We want to get into Bollywood

We want to get into Bollywood

first_imgRemember the movie American Desi? And even more specifically the song Aap Jaisa Koi that had a boy crooning the lyrics of the hit Bolly number with a spectacular acapella touch to it?We are talking about Penn Masala — the acapella band from the University of Pennsylvania that has music lovers paying them good attention as they render interesting mash-ups of Bollywood and international songs with their own signature touch. And guess what, they are on their second India tour and their last stop is Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Talking history, Penn Masala was started by four students in 1996 in the university. The inspiration came from the eclectic mix of music these students grew up on. Bollywood, south Asian tracks and influences merged with international strains and found place in acapella sounds, and there was Penn Masala, says current president Sam Levenson.What started in 1996 and found shape through seven albums (Awaaz, 11 PM Soundcheck, The Brown Album, Pehchaan, On Detours, Panoramic Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix and the compilation album Out of Stock) that included some strong original compositions is now in its 13th year and counting. Every year, singers graduate and new talent is brought in. Levenson joined Penn Masala in 2009 as a fresher and is now in his senior year and as he says — there is no looking back.And do the alumni ever come together? Of course they do, says Levenson. Every fall the old students come together to pass on the Penn Masala history to the freshers, and there are informal meets around the year. Once singers graduate, they get busy with the non-musical part of their careers, adds Levenson, but they are always there to support the team. Speaking about the alumni, Levenson points out that quite a few old Penn Masala members are in Delhi and they are all coming in for the 11 January performance. Back in India after 2009, Penn Masala has already performed in Mumbai and Pune, there are two more cities on the cards before Delhi becomes the last stop on this tour. While Mumbai had almost 700 people attending their show, Pune was more fun, says Levenson. The crowd, the ambience, the vibe and the sound system was wonderful, he points out. ‘Delhi gave us an energetic crowd three years back and we expect a big show this time around as well,’ he adds.So what is their modus operandi this time around? They have tied up with Teach for India campaign and have already given a few schools a taste of their music skills and they hope to extend the collaboration over this year working on mutual promotions and fund-raising events. Penn Masala is also hoping to tie up with media houses like they did last year to create an Independance Day music video on Maa Tujhe Salaam. They have also started work on their music video. And the icing on 2013 is their eighth album that is all set for a March release.What next for the band? Bollywood, pat comes the reply. ‘We want to work with artistes who have inspired the Penn Masala kind of music,’ says Levenson. DETAILAt: Hard Rock Café, DLF Saket When: 11 January Timings: 9 pm onwardsEntry: Rs 1,500last_img


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