'To me, music is like breathing'

Passionate Spirit

'To me, music is like breathing'

He has given the world songs like O, Meri Munni and Maria Pita Che to remember him by and makes music that is enjoyed by the old and young. But there’s a side to Remo Fernandes that not too many know about.

“I have different passions in music. In 2000, I wanted to change my whole image because I’ve always wanted to do more serious, orchestral music. Unfortunately, once you’re slotted, you’re slotted,” he says. “I recorded two albums of that kind of music and the record companies said ‘fine, we’ll release it to make you happy – but please give us another Jalwa or O, Meri Munni. We aren’t allowed to evolve in the industry. That’s why I have my own recording studio now – I can make music how and when I want to,” notes Remo.

He also makes a strong statement on music piracy, stating that fans have the right to listen to music without paying through their noses for it. “Till recently, the record companies were the ones exploiting the musicians and cheating on sale figures and things. But it’s a known fact – they’re businessmen, not artistes. They are there for the love of money, not music. I’m happy to see music lovers getting the music for free rather than the fat sharks becoming fatter. I’m almost amused to see the pirates being pirated,” shares the 59-year-old.

Describing his bond with music, he says, “To me, music is like breathing. It’s not a job or career choice but a part of life. I started singing on stage when I was five. But then, that’s how it was in Goa – it was normal for kids to pick up a guitar or violin at that age.”
He informs that the ‘real Goans’, who live as per traditions, do still enjoy the good ol’ Goan music and tiatr, a form of folk theatre that incorporates music. But at the same time, it’s a pity to see the youth moving towards English music and electronica and losing touch with their roots. “When I was a college student in Goa, I was exposed to the music that European hippies of that time brought in – they were nature loving and had natural instruments like bongos and flutes, which went with the Goa vibe. When the DJs started coming in, I felt sad because that music is the daughter of stress in the West. They were neo-hippies, experimenting with new kinds of drugs and new kinds of music. It felt bad to see it being brought under the palm trees and skies of stress-free Goa,” he notes.
What’s been keeping him busy of late? “I have stopped doing playback and will only do it as a music director. I did two songs for David and the title track for Luv U Soniyo. I’m also re-recording my very first album, Goan Crazy, which was recorded in 1983 on a four-track cassette recorder. Back then, it was of very basic quality and I wasn’t experienced with recording,” he sums up.

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