For those of you who picture the Mumbai music scene as a set of cliché-ridden corny Bollywood singing scenes, a trip to Mumbai will completely reestablish your faith in Indian music. The music scene in the Cosmopolitan city of Mumbai has seriously exploded over the last few years; music venues have multiplied and diversified, and emerging and talented artists can now be found in abundance.
Indie music has particularly surfaced in recent years. Aspiring Hindie-Indie singer-song writers often frequent the scene playing live for their fans, hot names on everyone’s lips being Ankur Tewari, Arijir Datta and Nikhil D’Souza. Such talents are finally being given some well needed media attention, with the first proper Mumbai based independent music journal, ‘Indeciesien’ which promotes artists and documents their past and forthcoming performances. Aside from Indie, young Indian artists are attempting to experiment with their folkloric traditions, bringing sounds to a more contemporary tempo. Bands such as the Rajasthan Roots have taken Mumbai by storm. The band is a collective of talented musicians who fuse together modern instruments with classic folk blurring the boundaries between modernity and tradition. The music festival phenomena have also begun to catch on; in 2005 Jazz Utsav was started in Mumbai, and has since then been a popular 3 day annual festival where jazz lovers gather in the city, enjoying performances from top musician from across the globe.
The new music sounds are hosted by some equally inspiring new live music venues. The Blue Frog is a 6,000 foot converted warehouse located in central Mumbai, which pursues a passionate campaign to promote good music. Here you can listen to anything from blues and soul, rock to electronic, sitar to African drum. The uber-cool venue is frequented not only by homegrown Indian artists, but world-class musicians. Just around the corner, lies another music lovers’ paradise. Zenzi Mill is the city’s first “downtown” club bar, which provides cutting edge urban dance music and impressive DJ sets, which attracts the coolest cats on the Mumbai club scene. Along with these two important mustic, joint, Beachfront Aurus, Bonobo and Gadda da Vida have all started presenting regular live music nights.