For the love of music

Virtual Band

For the love of music

It’s not everyday that one gets to meet college students who have managed to launch a music album in five different countries only through word of mouth.

Studying in different colleges, Jawahar Raj, Judah Sandhy, Sai and Tony Thomas came together and formed, what they call ‘a virtual band’, ‘JJUST’.

So what is a virtual band? It’s like any other band but the only difference is that its members don’t perform live and their music is available only through electronic means like CDs, internet and radio.

Just one album old, these youngsters have created a stir amidst music-lovers across countries. Jawahar, a student of PESIT, is the brainchild behind this band. Music, he says, is his passion and after releasing his first album in Hindi called Intezaar, he wanted to make music in his mother tongue, Tamil.

“All of us are independent artistes playing for different bands but together, we wanted to do something just for music. That’s how the name ‘JJUST’ came about,” says Jawahar.

One of their main reasons to go virtual was to curb piracy. “The world is full of music thieves who are out there to destroy the music industry. We wanted to do our bit to stop that. We are not against technology. In fact, we are moving with technology and reaching out to people through a correct forum,” says Sai from East Point College of Engineering and Technology.

Their first album, Unarvugal, was a result of lots of research and feedback from the audience. “We actually got responses from people on what they would like to hear and then on, we started penning down the songs. Before we knew it, we had made seven songs,” says Jawahar.

The real challenge was to market the songs. Post recording, the band members spread the word in their respective colleges.

 They even created a page on social networking sites and got in touch with a few record labels. They came out with this concept called the ‘Value Card’.

Priced at Rs 99, customers in any part of the world can exchange it for a CD of the band. And interestingly, they sold around 800 of these even before their official launch. This only proved their popularity among the college crowd.

“This was no easy task because people weren’t aware of the concept of a virtual band. But when they understood the cause, they immediately picked up the cards. The best part was once they got the CDs and heard our music, they loved it,” adds Sai. Soon enough, their songs were available even in college cafes and stores.

Considering they are still in college, managing both studies and music has been yet another challenge. But one thing they are all sure about is completing their education.

“Music is our passion but if we go ahead and make this our profession, I feel somewhere our music will lose its charm because of the stress involved in maintaining it as a career. We are doing this for the love of music and this love helps us conquer all our difficulties,” says Jawahar.

Unarvugal is available in countries like India, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. One can listen to the album on www.unarvugal.com

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