Looks like Hyderabad just can’t stop growing. It has been changing for the better from all the sides and art, especially, is taking a very effervescent turn. Jack and Sangtei Khuptong, who form Jukebox 2.0 and perform at Westin Hyderabad, share with us their thoughts and experiences on the music scene here.
Jack ventured into the music scene in 1990, with India’s only glam rock band ‘Hazzard’. He later went on to become a session drummer, working along with artistes like Gary Lawyer, Leslie Lewis, etc. For the past eight years, this Mumbai-based musician is settled in Hyderabad.
For bands and their music, it has been a huge leap over the years, the artiste feels. “It is a huge leap mainly because of the fact that Internet happened. Back in the day we used cassettes, and to figure out a word in the lyrics or a chord, you had to sit and rewind; same thing with instruction too. Today, any kid can go to the internet and learn, and that accessibility has brought about uniformity and balance to the whole world,” Jack reckons.
In terms of audience, the growth has been relatively slow-paced. As a community, we are regional music centric and ultimately, Bollywood music is the biggest. “It is not that there is anything wrong with it. It is fair enough. But, it is a fight for musicians who are trying to perform other genres. Most of the bands bring in an element of Bollywood, just to get the audience grooving,” he shares.
However, Hyderabad has been growing exceptionally receptive, Jack observes. “I’ve been coming here since early 2000s. I used to come for various events — rock shows, corporate gigs. The audience have opened up a lot over the past couple of years. The city caught on a little late, but is getting really comfortable with it now,” he concludes.
For Sangtei, who moved to Hyderabad in 2016, it was a pleasant surprise to see the audience here grooving to a lot of jazz, blues and finds it fulfilling to perform for such dynamic audience.
“I’m from Mizoram and I was born and brought up in a family of musicians. Music is a big part of our lives back in the Northeast and the music culture is different from what I’ve seen in the rest of India,” shares the artiste, who has performed extensively, across India and abroad, with her band based out of her hometown.
Moving to Hyderabad was a learning experience for her, stepping out of comfort zone and trying her hand at covering some Bollywood songs as well. “As audience, I feel we need to appreciate live music a little more,” reckons the singer, who believes she is yet to venture into the nuances of the city’s music scene.