Creating a new age sound

The multi-faceted Thomson Andrews talks about his band and his foray into Bollywood

February 28, 2017 03:06 pm | Updated 03:06 pm IST



Showcasing influences of two rich South Indian cultures, Thomson Andrews has made a mark in the music industry in various roles in different languages. Thomson started his career with A.R. Rahman and recently dubbed for Pritam in Raees and sung additional vocals for Rangoon .

Certified by Trinity College of Music, London as a performing vocalist and trained briefly in Hindustani Classical singing by Pandit Krishna Bhat, the artist who released his debut single with his band SPUNQX describes his journey as a “blessed and learning experience”. Talking about the band, Thomson says, it happened when few of his professional musician friends and he got together to jam a few funk songs as they have common interest in music. “We have all worked together in several Bollywood band set ups and occasionally toured together, too. We composed a few original tracks of which ‘Drink Up’ was our debut song which we dubbed in Mumbai, mixed and mastered in Berlin by Shane Gunn and shot the video showcasing Mumbai in our single. It is beautifully directed by Los Angeles-based cinematographer Stephen Shadrach. We decided the name SPUNQX as our music is funky, soulful with a spunky element of new age sounds and elements.”

Thomson debut in films began with working on projects and singing for Rahman, a thought which initially overwhelmed him. “When this turned into reality, I was actually pretty calm and wasn’t nervous at all. Right from the very first time, till present, I have been blessed to have sung for the maestro on several of his notable film projects, award shows, and even his International Album ‘Super Heavy’ as an additional vocalist. It has truly been a humbling and learning experience for me.”

The recent movies Raees and Rangoon too gave an opportunity to Thomson. “ Raees happened when Pritam da wanted a few of us singers to get into a studio and dub vocal parts for the background score of Raees . It was fun as usual and Dada always loves experimenting with interesting melodies and vocal arrangements.” In Rangoon, he sang additional vocals on a song sung by Rekha Bhardwaj. “I love Vishalji’s compositions and his films, hence this was yet another interesting project to be associated with. The film and music are brilliant.”

Having sung in MTV Coke Studio and MTV Unplugged, Thomson finds the experience different from that of singing in a studio. “Studio sessions are often challenging, however, the comfort of a studio and being able to correct takes and re-sing in a studio is far more feasible and possible than MTV Coke Studio and Unplugged musical projects. These have a television format wherein the songs are rehearsed and shot live and at times either pre-dubbed or post produced beyond the shoot audio, hence, giving it a room for more musical enhancements on a later stage before its final aired version. However, syncing any corrections with what and how a musical piece was shot on sets has a challenge of its own...hence both are equally fun for me.”


Game for performing in different languages and genres, Thomson looks forward to several assignments this year. “My debut international Pop-Funk single, ‘I Got Your Money’, shot and picturised in Los Angeles, is due in March. I’ve lent vocals to upcoming Bollywood projects like Jagga Jasoos . I am also working with Chennai composers on few of their songs in South Indian films post my new Tamil song ‘Un Parvaayil’ from the film Nisabdham which has received a great response from audiences and media . My Gujarati debut playback song ‘Mataji Ni Railgaadi’ from the film Bhanvar is due to release soon, too. I’ve dubbed for a few upcoming Disney international films due to release soon. I’m off to London next month to work on my debut Hindi single to be conceptualized and shot in the UK soon with some very prominent film directors from the UK.” That’s a long list. “Yes. I’m pretty nervous and excited about a lot that 2017 has in store for me,” remarks Thomson.

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