HAVING versatile vocalists and an amazing ability to put a contemporary spin on classic songs has enabled cool collective Kayak & Co to stand apart from other British Asian music acts.
They will add to their impressive number of live shows with the forthcoming Rahmanisce: The Songs of AR Rahman at Beck Theatre in Hayes, next Friday (8) and Mystique Banqueting Suite in Leicester on October 7. Singers Anj Chauhan, Parry Mad, Shahid Abbas Khan and Rekha will team up with master musician Kaykay Chauhan for concerts that put a contemporary spin on classic AR Rahman songs. Eastern Eye caught up with Kaykay to find out more.
How much does performing live mean to you as a collective?
It means a lot to perform with some of the finest vocalists in this country who are part of the collective. It means that we can push the envelope that little more in terms of experimenting and creating a fresher sound.
Tell us about your forthcoming Rehumanize show?
Basically, the Reminisce show is an extension of the Reminisce video that we released in 2015. This was a mashup of around 50 Rahman hits in about seven minutes.
What can the audiences expect from the show?
The audience will experience AR Rahman songs that will be changed and recreated with a fresher approach which includes English songs that fit. The music will not be exactly like the originals. Though most of the vocals will be similar, you can expect twists in the melody due to the drums’ beats and tempos being different.
What is your favourite AR Rahman song?
It is very difficult to choose a favourite AR Rahman song. This can change daily or weekly even. Top of my head, Yaaro Sunlo Zara from Rangeela. The song evokes a very positive feeling due to its energy.
How did you select which AR Rahman songs to feature?
The basis would start with the most popular songs in the Rahman canon. The songs that the audience can also sing along to. The idea then is to change and make the music different in a positive way. If an idea is not taking off, that song then doesn’t make the final list.
How important is it for you as a collective to put your own spin on the songs?
We as Kaykay & Co are known to change things up and give our own spin on Bollywood and English songs. I guess people call us a fusion band. The vision is always to be different as a collective. It’s important for us to carry on with this sound and do something different for the future generations to come.
How much does having great singers with different styles help you?
It helps tremendously to have Anj Chauhan, Parry Mad, Rekha and Shahid Abbas Khan as our vocalists. It mainly allows us to have lots of variety along with different personalities entertaining the audience.
What inspires you as a collective?
The inspiration comes from the love that we all have for each other, as artists and humans. This then, motivates us to work harder and push each other to succeed.
What makes AR Rahman such a special talent?
AR Rahman, I believe, changed the face of Indian film music with his sound and arrangements. As a successor to RD Burman and Shankar-Jaikishan before that, he has been a trendsetter with (soundtracks such as) Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Bombay, Rangeela and so many more.
How does this compare to other shows you have done?
This show has the same aesthetics as our previous shows such as Bollywood Jackson or the forthcoming Retro Future, but vocally, the songs are much more challenging.
Why should we all come to the show?
If you want to experience something different in terms of a creative sound with the songs recreated, then you definitely should not miss this show. There will be elements of surprises within the songs. For example, Jiya Jale has been revamped with a famous r’n’b, hip hop song as its base. Jashn-E-Bahara will have a trance feel about it. For this reason and other surprises, you should definitely come to our show.
Rahmanisce: The Songs of AR Rahman at Beck Theatre, Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2UE next Friday (8); and Mystique Banqueting Suite, 928a Melton Road, Britannia Way, Thurmaston, Leicester LE4 8GR on Saturday, October 7. www.becktheatre.org.uk and www.eventbrite.co.uk