When bands and singers performed at the New Year’s Eve celebrations, little did they know that 2020 wasn’t going to be ‘a happy’ year for anyone. Carnival in February was the last major public event for many of them given how the COVID pandemic and the lockdown have brought all shows to a standstill in the last four months. Be it private functions or the regular parties, everything has come to a stop.
And just as the prevailing scenario has affected Goans at large, including musicians, it has taken a toll on everyone. It certainly hasn’t been easy for people to work through all these recent difficulties and deal with how their original plans can no longer work out in the interim period.
Against that backdrop, there has been a range of efforts by local artistes to try and do something to lift people’s spirits. And they have turned to digital platforms to reconnect with their fans, who they would have otherwise met in person.
Event organisers in Goa are also looking at new ways to provide a platform for musicians.
One such group is The Music Mafia (TMM), a well- established event management company, which has been promoting Goa’s music and Goan talent and providing them with a platform to associate and collaborate. They add that their goal has always been to become a larger community. Many know them for their tributes to Goa’s mother tongue – Konkani. Their ‘World Konkani Day’ celebrations have been well received and appreciated over the years and they have also provided much needed recognition to Goan icons like Lorna.
Given that they have been unable to organise any event on the ground, they too have decided to work on an initiative that will not only connect Goans from across the world but also put them in touch with other artistes from different parts of the world. And to get this project moving, they have connected with people from Goa, India and various countries such as UAE, England, Sweden, Zambia, Ireland, and Portugal.
“At the onset, I would like to point out that Goans have put this up and are doing this for the world and we are also using our Goan networks in other parts of the world to connect and get to people all over the world, “says Joed Almeida, one of Goa’s favourite RJs and the president of TMM.
The project, titled ‘#MafiaWorldLove Challenge’, is aimed at ‘uniting humans universally through love’. This thought has resonated with many, especially at a time when COVID related news and anxiety has not given people much to cheer about.
And this challenge is not that difficult, so much so that one doesn’t have to be a professional singer or dancer to attempt it.
“Global singers, rappers and dancers are invited to compose to Major C’s hot new beat on the theme of love where the lyrics can be in any language. You can write a chorus, play an instrument, dance, write a verse or go the full 9 yards where you produce the full song and submit to us either a homemade phone video or a professional video,” said TMM.
To participate, people need to download the tune from TMM’s bio on their Instagram account @the.music.mafia.
“Major C composed the tune and he is the man behind acclaimed Hip Hop act Bombay Basement, which has played at the Glastonbury music festival that recently featured Adele, Coldplay and others,” TMM added.
The track is quite catchy and if one has a look at some of the numerous exciting entries that have come in, you can understand what the hype is all about and why it is so entertaining. What’s even better is that the participants didn’t have to really venture out to do this and they definitely had fun trying it at home.
“In times where negativity and fear is at the forefront we need more positivity and love. There is 'no positivity greater than love' and by getting expressions of love from across the globe, we can spread goodwill as well as positive energy. We felt it apt to pivot towards a truly global challenge so that love could unite us for a greater sense of purpose,” Joed added.
An example of how they have managed to connect with others abroad, is Francis Cardoso, a musician, singer and model based in Madeira, Portugal. Francis, who works with the sister of football legend Cristiano Ronaldo in the fashion industry, sang and threw open the challenge to the world.
“Apart from the global appeal and challenge, it is also an opportunity for our local Goan talented singers and dancers to connect internationally with other artistes and get on this global challenge and platform,” Joed continued.
In Goa, TMM has already received responses from singers, dancers and the like.
On a concluding note, TMM said it has been ‘uplifting and amazing to connect to the world and see how much interest people have for each other from all over the world’.
“People have shed their inhibitions and fears to send in their message of love and it has been amazing and motivating. As of the artistes, they're all adapting to the current situation and are in no way disheartened but are taking the challenge on and going digital is the way forward at the moment and they understand that and are keen. The mission and the collective effort of the entire group at The Music Mafia is not to give up but to take it up a notch higher and to spread love and that's our current endeavour,” Joed added.