Gear up for this teen music festival

  • Manali Shah, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 14, 2016 18:45 IST
The Raghu Dixit Project is set to perform at Totem Pole.

“My brain is 80 per cent song lyrics,” goes a popular one-liner on the internet. In the case of teenagers, that probably holds all the more true. While the city is witnessing a music festival every other weekend, an event dedicated to teenagers is now set to take place. Bands like The Raghu Dixit Project, Dharavi Rocks, singer Manasi Scott, and international names like Kefaya (world fusion band from the UK), Navid AKA B-boy Spaghetti (of Normay’s Got Talent fame), are set to perform.

“The idea stemmed from our children (ages 11 and 13) themselves. They love music. In fact, I have been exposed to a lot of global music like Maroon 5 and Swedish House Mafia, through them,” says Ashish Manchanda, promoter of Totem Pole and founder of Flying Carpet Productions, an audio engineering company. “They crave to see live performances, but it’s generally not possible, because the environments they are conducted in are very adult-centric.”

Manchanda feels it is essential for children to be exposed to musical events for their growth. “However, it needs to be done in an atmosphere that is conducive for their age,” he says. At this festival, families are welcome to accompany the teenagers, and the line-up is curated to include performances that can be enjoyed by all age groups. “We have also kept a healthy mix of domestic and international artistes so the young people get a flavour of music across genres and cultures.”

Dharavi Rocks is also one of the bands in t he line up. (Photo: Vijayanand Gupta / Hindustan Times)

Musician Raghu Dixit says that their set will be a fun mix of old and new songs. “We are going to play some brand new songs that Mumbai has never heard before in our set. That apart, our band has now grown and includes a horn section. Considering the new members in the band are practically teenagers, I think our show will appeal a lot to the young audience.”

Interestingly, there is only one DJ — Illusion Point — in Totem Pole’s line-up, which is unusual given that EDM (electronic dance music) is ruling the live music space in the city. It was a conscious decision, says Manchanda. “We made sure we did not focus on DJing for two reasons: we want to focus on performances and encourage live acts and, secondly, DJ acts are available everywhere.”

Apart from performances, seminars and workshops are also lined up. While Navid will hold a beat boxing workshop, Kefaya will introduce kids to jazz. “The genre is normally associated with older audiences, people have no idea that there can be interesting jazz music for kids,” says Manchanda.

A competition, Top of the Pole, will see budding school bands stand a chance to get a break. Judged by Manchanda, fashion photographer Jatin Kampani and drummer Ranjit Barot, the winning band will get their first EP (Extended Play) produced by professionals. A music video directed by Blake Farber (who has directed videos for Beyoncé), is also on the cards.

Don’t Miss

What: Totem Pole will be held from January 15 to 17.

Where: Courtyard, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel

Call: 4333 9939


photo: yogen shah

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