I created a space for aspiring artistes: Perry Menzies

Built with the hope of creating a space that allows you to get away from the chaos of the city, ‘Urban Solace’ is a quaint cafe located near Ulsoor Lake.

Built with the hope of creating a space that allows you to get away from the chaos of the city, ‘Urban Solace’ is a quaint cafe located near Ulsoor Lake.

Over the years, it has come to be a haven for the artistic community. As the cafe completes 10 years, Metrolife caught up with its founder, Perry Menzies.

What motivated you to start ‘Urban Solace’?

I was running an advertising agency at the time, but I wanted something different. I went on a trip to America around that time and the idea just came to me. It was a gift, I believe. 

What were some of the challenges that you faced?

When we started, we were the first to provide such a platform. People didn’t really understand what we were doing. We were fortunate enough to be the place where some of the biggest comedians like Kannan Gill, Biswas Kalyan Nath, and Kenny Sebastian started out. Now we have artists from all over the country and sometimes, even abroad, coming in to perform.  

Is there anything that you would have done differently now?

No. I am a very spiritual person. I believe that every interaction, every idea is serendipitous. It was meant to be a space for aspiring artistes and people to express themselves unabashedly, and that is exactly what it became. 

What changes have you observed within the artistic community?

Sadly, newer artistes are not as connected to the spirit of art. They want a platform and they expect to be paid. We make sure that they get an audience and their work is acknowledged, but it is always about money. 

What keeps you going?

We have been able to provide so many aspiring artistes with the chance to put themselves out there. I do it for the love of what I do.

Anniversary celebrations 

An event was held on Saturday at the cafe to commemorate Urban Solace’s 10 year anniversary. The event saw Suresh Jayaram, the founder of 1Shanthiroad Studio give the keynote address. He spoke about how the cafe had grown to be a place where he could come to collect his thoughts. “I see a lot of similarities between my studio and this cafe. In a city where it is all about real estate, it’s a blessing in disguise to have a space like this where you can pause, reflect, have conversations and indulge in culture,” he said. 

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