As the Summer of Cricket gears up, enthusiasts will be treated to an incredible line-up of musical talent at a free 3 day Indian Summer Festival to coincide with the Australia vs. India Boxing Day Test in Melbourne at the MCG. The festival will feature local emerging artists including Aarti Jadu on December 26 and Manorism on December 27 amongst others.
Singer Aarti Jadu with a distinct influence of Indian bhajans and chanting in her music; and the dream-pop, post punk, passion project of south-east Melbourne crooners – Manorism, lit up the stage during the launch of the 3 day festival and music line-up announcement, last Wednesday in Little India, Dandenong.
Talking to Bharat Times, local multicultural band Manorism’s lead vocalist, Shantanu Joshi, said that the band has grown a lot over the last 5 years.
“It has been a process of self-discovery. We spent the first few years just enjoying playing music and shows and working out the industry.
“After that, we all went on a few years of travelling and experimenting with other genres. Over the last couple of years we’ve started to refine our art, focussing on stronger song writing and development. We definitely feel like we have finally found our strengths and are coming into our sound now more than ever!
Born in 2013, the band itself has witnessed Melbourne evolving in terms of the multicultural scene.
“I definitely feel like every year the multicultural scene grows substantially larger and larger. Along with that, there are so many great multicultural performers and acts coming out.
“It’s great to find more and more bands in our scene with members from South Asian backgrounds.
“Almost all of us in the band come from a multicultural background”.
Lead vocalist, Shantanu Joshi has an Indian background with Damien Kaluarachchi of Sri Lankan background sharing the South Asian bond.
Hai Nguyen has a Vietnamese background while Stanislav Likane carries the Russian link; and Simon being the one connecting all of them with his Australian background!
“Being a melting pot of cultures, we all grew up with different sounds in our homes,” Shantanu says.
So do those different sounds reflect in their music? In a way…
“For me that meant plenty of Bollywood classics!
“But those tunes were always juxtaposed against the great popular music and bands of the 90s. I realise every day how formative that experience was.
“Although we may not play ‘fusion’ or Indian music, it has informed and influenced how I think about music and songs.
But it was Melbourne’s multicultural factors that lead to Manorism’s birth and growth.
“Although being from drastically different backgrounds, we all have shared a common experience of growing up in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.
“So for us that meant being to experience each other’s cuisines and entertainment! That has definitely informed our perspective on music.
“We have a deep love for how multicultural Melbourne is and have all gained so much from hearing about everyone’s stories”.
Shantanu feels that if they could “inspire people of all cultural backgrounds to break into any music scene that they resonate with, that would be incredible,” and well… that could even change Melbourne… for better.
Manorism’s music is a nod to the post-punk sounds of the 80s housed within a 2018 sonic palette – think The War on Drugs meets The Smiths.
Their new single ‘Letter On My Wall’ creates a nostalgic atmosphere, conjuring up images of past summer holiday romances.
Aarti Jadu, however, draws heavily from her Indian heritage and melodies. Her music is swayed by the Indian chanting repertoire.
“I was born into a family who prioritised devotional and spiritual practice and Bhajans was an attractive part of our rituals which I connected to.
“It served as my first singing platform and remains as a reminder that music is not ours alone but for everything in the universe and entertainment simultaneously”, she said talking to Bharat Times.
Aarti debuting with her first recorded production: “To record an album of original interpretations of these devotional songs as my first offical release represented the start of my story in music.
“It was a chance to share my gratitude and passion for such profound folk music.
She is also influenced by music in Indian cinema and this “comes through in the album and also subtly through my solo work”.
Progressive and moody, Aarti’s music dwells on aspects of cinematic scores and songs, and ambient devotional music.
Her notable works include Quiet Earth a collaborative album with Matt Coldrick (2016), collaborations with electronic artists such as Kaya Project, Pan Electric, Shunya, High Tea, and Tincture, and a series of experimental intimate art performances designed to create mindful listening.
“Collaborations are a great way to create beyond the patterns and loops we keep, introducing me to different ways of thinking.
“I’ve since been learning to produce myself. Those experiences have been educational to sit in on I hope to continue collaborating with artists I resonate with.
Aarti acquired a sampler in mid-2017, and after spending some time in semi-seclusion believes that it helped her to face some hard stuff “that I have put off for a long time.
“It was a time of self-development… for a creative process” that lead to her debut album.
Her performance at the Indian Summer of Cricket on December 26, will pay respect to her many influences and practices, including Indian music, chanting and ambient styles into her song writing.
Aarti is blessed with a family that “is a pretty great bunch who, in regards to being Indian, sincerely enjoys the poignant, beautiful and helpful aspects of our culture and all cultures we are in touch with”.
“We are Mauritian-Indian-Australian,” she confirms proudly.
Her experience of being Indian in Australia has been like any other person of colour. “With the issues and privileges it comes with.
“Melbourne really welcomes Indian culture. My path has pushed me forward from any definition. I think authenticity and integrity is what I aspire for”.
Band Manorism and Singer Aarti Jadu will be performing at the Yarra Park outside the MCG.
The Indian Summer Festival will showcase the best of modern Indian culture and celebrate Victoria’s vibrant Indian community to foster cross-cultural understanding.
Beginning Sunday December 23, the Indian Summer Festival coincides with the annual Bupa Family Day and includes star appearances by the Australian and Indian men’s cricket teams.
The festival will continue over days one and two of the Domain Boxing Day Test featuring Indian cuisine alongside Indian art and culture. It will also provide fans with the opportunity to play cricket and enjoy the spectacle of some exhibition kabaddi games.
Festival opening times:
Sunday 23rd December: 10am – 5pm
Wednesday 26th December: 10am – 9pm
Thursday 27th December: 10am – 9pm