Chennai’s Band Cooum gears up for its first public concert in the city

The five-member collective is all set to showcase a setlist of original compositions, bringing together a mix of genres and beats

Published - June 25, 2024 05:46 pm IST

Band Cooum

Band Cooum | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Ellathukkume inga happy dhaan.” 

This is Deepan Fathima’s response, when asked about the choice of Band Cooum’s location for its upcoming concert — Korukkupet. “In this area, most of us do not like sad music. Our tunes, songs…everything is happy, be it for a wedding, or for death. Band Cooum’s music is happy too,” he says . 

A collective focussed on folk, Carnatic, independent, and electronic music, Band Cooum’s performance this Saturday will be its first live public concert in Chennai — a city that deeply resonates with all the members, and is a big part of its music, and ethos. The five-member band comprises singer Susha, violinist Shreya Devnath and percussionist Praveen Sparsh, who have a strong background in Carnatic music, and Deepan and ‘Rocket’ Raji(Rajendran), parai artistes who are members of the Friends Kalai Kuzhu troupe. 

“The kind of music and instruments the band will be performing with, be it the violin, mridangam, or the guitar… there hasn’t been a live music performance like this here. It is an opportunity for my people here to listen and experience this music, and we are excited about the feedback from here as well,” Deepan says.

Band Cooum debuted in 2022, at the G5A festival in Mumbai. Earlier this year, they had a private showcase in Chennai. For its first public show in the city, Band Cooum will be performing an all-original set list which blends genres and solid beats, bringing to the fore their varied journeys and experiences in music, while hoping for a fair amount of dancing from their audience.  The atmosphere is geared towards being like that of a street festival, and a performance by Deepan’s friends from Friends Kalai Kuzhu is scheduled to kickstart the concert.

“It has been a dream, to celebrate the musical diversity of this city, spanning gaana, parai, Carnatic music, and even gospel. The idea was to come together as people from different musical backgrounds, and create original compositions that truly reflect our musical identities,” says Praveen. 

“Half the excitement of being in this band is the process of creating original music together. We have all come together knowing that the focus is going to be on free, safe exploration of music with no boundaries,” says Susha. As someone who has been a part of different music collectives and bands in the past, she describes theirs, as a completely different way of working.

Band Cooum

Band Cooum | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“If I were to speak of the genres we dabble in, we come with backgrounds in Carnatic music and parai, but have also thrown in electronic music, a little bit of jazz, and a lot of emphasis on groove. We want the songs to be fun for us to perform, and for the audiences to experience,” Susha explains. 

In a performance video released by Band Cooum of its original composition ‘Drum Circle’, each member plays a percussion instrument. This includes a mridangam, konnakol, floor tom, a parai and a satti, all of which contribute to the fusion of beats that make up its nearly 11 minute-long performance. 

“Each of us have our core competence, but we double up as multi-instrumentalists. We get to explore ourselves as artistes through the eyes of other genres. We get to place ourselves in unfamiliar musical settings, and we get to see what new things the space also teaches us,” Shreya says. “The process is very free-flowing and inclusive, just by its very nature,” she says. 

Band Cooum will perform at JJ Nagar, Korukkupet on June 29, Saturday at 6.30pm. Entry is free. They are on Instagram @bandcooum

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