Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Avial Website Launch at Blue Frog, Mumbai

What a great start to the New Year!!! Well, preparing for this was no less than fun unlimited! Mumbai - The city that welcomed me 21 years ago as a body bathed in blood , fresh with dreams , not knowing that eventually I would never be part of it while growing! My mom always says that I and my sister were lucky to be born at B.A.R.C. for the kind of facilities it offers especially since my Granddad and mom worked there. Throughout my childhood we used to visit Granny every year and all my memories have to do with the traffic and pollution and an ice cream shop called Yankees! Now, I was returning back for a gig of Avial's to Mumbai after 10 long years!!

Nagumomu ganaleni, the evergreen composition of Saint Thyagaraja is something I've been singing since my early teens. I don't know how and when this happened but the krithi came running into my mind abruptly. And that was the exact moment when I knew I had to do this with Avial. So, when I initially discussed the idea with the team they seemed to be skeptical about it as none of them are too familiar with Indian Classical music. I did give them the confidence to experiment with it, and eventually then agreed with a big smile :)

Mumbai is super polluted minus traffic (Guess we were lucky those 3 days!). All of us went for a radio byte to Radio Mirchi 98.3 soon after lunch only to be entertained by the RJ himself! The poor guy who was trying all tactics to make us feel at home was quite surprised to learn despite us being rock musicians, happen to be so silent and subtle in behavior! It's quite a common notion that rock musicians are cool people who talk cool, walk cool, speak cool... but it's not so. In fact, there are many times when I saw youngsters come up to the band members, showing them a 'yo' and they speak words that are considered to be abusive in the dictionary. Anyhow, after the Radio session I had an amazing master class with Rex and Binny who were playing their guitars. Quite interestingly I got to see how the scale changes can be easily understood with certain techniques that are also practiced in Indian Classical system.

Sound check was a bummer in the beginning as the guitar levels were too low and the drums were too high and there was no feedback, etc. With a lot of testing and playing on the stage, eventually got to a point where everyone was content with the sounding. We got back to the hotel for a quick bite and then off to Blue Frog. I was quite surprised to see the kind of artists who perform there. These are the times when I count my blessings. Susheela Raman, Talwin Singh and the likes were the ones who were performing in the days to come. Talwinji for present for our concert. A very jolly human being who was 24/7 praising each and every member of the band.

Ehsaan Noorani inaugurated the concert and sat throughout. The gig opened with 2 acoustic versions of Aanakallan and Kaithola and continued with 'Ayyo', the new song. People went literally berserk every time Tony would speak. I was all skeptical about Nagumo because I was attempting Carnatic after a gap of 1.5 years on stage! Also, the audience was rock oriented, but there were hopes of them accepting it. It was a huge success and I really need to thank God for giving me the power to sing like that! At the end of it all, Chekele was the most-in-demand song and was played again on the stage only that this time; the crowd was singing it :)

So all's well that ends well. It was a fantastic gig, thanks to Mumbaikers and Blue Frog was making it look and sound so pretty. You can take a look at the website here :

You can have a look at the other pics HERE.


Joji said...

What a great start to the New Year.. Congrats.. Really glad that you are a part of the avial band. Why dont u upload some avial videos too..

Neha Sasikumar said...

Thanks Joji.. shall upload soon :)

-=J.V=- said...

hey i have become abig fan of urs !!!

luking at the strain u does to give the color for the expressions inside the music !!! WOW .. its just beautiful... i was searching for u everywhere, facebook twitter etc.. atlast i googled u here :) .. todo lo mejor amigo..


Neha Sasikumar said...

Thanks JV

-=J.V=- said...

yesterday i downloaded parayaan maranna paribhavangal from youtube.. its also great.. mm..
one small wish.. will you sing the song kunni mani cheppu(pon mutta idunna thaaraavu) & mandara cheppundo ?
at any occation you are goin to sing next.. :).. i would love to hear.. n there are some more..
ellam paranju budhimuttikkunnilla... believe these are simple for you.. but pls give these a try..

Vinod said...

Hello Neha,

Firstly, you took me by surprise with the jazzy Poo pookam oosai!. If you guys jammed that improv, that's awesome!. Needless to say how Rockford found its way into the antara.

I am an amateur musician based in the US. I've been listening to your songs on YouTube. From whom are you learning Hindustani music? Is there anyway I can collaborate with you and other musicians you work with?

I maintain a collection of my compositions at When you can grab some time, do take a look. I'd love to work with you and your team. Keep singing!


കുട്ടന്‍ said...

some where something missing in your parayan maranna... i donno

etho varmukilin was good.
nice feel....

expecting a lot from you..
go on .. all the best..
nd happy to hear that u joind n avial....

Anonymous said...

hi Neha,

Happy New year!!
and end result comes across very polished and professional. You should be proud being a part of a professional BAND:)

Congratulations to Avial and their new website for “creative Improvisations”

Neha Sasikumar said...

JV - Will consider them..thanks :)

Vinod - Would love to collaborate with you. I am currently learning Hindustani under Prof. Keskar

Thanks Kuttan & Anonymous

Vinod said...

Are you comfortable singing Hindi? I am composing for a song now. How about I send the minus track and a track with how I want it sung? Would you be interested in trying it out? You can contact me at

-=J.V=- said...

thnx..for tellin dat u'll consider :) ..
oru samshayam chodichotte ?
RHCP style aanu avial nte music style ennu paranjal athu thettano ? any of them inspired by them ?

Vinod said...

Miss Neha,

A malayalam song is ready for you to sing. Would you be interested in singing? I just compose for fun and share my work with friends on facebook. My friends and I would love to hear you sing this song before you become a celebrity! :) Game?

Neha Sasikumar said...

Vinod : Regarding work, pls mail me to

JV : What is RHCP ?

-=J.V=- said...

rhcp - red hot chilli peppers
they are a band.. google em..

Ilavarasan said...

Hi Neha . . I had bought a new phone and asked my cousin to send me a video and he sent me your video Etho Varmukilin . Need to tell it was really beautiful . I am from bangalore I don't understand Malayalam , But really liked your song not sure how many times i heard it over n over again . I have forwarded the video to lot of my friends .

After chinmay i guess your singing really got my attention you seem really very promising

All the best for your career .

Neha Sasikumar said...

JV - I know them

Ilavarasan - Thank you so much :)

-=J.V=- said...

arinjondaano ? appo ete choyathinu marupadi kittiyillaaaa.. ? have u felt the same ?

Rahul Menon said...

The good one.. Nice work Neha.. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi neha ! i'm antony, can you provide a link to download your nagumo song ! I like it very much !!

Thaslim said...

ഹായ് ..നേഹ ..നിങ്ങളുടെ പാട്ടുകള്‍ എനിക്ക് വളരെ അധികം ഇഷ്ടമാണ് .നല്ല പാട്ടുകള്‍ ഇനിയും ആ കണ്ഠത്തില്‍ നിന്നും ഇനിയും ജനിക്കട്ടെ ......