The Night of the Nominee sets the stage for musicians worthy of an award
An experimental musician from Jaipur, a four-piece outfit that plays pop-rock and a solo project by an artiste who likes to describe his music as “vague and ambiguous” — all take the stage at the Night of the Nominee — a celebration of the Toto Music Awards 2017. Although the winners will be declared only at the official ceremony tomorrow, tonight’s gig brings them together on one stage. “As diverse as these genres are, the aim of the awards is to give a push to new talent and promote originality,” says Abhijeet Tambe, musician and trustee at TFA.
Art and music enthusiasts in Bengaluru are aware that Toto Funds the Arts has been responsible for recognising and awarding young talent for over a decade now. Started by Sarita and Anmol Vellani in 2004, the annual awards have promoted many budding young artistes who have gone forth to establish their names in the music industry — bands such as Parvaaz and The Fish Eyed Poets, and vocalists like Prateek Kuhad.
“TFA’s primary role has been to recognise and thereby encourage young talent in the arts. But the talent is already there. Our awards are not achievement awards,” says Sarita, adding, “To give you just one recent example, the talented young filmmaker Ram Reddy was a Toto winner— at our first edition of the short films award.”
Around September 2017, the organisation received all the entries for the Music Awards via Soundcloud links. Through an internal process, a longlist was prepared which was then presented to the jury. “It is quite a task to sift through the entries and make sure no one gets left behind. In the end we are judging them based on potential and individuality,” Abhijeet explains about the selection process.
The jury this year consisted of Suryakant Sawhney, lead singer of Delhi-based Peter Cat Recording Co., Gowri Jaykumar a storyteller from Pune, and multi-talented musician Suman Sridhar.
The final three nominees include Kalab aka Ujjwal Agarwal from Jaipur who will be playing a mix of some retro Indian songs and avant grade electronica. “The sheer idea of being able to create a sophisticated piece of music right from your laptop got me hooked to producing electronic music,” Ujjwal says about his creative process. Opposite Sex, who describe themselves as Police meets Fergie by way of Steely Dan, is the other nominee. And Disco Puppet solo project of Shoumik Biswas a Bengaluru-based electronic artiste completes the list. “My approach towards making sounds is pretty much just experimenting however I can,” says Shoumik.
The closing set will be performed by Bengaluru-based DJ _RHL.
`500 upwards. Tonight. At Blue Frog, Church Street, 8 pm. Details: 69999549
— Anagha M