Easier to be 'copycats' in Indian music scene
(26 days ago)
New Delhi, April 26 : John Mayer, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, George Michael or Ed Sheeran -- global singers' cover versions sell more than original work in Bollywood music dominated India, says Prabhtoj Singh - frontman/lead vocalist and guitarist of The Copycats band.
They have no qualms about being a cover band.
"We play in The Copycats majorly to pay our bills and raise funds for our original music. It's quite easy to fill a club with a Copycats show if we play a tribute show. But it takes a lot of effort, marketing and patience to build an audience for original music even if your songs are great and loved by people since the music scene in our country is majorly dominated by Bollywood music," Prabhtoj told IANS.
The band believes in covering music just the way the original artiste has played it in the record.
"This ensures that we maintain the original sound of the song and do not tamper with its arrangement," he said.
"The simple reason behind it is the fact that an artiste puts in a lot of effort to create his own sound and be known for it in the world of music. That's what sets it apart from the others and if we cover every element of the song, only then we feel we have done justice to the song," he added.
The other idea, he said, is to give the audience the exact same experience they would get if they went to a concert to hear the original artiste that they cover.
"In order to achieve this, we need to sound exactly like the artiste so that people can instantly recognise who we are covering. And trust me, this is not an easy task. And we don't believe in taking the easy way out either," he said.
The Delhi-based band started with a John Mayer tribute.
"We idolised him and his music throughout our college years. We followed it up with Coldplay because that's another band that has influenced us a lot. Then we went on to pay tribute to our childhood heroes like Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, Red Hot Chili Pepper, Maroon 5, George Michael and Porcupine Tree.
"This year started out with us paying tribute to Ed Sheeran who is one of the newer pop stars of this generation and we absolutely love his music," said the frontman of the band, which also consists of Aman Sagar, Danik Ghosh, Pranay Parti, Aveleon Giles Vaz and Dan Thomas.
They will perform a playlist full of Coldplay songs at Hard Rock Cafe here on Thursday.
"We are planning to cover all the major hits from all the Coldplay albums so far," said Prabhtoj.
He enjoys doing cover songs but believes in creating a balance between that and original work.
"Yes, it is easier to survive in the music industry by playing cover music. A lot of bands do only that. But we don't believe in playing only cover music. I, for eg. have three different bands with which I write original music.
"Evenodd being my first band with which I released a progressive rock album this year. The second band is my own singer-songwriter project where I write the music and lyrics and I have released an EP and a couple of singles recently.
"Third is a disco-funk outfit named HighTime and we are currently working on our first album," he said.