Aarohi, a band of non-professional musicians, sings Bollywood songs from 60s to 80s. Vipasha Sinha reports
It all started after the demise of actor Rajesh Khanna. Sudeep Sangameswaran, who often jammed with friends, discussed the idea of organising a tribute concert with a friend, who had worked with the late actor as a producer. Within days he had a group of non-professional singers forming Aarohi.
The band has members who love to listen and sing Retro music, especially from Bollywood. “We have people from all walks of life. Soon after I had discussed the idea of giving a tribute to the legend with another friend, we had people recommending names and the band was formed. We all love retro music and the idea behind forming the band was to relish the golden era of Hindi music. There are many who sing Tamil songs, but there is niche audience for Hindi music,” says Sudeep.
The band comprises of Bala, Chandan Da, Harishankar Mani, Ravi Menon, Sudeep Sangameswaran, Surender Menon, Prashanti Suresh, Priya Sabu, Renu Akileswaran, Sudha Sudeep and Vidhya Srinivasan. They started by playing karaoke at private events. “We have some interesting performances. We did a show at Boat Club where we sang all the songs picturised on a boat. We also had an event where we sang rain songs,” says Harishankar, who is a lawyer by profession.
Now the band has taken the challenge to another level by performing with live orchestra at Russian Culture Centre at Vinatge Classics, an event dedicated to 100 years of cinema. Performing along with them was Bharti Entertainers, an orchestra led by Pioneer Suresh, who has worked with top musicians of the country.
“I knew they had it in them when I heard them for the first time. Though they are not professionals, they sound like one. They are passionate about music and are willing to learn. I have plans to take the band international,” says Suresh.
The event saw songs from 50s, 60s and 70s. “We selected songs that are soulful but not very popular. We had songs sung by Manna Dey, Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt, Talat Mahmood, Mukesh, Hemant, Kishore Kumar and composed by greats like SD Burman, Salil Choudhary, Roshan, Madan Mohan, Naushad, O.P. Nayyar, Shankar-Jaikishan, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Most songs were in Hindi but we also performed classics from other languages,” says Vidya, who adds that the band has been regularly practicing for the past one month.
The band is raising funds for rehabilitation of Karunai Illam, a home for diferently abled children in Madambakkam, near Tambaram.
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