Redefining musical boundaries

CE chats with Mumbai-based a capella group InstruMen, who were in Hyderabad to perform at the recently launched culture and lifestyle space district150
Six talented members of a Mumbai-based cappella group InstruMen
Six talented members of a Mumbai-based cappella group InstruMen

HYDERABAD: There’s an enchantment that arises when voices entwine seamlessly, crafting an orchestral symphony of sound devoid of instrumental accompaniment. A cappella music embodies this essence — an enthralling art form that transcends generations and genres, captivating audiences with its unadulterated vocal prowess and limitless creativity.

Recently, the Mumbai-based a cappella group InstruMen, comprised of six talented members—Akshar Oza, Aseem Trivedi, Arish Bhiwandiwala, Dean Sequeira, Nathan D’Souza, and Shaurya Singh — graced Hyderabad’s newly launched culture and lifestyle space, district150, with their performance.

In a conversation with CE, the group delved into their musical journey and aspirations. Reflecting on the band’s genesis, they credited Dean as the visionary behind the collective. His idea sparked a union among them, drawing from individual experiences with a cappella, a musical domain less explored yet profoundly captivating. Acknowledging the global impact of groups like Pentatonix, they aimed to carve a similar niche. Since their inception in September 2018, they’ve evolved, inspired, and strived to leave their mark on this captivating musical realm.

“Our journey commenced in 2018 with our debut video release on YouTube. The preparation was extensive, from meticulous planning to shooting the video. Our inaugural upload was a cover titled ‘The Evolution of Arijit Singh,’ marking the genesis of our online presence. Gradually, we honed our approach, strategically sharing our content on platforms like Instagram. By 2019, corporate shows began pouring in, signalling our growing influence.

However, just as momentum picked up, the global pandemic struck, altering our trajectory. Despite the challenges, we managed notable collaborations with entities like Bacardi. Fast forward to 2022 and 2023, and the evolution has been nothing short of magical. Our growth as artists and the amplification of our online footprint have been remarkable. Our performances have varied, from marathon two-hour gigs to shorter, intense ten-minute sets, showcasing the diversity of a cappella that audiences crave. The journey has been a testament to our progress, and we eagerly anticipate more collaborations on the horizon. The excitement is palpable among all six of us as we embrace what lies ahead,” shares the team.

Navigating the intricacies of a capella, they highlighted the physical and artistic hurdles faced as a group. Initially challenging due to the continuous vocal engagement sans breaks, they reminisced about early shows where exhaustion loomed after mere minutes. Through relentless practice — meeting twice weekly for 3-4 hour sessions — and honing their lung control, they conquered this stamina-demanding craft. Educating audiences about a cappella became both their challenge and unique selling point, gradually bridging the gap between novelty and familiarity with each performance.

Their dedication to perfection manifests in their rigorous practice routines, spanning 8 to 12 hours per track and up to a week for new arrangements. Every member meticulously learns and intertwines their parts, preserving the original song’s essence while crafting their unique rendition — a testament to their collective dedication and musical finesse.

Looking ahead, they teased exciting collaborations with Bollywood artists, eagerly anticipating their unveiling on various platforms. These endeavours promise an intriguing musical synergy that they hope will resonate with audiences far and wide, showcasing their passion for pushing the boundaries of a cappella music.

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The New Indian Express