CHENNAI: Are you a teenager who loves head-banging to rock music or mellow jazz? Perhaps some bubblegum pop or R&B soul? Well, this band has music for everyone! A bit of retro, pop, rock, country, and a pinch of soul, reggae and disco are some genres that make up the band, Ryan Fernandez and the Undercovers. Led by popular vocalist Ryan Fernandez (famous for his song, I Can See), the band was formed two months ago with a host of experienced musicians — Bruce Lee (lead guitarist), Nitin Solomon (bass), Troydon Netto (keys and rhythm guitars) and Neil Smith (drums).
Currently recording for their upcoming EP-Packaged Deal, the band shares their musical journey with City Express. “We are individuals who are passionate about music. We wanted to have a place where we could collaborate and work on different genres and that’s how this band was formed,” shares Ryan, the former lead vocalist of the band Second Comings.
A three-year stint in Second Comings gave Ryan a brush with original music and he went on to perform solo gigs. “They were a bunch of experienced musicians from different walks of life. I didn’t have an idea of doing original music back then and was doing a lot of covers. I think that was a great learning experience,” says the vocalist who is visually challenged (He has had over 35 surgeries at various eye hospitals).
A lot of fun and plenty of music is how they describe their rehearsal sessions. “When you are serious you can’t write a song! We like having the fun elements. But while performing, we are serious,” Nitin says. The band wants to be unpredictable; perhaps the reason why bringing multi-genre music to the stage is their USP. “We want to be different and bring new genres and new music to the table.
A lot of bands stick to one type of music and we don’t want to do that,” says Ryan.
So, is being a full time musician a big challenge? “Not all!” exclaims Bruce, an artist who has played for ace musicians, including A R Rahman. “Personally, it’s not challenging. But, when it comes to being in a band, we have some external challenges. Like always being ready with tracks that the crowd demands during gigs…”
Interrupting Bruce, Ryan says, “Well, that’s not exactly a challenge. All of us here have grown up listening to every type of music. Being Anglo-Indians, we’ve always had music in our homes and we know just about everything. It’s just that we need to be ready and do justice to the original track on demand.”
While Ryan and Bruce are full-time musicians, the rest of the band have day jobs. “For us music is love. Troy, Nitin and Neil have day jobs and yet they make time for music and that’s what matters,” says Ryan. The band has no single idol. “We love everyone and every genre. Every music we listen to is an inspiration. From Bryan Adams to Stevie Wonder, we love them all. Well, who wouldn’t?” But of course guys, we definitely agree!