarryd Rodricks has built a studio at home to produce music at home. He said “ I teach music, compose music and am learning new stuff that will keep me prepared when the situation improves. I was based out of Mumbai but due to the pandemic I am based in Goa. I am doing work for people based outside but the time I also spent learning new skills. I had gigs in January but it stopped as the cases increased”. He said he was not really worried about the situation.

For someone like Tony Dias who has been composing and directing music videos for a while. Having started off as keyboardist in the 90’s he has over a period of time composed tens of hundreds of scores which are now available on cds. In addition he is also a tutor. He said he was comfortable since he was also teaching students online. Tony said as a musician he could say he was perhaps lucky to be in this position but there were musicians who would be facing the heat due to the absence of gigs.

Another musician who did not want to come on record said it was tough surviving but thanks to savings made, he was able to survive. He said he was teaching a few students but fees charged were not enough to pay all the bills. This made it tough paying the bills every month. Adapting to trends like playing online may be easy for the younger generation of musicians but for musicians in the fifties or sixties it is a step too far.

There are thousands of musicians in the state all of whom and quite a few of them are either part of bands or duos or even single acts. They will have to learn to adapt to changing times.