BENGALURU: A composer for the Kannada film industry by profession, Hemant Jois' solo cover on social media, blending elements of metal music with the timeless local classic Keli Premigale turned out to be an internet sensation. Backed by this response, Jois approached Chetan Naik, a playback singer from the industry, and together they started ‘Naik and The Jois Project'.
Fast forward to two years later, and Jois says, "We were simply surprised to see such a good response. We have done 200 shows, including two in the US. The perception is that metal can't be mixed with other forms. On one hand, metal is considered aggressive." He adds," On the other hand, there is also an assumption about Kannada music-lovers not appreciating metal music. Earlier, even pubs and bars refused to stage Kannada bands as they thought, there will not be any business from it." All the above were proved wrong, as the city took a liking to ‘clean and melodic Kannada vocals, coupled with brutal metal music’.
Stand-up that stands out
The English stand-up comedy scene has seen an unprecedented boom over the last few years. Kannada stand-up comedy, while having started recently, is still finding its feet "A year ago, if you had asked me whether Kannada comedy is in a nascent stage, I would say yes. Now, however, it is in a phase of transition," says Sudarshan Rangaprasad, a member of the Kannada stand-up collective of six comedians, Lolbagh.
Sudarshan says it's not logical to perform Kannada comedy in the usual comedy circuit such as pubs mainly because of the cosmopolitan nature of the crowd. "I don't think it would be right on anyone's part to impose Kannada stand-up on people," he adds. Sudarshan however, says there are a few clubs that are opening to Kannada stand-up too. For the most part, separate shows are organised for a specific Kannada audience at a particular venue. "So far we have done around 70 shows and 95 per cent of the time it's all houseful. We also do corporate shows and I must say we get paid quite well," he says. While Lolbagh was probably the first group dedicated to Kannada stand-up comedy, there are others now who are joining the bandwagon.