BENGALURU: When Tanya Wells and Paulo Vinícius formed their music band, Seven Eyes, in 2015, it was a dire attempt to create original music from myriad musical influences and personal experiences of living in several countries, including India.
Their soothing jazz compositions like The Road is My Song and Blue in the Flame are much loved by fans across the world. In India, the duo has conquered the minds of the audience through their renditions of ghazals and Hindustani music, including Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo written by Fayyaz Hashmi.
In town for a live performance at Phoenix Marketcity, Whitefield, on Saturday, they spoke to CE and shared that both of them are fascinated by vedantic philosophy and have a long-lasting connection with the country.
“I am fascinated by the practice of yoga. I completed my Hatha yoga training when I was in my teens. We travel here quite a bit to perform and record with local artistes here, mainly classical musicians. I enjoy learning more about Hindustani classical music and often collaborate with South Asian musicians,” said Brazilian guitarist Vinícius.
Meanwhile the British-Swiss vocalist, Wells, who has spent several years in North India, said her Indian experiences have a strong impact on her music formation. “I lived in the mountains of Dharamsala as a child and spent quite a bit of time in Mumbai and other cities. Our song Return is about going back to my school in Himachal and is set in Pahadi raaga, which evokes the feeling of being in the green mountains,” added Wells. Bengaluru is also not new to the 31-year-old.
“My fondest memory of this city is of a performance at the countdown to the new year at Sahaja Yoga Mandir, Koramangala, alongside incredible local talents – Shaktidhar Iyer on the bansuri and Koushik Aithal on vocals. The atmosphere in the hall was priceless and the audience were very receptive to our music,” she said. She also revealed that her favourite Indian musician is Ustad Rashid Khan. “Because he is a phenomenal classical vocalist, listening to his renditions have somewhat nurtured and healed me at times (as great music can do),” Wells said.
Their albums, The Seed, and Senses, were enthusiastically received by live audiences in the UK, Europe, North America, Middle-East and the Indian subcontinent.
Both the artistes agree that India’s jazz scene is evolving promisingly. “I was pleasantly surprised to meet several jazz musicians in Mumbai some years ago and I believe that the jazz scene in India is also expanding,” says Vinícius. The band is going to release a song called Mumbai Night Drive on January 7. “The song will feature two saxophonists from Mumbai – Ryan Sadri and Rhys Dsouza – both of whom were integral in introducing me to the jazz scene in Mumbai,” he added.
The concert in Bengaluru was attended by almost 2,000 people, where the duo rendered a host of original compositions as well as some popular covers transcending multiple genres like world jazz, Brazilian, Sufi and Hindustani music.