They don’t need any fancy drum kits, electric guitars or huge amplifiers. The only instruments these musicians use to create music are their vocal chords. The six-member Voctronica, India’s first all-vocal ensemble, had the audience hanging on to their every word, as they performed at the Hindustan Time Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Friday.
The youngsters beat-boxed and enthralled the crowd at the Cross Maidan, with their versions of Ain’t no Sunshine, Teardrop, Humma Humma and even a few Amit Trivedi songs.
Breaking into an impromptu jig, they asked the crowd for words and created harmonies around them.
The audience shouted and clapped along as they did a mash-up of the 1990s advertisement jingles.
The talented six — Raj Verma, 19, Clyde Rodrigues, 21, Arjun Nair 27, Meghana Bhogle, 25, Warsha Easwar, 26, and Avinash Tewari, 24 — came together more than year ago as the new faces of Voctronica. They recently performed at the NH7 and Celebrate Bandra festival.
Using only vocal modulation, they can emulate everything from guitars to drums to trumpets.
The group hopes Indian audiences will soon warm up to this type of music. “People are still getting used to our style, as the sound is actually coming from a human. It’s a novelty factor,” said Arjun.
A mix of students, musicians and even a psychologist, the band hopes to carve a niche for itself in the Indian music scene. “We may be doing covers right now, but it’s just so to get people to recognise our work. All our arrangements are different though, so all songs have our original stamp,” he said.
With such raw talent, the team’s manager, Sushil Chuggani, has big plans. “YouTube and maybe Bollywood as well,” he said.
Those attending the event, organised as part of the Pepe Jeans music section of the festival, were surprised and awed by the talented group. “I heard them for the first time and they were great. If they come out with an original album, I will definitely buy it,” said Srushti Karale, 16, a student from Thane.
And it wasn’t just the youngsters. Sixty-two-year-old Jaya Nair, who had come for the festival with her husband, loved the group and its music as well. “They were great as a live act. But only people who understand music will really like them,” she said.