Wearing many hats

Wearing many hats

All that jazz

Wearing many hats

From jazz, pop and acoustic, singer/songwriter Heather Andrews has been owning the indie-music world for a while now. A former sound engineer in London, her tryst with India was in 2005 when she started working on a film about the country.

She visited India several times later and after her debut album, she moved to New Delhi to take up voluntary work. There, she met many musicians and shows with them before settling down in New Delhi in 2014. She says, “I’ve improved as a musician ever since I came to India. I’ve been able to collaborate with many excellent artistes. It has expanded my horizons. Though I don’t think that my jazz music has any obvious Indian music elements in it, performing and writing music with musicians who’ve studied Indian classical music has deepened my understanding, creativity and sense of rhythm.”

She performed to a packed house with her band, ‘Heather Andrews and the Jazz Cats’, recently at Windmills Craftsworks. The ease in her voice, the crisp melodies and her stunning presence had the audience in rapt attention. With Carl Clements on the saxophone and flute, Karim Ellaboudi on keys, Dee Wood on bass guitar and Benny Soans on drums; the band’s cutting-edge music left the audience spellbound.

“The jazz scene is quite a small-scale one but comprises a highly skilled and talented group of musicians. The audience for jazz is growing here. I feel a lot of people enjoy jazz music but have not been exposed to it much. I feel very honoured to be playing with these world class musicians — Karim, D, Benny and Carl.”

But it’s not just the ‘jazz hat’ that she proudly wears, she is also part of an electro-pop group with Suprateek Chatterjee. She met Chatterjee at a music festival in Rajasthan. She recalls, “We were both performing there and I fell off a giant seesaw. That’s how we became friends and soon decided to try making electronic music together. It was a new genre for both of us and we found that it worked. Thus ‘Hologram 28’ was born.”

Heather’s enthusiasm in music doesn’t stop here. She has also teamed up with singer Sarthak Mudgal and is part of the acoustic team, ‘Mudrews’. ‘Mudrews’ has taken her to the space of experimental, melodic music. Sarthak and Heather form a duo that performs melodic, experimental covers of pop songs and original material. Fresh in technique and craft, the rhythms are exciting as they bring originality to some of the songs.

She adds, “I’ve always had an eclectic taste and get bored singing the same type of songs. I like to stretch myself and put on different sounds to reflect different sides of my personality. It keeps music fresh for me. I’m always learning.”