The SAM Collective, Swarnabhoomi's new band, will give you a storytelling experience

The initiative is also a means to provide additional exposure and experience to the students
The band says listening to them sing feels like a storytelling experience
The band says listening to them sing feels like a storytelling experience

There's a new band in town! The SAM Collective, an initiative by Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music recently had its debut show at Unwind Center, Chennai. Here is a break from mainstream pop to some good old jazz and R & B. The SAM Collective is a band formed by the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music to showcase the talents of their students. What's unique about their music is that the experience is like listening to a story. The initiative is also a means to provide additional exposure and experience to the students. Excerpts from a conversation with Abhishek Singh Rathore, Joyson Castelino,Anand Narayanan, Shikar Shrivastav, Joyson Castelino, Anand Narayanan, and Shikar Shrivastav on Vocals; Shaurya Mehta, Rishav Agarwal, Akarsh Mantri and Saachi Mendon on Guitar; Tanmay Patil and Deepvijay Parmar on Drums; Ananda-Dhar-James on guitar and Bass; Robin Ashish on Guitar and voice; and Aniket Thyagarajan on bass.

How do you feel before your debut concert?

Very excited, because we’ve been waiting for a while to do this now, the venue is really great. The sound’s really good and we’re quite pumped about all this. It’s our first performance in Chennai. We think that it’s a good exposure for us.

How has your experience at SAM helped shape your music?

The faculty is outstanding and we get really good exposure because of their international backgrounds. So we get exposure to all kinds of music and right now we are focusing on jazz though it’s not our main focus. We also play other genres like ensembles. It's a great opportunity. Also, being in an environment with a lot of musicians around you helps you create your music. All the time, I mean 24 hours you are surrounded by music and away from all the distractions and everything is on point. You can practice and have really good company and a really good atmosphere. 

Do you play originals or covers?

We do both. It’s been fun, like using whatever we’ve learnt in class to see if we've incorporated it.  

What are your original songs about?

Our songs are more like a storytelling experience. It's open to interpretation and focuses on people listening to it and relating to it through their own experiences. We write because we want them to feel the impact of the song and relate it to certain instances in their life where they either felt really low or are really happy. We want them to feel the music.

What would you say is unique about your music?

A lot of our songs like Still got the blues, Layla, Crazy little thing called love, Sunny etc. have been performed for over 40 to 50 years now, but we have improvised them to add our own flavour. The other unique aspect is the range of music. We are as diverse as we can be and at the same point, there is a similarity in all of them. 

What are your future plans for this band?

That depends because we might go our own ways after we're done with our course. But the student band will stay even after us, with new students and new music.

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