When old melodies get a jazzy twist

When old melodies get a jazzy twist

How would old melodies like Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si, Aaja sanam, Dil deke dekho and Intehaan ho gai sound, when blended with jazzy tunes of flute, cello and drums? 

Terming it as ‘Bolly Jazz’, Nikhil Mawkin of Red Mawkin productions says that it was an idea that was invented to “lead one away from the regular remixes of the old classic tunes to come out with something different.”

While peppy renditions of these songs have been previously made by bands like Penn Masala, their Bolly jazz version is like a ‘reprise’ of Bollywood songs with fun and foot-tapping jazz music. With melodies remaining the same, the genre plays with the arrangements and structures around it. 

“Late 90’s and early 2000’s had a lot of heavily beat electronically induced remixes. 

As frequently as they were being played, it got frustrating to listen to them,” Mawkin tells Metrolife. 

They currently play at The Piano Man Jazz Club, and have also performed in several fests, popular pubs and “boring” weddings as Mawkin terms them. Last year, they also performed Mexico in collaboration with a few Mexican musicians with the help of Nathalie their mexican flautist. 

But, why did they choose to blend Bollywood and jazz?
 “The interest was growing in jazz, and so we decided to experiment with some traditional jazz elements while keeping the original melodies as intact as possible,” says Mawkin.

Explaining the techniques that go into creating music for the genre and what tracks to choose, he explains, “We only choose melodies that we can deliver or we appreciate. With that melody, we then try to find the best chords and see what rhythmic ideas may fit the situation, so that the melody is then delivered differently.”

They struggle in the music scene like every other independent musician. They have a YouTube channel with views on their videos ranging between 1,000 and 2,500. Mawkin says that the lack of enough space to connect with a true listening audience is what they require.

“Financially speaking, good money is only in weddings and corporate shows, which are not soul satisfying. But the main struggle is with the assumptions of what we do. For us, Piano Man... is the only venue which asks and requests audience to be patient, quiet and listen to the music,” he enumerates. 

His explains that cafes and restaurants in Delhi are proving to be an effective platform for budding musicians like Mawkin and his team to reach out to larger audience. 

Ask him on how they plan to move ahead and he says, “We are hoping to generate more interest through our live shows. After a series of successful shows in 2015, we could now use funding. 

But we have not come across an investor who would truly understand what we are doing.”