At first, there was the jukebox. You chose the song you liked from a menu and for a small fee, you could swing along happily as it blared from the machine. Now, there are the Jukeboxers.
The process works much the same: you choose a tune you like from a music menu and request it. Except, Carlton Braganza and Venkat Subramaniyam will sing it for you.
After successfully staging similar events in other cities, Braganza and Subramaniyam, co-founders of Opus, a live music and karaoke venue in Bangalore, are bringing their popular format of live singing to Mumbai.
Starting next week, Olive in Mahalaxmi will host the Opus Jukeboxers once a week. Every Wednesday, you will be able to choose from a music menu that spans several decades. “But in place of a machine, there will be live singing,” says Braganza.
The idea to have an open mic night such as this one stemmed from the experimental nights that are regularly conducted at Opus, says Braganza.
So far, the Jukeboxers have performed in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. Braganza says the response to their Chennai gig was particularly memorable. “We played a crazy set,” he says. “It lasted close to three hours and there were 700 or 800 people.”
Carlton says that while they prefer to sing oldies from the ’40s and rock ‘n’ roll, they are also open to Lady Gaga requests. “We are not discriminating,” he says, laughing. However, he adds that they “discourage too many requests” for numbers by the sartorially challenged singer. “We’re quite vocal about what we like and don’t like,” Braganza says.
Through their Mumbai gigs, the duo also hopes to hone some local talent. “We will invite singers to jam with us,” says Braganza. “One of the intents behind this is to build a database of fresh talent in Mumbai.”