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Updated: December 14, 2011 21:09 IST

The singer who tries not to write about love

Madhavi Shivaprasad
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Anything for a song: Singer Slow Joe performing with the French band Ginger Accident. Photo: Ashwini. N
The Hindu Anything for a song: Singer Slow Joe performing with the French band Ginger Accident. Photo: Ashwini. N

Slow Joe on the universality of music and how he accidentally became a member of Ginger Accident

“I don't think there's a specific style in my singing. I just sing. Music is not something that you can put a stamp on. It flows out of you,” says singer Slow Joe, who performed with his band, Ginger Accident, at a concert held recently in the city.

The event was organised in collaboration with Alliance Francaise de Bangalore.

From Goa to France

Joe who has been performing on stage with Ginger Accident for the last two years, lives in France. Originally from Goa, he met French musician and lead guitarist of Ginger Accident, Cedric de la Chapelle, in 2007.

“Our meeting was accidental. He was playing a guitar that was three feet in breadth with just four strings, with so much expertise. I'd never seen anything like it before,” he says.

Charmed by Joe's voice and spontaneity, Cedric decided to take a recording of Joe's voice back home. Joe met the rest of the band only in 2009, when he went to Rennes for his first official live performance with the band.

“I have ginger hair, and we all met by accident. This is how the band got its name,” says Cedric.

Destined to sing

While meeting Cedric might have been a matter of chance, his foray into music definitely was not. He calls himself a ‘born singer'. Even as a teenager, Joe says, he performed at the nightclubs of Mumbai. “I used to sing for the joy of it, rather than the money,” he says.

Lyrics

Joe writes his own songs, mostly poems, and composes them in collaboration with Ginger Accident which comprises band members Cédric (guitar), Alexis Morel (bass), Denis Troufleau (keyboards) and Josselin Varengo (drums).

“Most of my poems are about love, but I'm trying to write differently now,” muses Joe. Ask him what his preferred genre is, and he says, “I sing all kinds of songs — rock and roll, jazz, blues — but I cannot stand rap!”

Playlist

At the show, they performed songs like, ‘Sunny Side Up' from their debut album. A natural on stage, Joe interspersed his singing with frequent interaction with his audience. He even sang the rather melancholic, retro song composed by Shankar Jaikishan, ‘Ab kahaan jayein hum', from the Hindi film Ujala.

No boundaries

With his signature black hat and white suit, Joe was completely at ease with the Bangalore crowd. When asked about the response to his performance, Joe said that, so far, the response has been really good. “The country may be new, the city may be different, but people and music do not really change. We're all human beings connected by a common thread.”

Keywords: Ginger Accident

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