Bengalureans in final of John Lennon Songwriting Contest

April 10, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:31 am IST - Bengaluru:

Two of the city’s independent musicians — Grammy winner Ricky Kej and music teacher Sandeep Boniface — are among the three finalists of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (JLSC), New York, in the World Music category. The contest was started by Yoko Ono nearly two decades ago. It received thousands of entries for 12 categories of music from around the world.

Mr. Boniface is a composer, vocalist and plays the keyboard. He teaches music at the Canadian International School. He was selected for his composition Moments of Bliss, a four-minute video filmed at Devanahalli just after the rains, while Mr. Kej made it for his song in the album Shanti Samsara.

Moments of Bliss is about a young village girl who wants to enjoy the simple things that nature offers. It has world music with a domination of flute and piano. “My recognition at the contest will help me reach out to a global audience,” said Mr. Boniface. “I was baffled to learn that I was there among the finalists along with Ricky Kej..”

Mr. Boniface grew up in Bengaluru and graduated in commerce from St Joseph’s College. “As a 10-year-old, I was the youngest keyboardist in my church choir. I am a great fan of The Beatles and Bee Gees,” he says. As a vocalist, the 36-year-old is influenced by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Shunning a seat at Berkeley College and offers from Leslie Louis of Colonial Cousins to be a part of Bollywood, Sandeep enjoys his weekly band sessions apart from producing music for radio, films, and TV commercials. He has served as a music consultant to Nimhans.

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