NEWLY formed UK band Rojo compose, sing, and produce predominantly Sinhala songs, and recently announced themselves with their acclaimed debut single Age Adare. The multi-lingual act aims to bring Sinhala music to the forefront, but also perform, write, sing and produce English and Hindi songs, including popular covers.
Eastern Eye got band members Anjelo Leeson (lead vocalist), Thamara Perera (keyboard/guitar), Thilina Fernando (guitar) and Vinoj Silva (drummer) to jointly reveal their musical influences.
Bruno Mars: We have been following his music since day one. The way he evolved through composing various styles of music influenced us to do something different in the Sri Lankan music industry. His music is one reason our recent song Age Adare came into light.
Gypsies: Each of us band members grew up listening to (Sri Lankan band) Gypsies. We don’t think there are any Sri Lankans who wouldn’t know the band or haven’t heard their music. They have some amazing compositions that will always be played at Sri Lankan events. Gypsies inspired each of us to start our musical journey.
Clarence Wijewardena: Like Gypsies, Clarence Wijewardena is a well-known musician in Sri Lanka, who has composed more than 1,000 songs. We all started learning musical instruments, playing his songs. It’s the simplicity of his music that we love.
AR Rahman: His music and journey is one of the biggest influences in our music career. Music can touch your heart, need proof? Listen to AR Rahman’s compositions. Some of his tracks have made us emotional and that is what we try to add into our compositions. If you can feel what we’re trying to say through our music (even if you don’t understand the language), that’s a successful composition.
Yanni: The way Yanni tells stories through music is incredibly influential. We love the way he uses different music instruments and sounds to change the mood of a composition. When we composed our track, Age Adare, we used some of the techniques he uses to bring out the emotions of the story through using different types of instruments.
Dirty Loops: We think Dirty Loops is an incredibly talented band and whenever we listen to their music, we learn something new. From vocals to music and the way they do covers of popular songs, they have given us the drive to create something unique. Some of their cover songs are the best out there. We also think the way they mix and master their music tracks are legendary.
Postmodern Jukebox: Since we follow musicians and bands that do something different, the day we found out about Postmodern Jukebox, we started following them instantly. Changing modern music into classical sounding music, now who would have thought about that? It’s such a new and interesting concept. That’s the best part of Postmodern Jukebox. They do it and so well! From the chord work to instrument, the musician’s selection is perfect! They do all this without sacrificing the emotion or story of the song.
Yohani: I’m sure most Sri Lankans and even people around the world know her by now. We were following her way before her popular cover Manike Mage Hithe. She has always given her listeners something different, doing cover songs of popular Sri Lankan rap and r’n’b songs. Her voice is so fresh and raw, we haven’t heard many artists that have composed and sung cover songs like she has.
Stevie Wonder: As a band, we love playing his songs. His compositions and vocal ability are phenomenal. We enjoy playing his music at dinner dances and concerts. His music is something that makes us smile and always gets the crowd moving. Can you imagine a world without his music?
Ourselves: Before we met and began performing as a band, we each had our own musical backgrounds and experiences. We all learn from each other, and each brings something unique to the table. Rojo brings together our individual talent and experience to create unique music that we all love composing and playing.
Visit Instagram & Twitter: @rojomusic1, Facebook: @rojofied and YouTube: @ROJO