What happens when subtle poetry is infused with rock music? The ‘Tattva Trip’ happens! An acoustic rock poetry band formed by award winning poet and composer Suraj Mani. The Bengaluru-based band is all set to perform in Chennai on Saturday at Phoenix Market City.
“I am looking for people to connect with and perform for! There is something special about everybody and I am looking forward to be in Chennai,” says Suraj. Being the front man for the iconic rock act ‘motherjane’, the composer is on a philosophical journey. “The whole concept is about perspective. It’s about examining and singing about the society through the eyes of a musical character called the Tattva tripper,” says the musician who performs with a half-painted face.
“It’s an idea that frees and takes the artist and the audience on the road less travelled,” he shares. With audience often relating to what he sings and connecting with parallels, Suraj says the ‘link’ continues even after the performance. “Writing poetry is important to me. But once I started making music I realised writing what I sing was extremely important as people connect to it.”
Getting inspiration from real life incidents and sometimes just on the go, he says, “Any creative profession, if you are passionate about it, can bring out the best in you. I run an engineering company. Many things that I learn on stage I apply in business. This is not a career, it’s who I am.”
On the rock band scenario in India, he says that it’s growing. “It has to get a little more organised and it is getting there.” Running an artist and media production house, ‘Aum-I-Artistes’, where the priority was to ensure artistes get paid for their art. Suraj says, “It has been doing extremely well and is a classic example of how giving systematic infrastructure can create an opportunity for an industry to grow.”
With his musical journey a result of coincidences, he shares how being ragged in college to sing and going to drink tea with a friend in Kochi led him to join a rock band! “Everything came as a revelation. I don’t want to think of an alternative life and I feel absolutely blessed for this.”
So, how does he get along with this fellow Tattva Trippers during rehearsals? “We have so much fun,” he laughs. Dinkar Nayak (bassist and singer), John Melvin (drummer) and Naveen Thomas (guitarist) are the trippers who make the journey complete. “We have a lot of laughs and our jamming starts with me usually writing and composing with the acoustic guitar after which the guys give their ideas and inputs,” shares Suraj.
With over 70 songs, and more than five awards over the years, he says he is open to joint productions. “Collaborations seem to be the order of the day and as long as it is healthy with similar interests and different perspectives from musicians there is no harm in doing it.”
With happy numbers like Mahabali that get audience singing to dark songs like Maya that hit hard, they are a band where emotions thrive. “One message to the audience is that they should be privileged to pay for music. Piracy isn’t killing music but, pirates are,” he adds.