UK band Kefaya’s music is inspired by incidents, and musicians from across the globe
It was a journey that began in 2011 with the meeting of British pianist, Al MacSween, and Italian guitarist, Giuliano Modarelli. Their similar values and musical interests led to the formation of a collective that would allow them to explore these ideas, eventually developing into the group now known as Kefaya.
The members of Kefaya travel the world, seeking new musical collaborations and opportunities, in order to develop their musical vocabulary. “We have been keen students of Indian classical music in particular, and have spent many years travelling to India, developing lasting relationships with teachers, and musicians,” explains Modarelli.
This led the band to perform with some of India’s most respected musicians, including Shankar Mahadevan, Bikram Ghosh, and Paban Das Baul. “We have also been inspired by writers, activists, and political movements in India. Last year we performed the first concert of our India tour in Ahmedabad on December 28. After discovering that the date also marked the anniversary of the tragic Nirbhaya case, we decided to dedicate one of our songs to Jyoti Singh. We named the song Nirbhaya, and plan to release it in India this year,” shares MacSween.
In Bengaluru, Kefaya will perform numbers from their debut album Radio International, which will be on general release this spring. They will also play new tracks. “Our set will be a mixture of styles and influences from many parts of the world, including flamenco, Arabic music, Latin, jazz, and electronic music, and we will be focusing particularly on songs that have an Indian influence. If things go as planned, we may also have a guest appearance by a well-known local musician,” Modarelli says.
The right inspiration
For the band, performing to Indian audiences is always exciting simply because of the varied tastes people have in music. “So far the audiences have always been engaged, and responsive, but some like rock, some prefer jazz, and some love EDM… you never know what they’d like! So we adapt our set to the crowd, but our music is diverse, and we think there is something there for everybody,” Modarelli adds.
Talking about their interest in folk music, MacSween explains, “Culturally, the world is becoming increasingly global and as musicians, it is impossible not to be affected by it. Kefaya’s musical development has come through collaborating with musicians from all over the world.”
January 8 and 9. At Windmills Craftworks, Whitefield. 9.30 pm. Tickets (`500 onwards) on
— Nandini Kumar