• Fri, Apr 26, 2019

Clinton Cerejo Launches Ananthaal

Sep 30, 12:03pm

The fusion group comprising singers Bianca Gomes and Vijay Prakash talk about their debut album and being independent musicians
 Photo Courtesy: Times Music

Signed to a major music label, composer-producer Clinton Cerejo is quick to warn that his new fusion rock project Ananthaal is very much an independent band. Aside from selling their debut self-titled album through Times Music, their trip to Ladakh, for example, to shoot the video for their lead single ‘Inayat’, was entirely self-funded. Cerejo says, “It wasn’t a free trip. In indie music there’s nothing that comes for free.”

Fresh from their launch gig at Pepsi MTV Indies’ monthly gig series Ribbit at Blue Frog, Mumbai last week, Ananthaal – comprising top musicians such as vocalists Bianca Gomes, Vijay Prakash, drummer Gino Banks, guitarist Pozy Dhar, keyboardist Beven Fonseca and bassist Sheldon D’Silva – will continue the gigs with a tour across the country all through October. Cerejo, best known for his work on TV music series Coke Studio, began working with Vijay Prakash and Gomes on Ananthaal after previous projects. Says Cerejo, “It was maybe a couple of years ago that we decided to do this. After I did Coke Studio with Vijay Prakash and the same year I did a song with Bianca. Both songs were extremely well-received and even got a cult following, in a way. That’s when I decided that I should probably combine these two voices and that’s how Ananthaal was born.”

Interestingly, Cerejo’s choice of exchanging ideas for the album wasn’t just the usual Dropbox or email, but also sending recorded notes and memos via WhatsApp. “It’s email most of the time, but if I have an idea and in a pinch, I just record the idea and send it out very quickly. It’s whatever works, basically,” says Cerejo.

Putting together a band comprising some of the busiest musicians in the music industry is no small feat, though. Even with limited rehearsal time, he says Ananthaal is a “labour of love” for all the musicians. He adds, “Yeah there’s always that constant struggle to manage time, but I’ve become an expert at that. Now that doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s just a part of my life now.”

For Gomes, on the other hand, Ananthaal is her first independent music project after years of working on advertising jingles and live gigs. Gomes told us, “When you do it, it’s all heart and you just hope for the best and hope that people like it. We’ve all made our equal share of sacrifices along the way to make this album happen.” As a sessions musician, she says she’s been able to make the time for Ananthaal easily, especially since this was the first time she was working on her own material.  She says with the Mumbai debut gig, they’ve got a hang of things. “It was very exciting for us, because we were performing our material for the first time. So a lot of nervous energy, but it was well-received. A lot of people really enjoyed it.”

Buy the album here. Watch the video for 'Inayat' 

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