`Desi' roots, `firangi' music

GOA HAS produced quite a handful of impressive music acts in the recent past — Remo Fernandes and Abbey (of Aye Sanam same) being the ones who have gained nationwide fame. Now, we have another artiste from Goa who is all set to make waves in the Indian music scene.

What would you call a longhaired guy who is born in Goa, is of Italian and Portugese-Goan descent and sings rock, blues and country music? Well, Oliver Sean is the answer. He began singing at the age of four, strumming the guitar at the age of eight, and began writing lyrics at the age of 11. Having secured a scholarship from his school as the most outstanding student in music, he attributes his inclination towards singing to his musical family (his late uncle Victor Alvares, was a legendary bass guitarist in Remo Fernandes' band, "The Microwave Pappadums") that gave him exposure to various facets of vocalisation and sounds. Before going solo with his debut album, I Like It (Times Music; CD-Rs. 195), Oliver was part of quite a few bands like `Knights', `India' and `Cloud 9'. But all this happened when he was in his later teens, after which he went to California and joined the Recording Institute of Technology (part of the Musicians Institute of California). Once he got a fair idea about the technicalities of music composing and mixing, and performing at the prestigious Mick Jagger Center (a platform for young musical talent), he travelled across the U.K. and India, and today owns two recording studios — one in Goa, and the other in Dubai.

Though Oliver has written, arranged and composed all the tracks in I Like It, the Oliver Sean band comprises of Oliver on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Assumption Nunes on drums and percussion, Vency Dias on bass guitars, and Prakash Naik on `tablas' and Indian percussion. The music is a concoction of rock, blues and country music. In fact, long before the album was released, the band began performing at beach concerts in Goa, and earned a lot of fan following. The lyrics in I Like It speak positively about love and happy life, and one can feel Goa running through the songs, that talk about the beach and the summer. The title track is rendered in a typical rock style, and takes a different turn, the moment the sound of the `tabla' is introduced. A very unique combination of sounds, it is amazing to hear the tabla seamlessly blending with the guitar sounds. Tonite, on the other hand, reflects a blues groove set to some impressive acoustic guitar accomplishments. Turn Around oozes with attitude and projects the naughtier side of Oliver. Nicole, comparatively, is more soothing and balladic in nature. You & Me appears in two versions, including a soft, unplugged one. On the whole, Oliver's vocals are energising and `happy', and the Indian percussion makes a lasting impression on the listener.

Oodles of attitude, energy and imagination, that's Oliver's music for you. Well, what else can we say, except, WE LIKE IT!


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