Bangalore based company Music Malt recently launched the ChaiTunes Project in Guwahati by releasing Anuron - an unplugged number featuring Rupam Bhuyan. The song was recorded and shot live at the Eastern Fare Studios in Guwahati. The song is a remake of previously released Assamese song of the same name. The song featured Rupam in vocals, Jim and Gaurav Choudhury in guitars, Prabal Gogoi in Cajon, Jenie in percussion and back vocals and Blues harmonica player Veda V Sarma.
It all started when Assamese musician and producer Jim Ankan Deka met Carnatic classical singer Suchethan Rangaswamy in Bangalore sometime in 2008. They started a band called Veenar which released couple of fusion songs with videos where they played all the instruments live including the vocals. With a similar thought, after seven years, Jim with his team at Music Malt started ChaiTunes Project in Bangalore.
The ChaiTunes music project began in 2015 with a collaborative enterprise called 'Xaare Aasu' led by Jim in Bangalore, and has so far expanded into Calcutta, Guwahati, Pune and Shillong. The music project is funded and powered by Bangalore based music organisation Eastern Fare Foundation and Bangalore based media house Music Malt.
Featuring Queen Hazarika, 'Xaare Aasu' was composed by Jim Ankan Deka and written by Assamese author duo, Prof. Bhabananda Deka and Nalini Prava Deka. Next came 'Aakaxok Subo Khojo' in 2015 written by Rajdweep and featuring Antara Nandy, who was just 15 yr old then. Both the songs were recorded and shot in Bangalore. In 2016 Jim, with help from Debjani Hazarika (Jenie), an animation artist and Tarunabh Dutta, a well known director from Assam, shot another video 'Anuron' with Rupam Bhuyan and Queen Hazarika for the ChaiTunes Project. Although the songs were not entirely shot live, but the videos managed to create a buzz and garner audience from all corners of the world.
After a successful beginning, ChaiTunes is now all geared up to collaborate with stellar artists like Mayukh Hazarika, Tarali Sarma, Antara Nandy, Ankur Deka, Hridoy Goswami (Spreading Roots), Rittique Phukan (Voodoo Child), Suchethan Rangaswamy and many more, to create more natural, unplugged and live music videos. ChaiTunes also plans to give a platform to the unknown yet talented folk artists through it's various folk-fusion projects. The whole idea of the project is to go to the villages and interior places where the actual talents are hidden, compose a song collaborating artists of different genres, shoot a video live and unplugged and release it for the audience worldwide.
When the new generation has almost forgotten the age old traditional music, ChaiTunes Projects seek to build tangible bridges between folk, rock, pop, jazz or blues musicians by finding points of common interest and experience in music. It is a long-term collaborative program in partnership between the artists of different genres as well as musicians' communities.
"What can be better when we start merging songs of different genres - say - a bihu song with jazz music, Goalporia folk song with Nordic music or a western number with traditional instruments of North-east India! That's what ChaiTunes Project is all about. But keeping in mind that the music and the videos will be done in highly disciplined, professional settings. It is like going back to the basics. What our previous generation musicians did - singing and playing all the instruments together, live, in unison. You make one mistake and you have to start all over again. It's going to be a fun project aiming to brew a fine blend of music," says Jim.
ChaiTunes Project will be very soon releasing its second live and unplugged song 'Niyoror Xur' featuring Mayukh Hazarika, son of legendary singer Jayanta Hazarika. The song is filmed at Eastern Fare Studios in Guwahati video edited by Guwahati based company Purple Trope. The other upcoming music projects will also feature artists from different countries collaborating with folk and new generation musicians from India.
ChaiTunes Project is supported by OK! North East, Jenie's Mascara, OK Listen, Perspective360Degree, Everything Outdoor, MadMax and By The Way.