By Asjad Nazir.
Composing a collective hit.
CROSS-GENRE musical collaborative project Croydon Composers proved to be so popular in 2017 that it has made a triumphant return this year, providing another admirable platform for new British talent.
Acclaimed musician Shri Sriram is once again leading a project where upcoming Croydon-based musicians team up for various collaborative projects which are performed live. The first performance took place recently at the Oval Tavern in London and the next will be staged at the Boxpark in Croydon on December 2.
I caught up with Shri Sriram to find out more about an opportunity-filled musical project that introduces new talent to one another.
What’s Croydon Composers about?
Croydon Composers is about cross-cultural and crossgenre collaborative compositions between musicians in Croydon. The project is designed to focus on the strength of collaborative composition between musicians from various communities who bring their own styles, genres and various approaches to music making. We also conduct music industry workshops for the participants to cover many aspects of the music industry including publishing and finance.
How did you choose this year’s performers?
We have three partners – me, Shirin Sriram who is co-founder and project manager of Croydon Composers, and Michael Fuller, who is in charge of business and legal affairs. We researched lots of musicians, many of them online, and made a shortlist, which was hard as there are so many talented musicians in Croydon. We then confirmed the participants
based partly on their willingness to try new ideas and work in collaboration with other musicians.
We try to have as much variety as possible so that the collaborations are exciting,
challenging and meaningful to the people of Croydon and beyond.
What are you hoping they will gain from their experience with Croydon Composers?
Bettering their compositional skills, understanding cross-cultural composition and how and
where to meet collaboratively are major strengths for a musician.
We also want all musicians on this project to be aware of the business aspects too, including subjects like royalties and various streams of earning, which they could carry forward into their own careers.
Croydon Composers made its debut last year. How does the project differ
this time round?
Last year was our pilot project, but we still had people who had never composed
before going away feeling like they had become empowered and much more confident in their careers.
This year we have grown in size and experience, so we have more participants. In fact, I am a collaborator myself this year as a writer and performer with a few of the participating artists, supporting or enhancing what they do.
Will the music be available to the public for download or purchase?
The music will definitely be available freely as soon as it is ready via the website and Soundcloud links.
This year’s big concert is at Box Park in Croydon. How will you stage the gig
and what do you hope audiences will enjoy most about it?
We have decided the gig should be on a Sunday afternoon with free entry via Eventbrite registration – this is so families and friends of the participants can easily attend and so Croydon residents can be proud of the talent surrounding them. We would love for students from Croydon College, the Brit School and other Croydon schools and colleges to attend the
performances and enjoy the music made by the people around them.
Tell us a little more about the Young Croydon Composers?
We are also in the process of putting together Young Croydon Composers. They
will also perform at Boxpark alongside the adult composers. We are partnering with Croydon Music and Arts, Sangeetha and Music Relief on this.
Finally, what do you like about Croydon?
I love the multi-culturalism in Croydon. We have some amazing local artists on our project. Croydon Composers makes me feel like we are involved at the start of something cool and new.
Croydon is bubbling with positive cultural activity at the moment. It has been named the music borough of the country and is at the forefront of music in genres such as dubstep, grime, rap and reggae music for some time now, with current artists like Stormzy and Grime duo Krept and Konan. We have reggae legend Mad Professor, the London Mozart Players, and Britschool around the corner – we are rich with musical talent.
- Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk for details.
NO LONGER KING KHAN?
AT THE height of his power, Shah Rukh Khan was like a lion in the jungle who never felt threatened by anyone, but recently it was reported that he asked Riteish Deshmukh
to move his microbudget Marathi production Mauli because it was coming out on the same day as his new film Zero. Deshmukh obliged by rescheduling it a week earlier on December
14. As a part of a generation who idolised Shah Rukh Khan, it saddens me to see that today he is running scared of even tiny little films like a Marathi movie that will go on a limited release.
TRIKALA COLLECTS KUDOS
ACCLAIMED collective Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti have released perhaps the album of the year with their artistic masterpiece Trikala. The Indo-Western fusion double album, which features 13 leading Indian, Bangladeshi and European artists, took three years to create and is another musical triumph for British musician Simon Thacker. Look out for my interview with him next week talking about perhaps the most fascinating fusion release of 2018.
STARS LOSE THEIR SPARKLE
I AM convinced that actors Govinda and Sunny Deol think that we are still living in the 1980s. That is the only explanation for the awful movies they keep starring in including their latest releases Rangeela Raja and Bhaiaji Superhittt, respectively, which are badly
made and seriously outdated. Both look like colossal wastes of money and are a sign the
has-beens need to come to terms with their stardom being over.
SAIR SET FOR THE JUNGLE
EVERY year popular TV reality show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here features a wide array of famous names of all ages, including ones who will provide eye candy for audiences.
This year it seems that role has been allocated to actress Sair Khan, who plays Alya Nazir on longrunning ITV drama Coronation Street. It will be interesting to see how she handles the various challenges in the jungle and how many skimpy outfits producers will expect her to wear.
I am sure she will be far braver than boxer Amir Khan, who appeared on the show last year.
IN PRAISE OF A GREAT MAN
ABUL BASHOR ANSARI has made a difference to the lives of countless people, including
hundreds of first generation migrants, and was there during pivotal moments in history.
The 92-year-old poet, philanthropist and writer is in hospital on life support and battling stage 4 lung cancer, but has lost none of his amazing spirit. Many people including the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE; Roshanara Ali MP; Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs; and I have visited him in hospital.
All of us at Eastern Eye wish the pillar of the Bangladeshi community and his family well during this difficult time.
AKSHARA SHARES ANGER
YOUNG actress Akshara Haasan finally broke her silence about the leak of personal photographs of her in lingerie. She described the incident as deeply upsetting, saying it was shameful that there were still those who got perverse pleasure in sharing private images of a young girl in the public eye at a time when the nation has woken up to the #metoo movement. She went onto say that each time someone shared the pictures, it scarred her deeper and made all those sharing them participants in the harassment. She has reached out to the Mumbai police to track those responsible for the leak.