Around midnight when vocalist and percussionist Varun Sunil was busy making music with his sound engineer at a Mumbai studio, his phone rang. On the other side was Sumesh Lal, Music Mojo’s director. Music Mojo is a music show on Kappa TV. Lal asked the name of the band Sunil was a part of and which had been invited to perform on the show. As the members only jammed and had no intention of forming a music band, Sunil was reluctant to use his name alone when so many people contributed. Sunil consulted the sound engineer who suggested Masala Chai, a beverage they relished through the day. But Sunil thought that as different musicians from different genres will come and play, the name Masala Coffee was finalised as it signified the different kind of music the band plays – Indian folk, Blues, Rock and pop along with alternate folk Rock.
Excerpts from an interview:
Are there creative differences when you guys make music?
We have not had such issues or differences. Everyone’s input has made the band sound better.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in this journey of music?
This pandemic, one of the worst problems we have ever faced.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
The process of composing and producing a track and performing the same track live on the stage.
How do you rate the acceptability of Indian music abroad?
10/10. Folk music has a wide acceptance abroad, be it Europe, Singapore, Malaysia or the Middle East.
If you were to rate the music lovers of Indian cities in terms of understanding music during a show, which will be the top three and why?
Wherever we have performed, the audience has reflected the same energy.
Top Indian bands around today.
Avial, Sky Harbour, Papon and The East Indian company.
A day in the life of Masala Coffee…
Fun, practice and food.
What are the band members doing when not making music?
Some of us bake, some travel, and all of us spend a lot of time with our families.
How has the lockdown period treated the band?
We have been busy working on our second album. We have released our Tamil single Manitham and just like everyone else we are eagerly waiting for things to get back to normal.
Our next album is on the way. We are doing a music production for a Telugu movie and we will be releasing the EDM version of Kantha. Just stay tuned for more.