Crossover platform

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Passing by Musician Kem Brian said he took Kolaveri and added lyrics and changed it around a little and gave it a reggae style to the delight of the audience

A new soundThat is what Brian is looking forPhoto: Bhagya Prakash K.
A new soundThat is what Brian is looking forPhoto: Bhagya Prakash K.

It made no sense; Kem Brian is a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine by education and sings reggae by profession. “I have been singing since the age of 15,” said the musician who is now 35 years old and was in India for a performance with his band Roots Of Rhythm.

“It was an interesting crowd and a great experience,” says Brian as he explains, “We are working on a single and we want it to be multicultural in terms of production and music. Testing our music on Indian ground was very important. Our music is not only about African rhythm but also Western rhythm and Indian sounds. We took Kolaveri and added our own lyrics and changed it around a little and gave it a reggae style and the crowd loved it,” says Brian.

“Our music works well in Africa and the West, but the idea was to be an African band that is able to perform on any stage while keeping a style and originality of it’s own,” he says, Roots Of Rhythm is a four piece unit which includes Kem Brian from Cameroon on acoustic guitar and vocals, Audrey who is also from Cameroon on shaker and vocals, Brice from the Ivory Coast on djembe and vocals and Patrick from Congo on acoustic solo guitar.

Over the years the band has experimented with various sounds and the line up has also seen several alterations, “We have had singers from Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, we have had flavours from all over. We are mostly an acoustic group but can very easily be a full fledged band.” The band is now attempting to find a new sound by fusing traditional Indian music and lively African beats, “It is a pop track called ‘The High Side Of Life’, the song has a lot of Sufi influence and tablas and some good old African energy.” The other part of their experiment is the shooting of a music video in India. “We are very interested for many reasons, the quality of videos here are good, and in terms of colours, setting, choreography it is exactly what we want and it is relatively cheaper,” he says.

They hope to launch the song by the end of the month, “After the recording in India, we will send it to the US for the mixing and mastering and we hope to launch in India. The people love our music and it is the perfect platform for a worldwide release,” he says appreciatively before concluding, “This single is just the beginning, there is a lot more in the offing.”





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