Thaikkudam Bridge transcends genres

Thaikkudam Bridge transcends genres

Thaikkudam Bridge is known for its high-energy live acts.

Their refusal to be tied down by genres or languages has obviously not impacted hit-making machine Thaikkudam Bridge. Formed in 2013 in Kerala and named after the bridge where the band members first met, the band sent listeners into a tizzy with debut jam song ‘Nostalgia’ before smashing all social media records with cult hit ‘Fish Rock’. 

Before a much-awaited performance in the city, members Mithun Raju and Govind Menon spoke to Rajitha Menon about how different styles come together in a Thaikkudam Bridge song.

Why do you have such a big band? 

Govind: We are a multi-genre, multi-lingual band. Our core melodies are in different genres. If one person is less, one genre goes.  

Mithun: Each singer has expertise in a different genre. Krishna Bongane and Nila Madhav Mohapatra are trained Hindustani singers, Vipin Lal has a Carnatic and film music influence, uncle (Peethambaran Menon) sings more of folk tunes while Anish Krishna has a rock influence. The instrumental sound of the band remains more or less the same, it’s these singers who change the genres.

What is the process of song creation in your band like?

Mithun: When it comes to original compositions, everyone follows different processes; it is not always initiated by one person. A musical idea will be presented to other members only after it has reached an advanced stage. This won’t have a fixed lyrical theme though. We work on most of such original ideas that come from members, we haven’t rejected anything till date. 

What is the common element in different  Thaikkudam songs?

Mithun: The instrumental section. Guitar, violin, drums, keyboard, bass — these will have a presence in all our songs. Depending on the genre, we have additional instruments like chenda. 

Favourite song of the band?

Mithun: That will be a difficult choice to make but the song which received tremendous critical acclaim was the title track of our debut album ‘Navarasam’ and ‘Khwaab’. However, my personal favourite is ‘Chathe’.

Why the focus on videos?

Mithun: The crowd support for independent music in India is still very less, compared to the fan following film music has. There’s nothing wrong with film music; we started off our career with covers which brought us recognition. But even now, the response we get for a film cover and what we see for an original composition is very different. We feel supporting visuals for a song greatly amplifies its impact and grabs eyeballs on sites like YouTube. Also, there is an artistic satisfaction in creating videos so far removed from the usual hip hop or rap stuff.

When not composing music...

Mithun: We are all full-time musicians so our work and hobby is both music. Quite a lot of us are part of the film music industry. And frankly, we are getting some free time only now. So usually we don’t spend time together when not doing shows unless it is for a practice session. 

Thoughts about Bengaluru...

Mithun: I guess this is a city where we have had maximum performances. The crowd here is very special. For a show to be successful, crowd interaction is very necessary. If it’s a dull crowd, we are just like ‘Let’s get this over with’; never has that happened here. 

How has the exit of Siddhart impacted the band?

Govind: He sang Malayalam film songs as well as ‘One’ in Navarasam. Christin Jose is doing this song these days while we don’t sing the other songs right now.  

Tell us about your second album ‘Namah’?

Govind: It’s a tribute album and very different from the first one; we wanted it to be that way. We have got nine international artistes on board. With their inputs, it has become more global. 

What were the challenges?

Govind: The main thing was contacting them and getting a reply. And then producing music of their standard, impressing them so that they come to play with us.

 

All praises

The original track ‘Navarasam’, by Thaikkudam Bridge earned praise and appreciation from AR Rahman and Kamal Haasan.

 

On goof-ups

“We keep making mistakes in almost all our shows. From my violin strings breaking (which is invariable) to someone forgetting lines , it’s all common. Thankfully, everyone knows these songs like the back of their hand. So if one person doesn’t play for whatever reason, someone else covers up for him,” says Govind.

 

On board

One of their big budget projects ‘Aarachar’, featuring Aditi Rao Hydari, was directed by Bejoy Nambiar of ‘Shaitan’ and ‘Wazir’ fame. 

 

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