Bollywood hits, pop classics and rock anthems – all have been played in the tones of Natural Volume.
The band, made up of a group of five city college students, is one of eight bands from across the country, which played at the Channel V-organised Launchpad contest for college bands in Goa on Saturday.
Natural Volume made it to the finals of the Hindi band contest from Mumbai after beating several other local college bands in the elimination round last month. The band didn’t think they stood a chance at all in the regional eliminations for the competition.
“We were up against some really big college bands, including the winners at Mood Indigo as well as last year’s winners at this competition,” said Nevil Mehta, 20, the band’s lead singer. “So we weren’t really thinking about winning.”
The band has won in the past, including at the Mithibai College festival, Umang, the KC College festival Kiran and the Watamull College festival Decibel, among other events. “Not to be boastful or anything, but I don’t remember some of the others,” laughed Mehta. A third year student at DG Sanghvi College, Mehta and another college-mate became the nucleus of Natural Volume in 2010.
Through a series of casual meetings and chance encounters, the rest of the band came together and has been playing since, both competitively as well as casually. The members play covers of hit songs as well as their own original compositions. Between them, they have a variety of musical tastes. “I listen to everything from metal to hip hop to classical music,” said Jash Shah, 19, the band’s bass guitarist. “Basically anything that sounds good.”
On Saturday, the band played three songs, including one old Hindi film number. The rules of the contest required participants to play three songs, with a time limit of 25 minutes in all. Between making music and making it to class, it’s a hard life maintaining the balance. “We try as much as possible,” said Mehta.
“Our drummer is actually on the verge of getting debarred from giving his exams this year.”
A career in music is possible, but not necessarily practical, band members admit. “I would prefer being a full-time musician but that’s not the practical option,” said Shah.
Chaitanya Bhaidkar, 17, also a guitarist for the band is enrolled in an engineering diploma programme and is considering applying for a qualification in music once he finishes next year.