This time around we have got an exclusive Interview with beatbox group Voctronica – India’s first all-vocal ensemble.
Voctronica – together create their niche sounds through the power of their vocal cords, no instruments, no equipment, just their voice, and their mic.
We at Idamoss first heard of Voctronica, when we saw their advert for raising funds on social media channels for a competition in Japan and instantly knew that we had to get on board and provide our support to them.
They not only reached the target but made our country proud by being the only beatbox group from India and winning the runners up trophy from among a score of countries that participated in the event.
We would like to Congratulate Voctronica on behalf of everyone!
Without further adieu let us dive into the world of Voctronica and get to know them a little more, shall we…
Who are the members of the beatbox group Voctronica?
Avinash is the drummer of the band and holds down the groove.
Nagesh brings a range of beatbox sounds and textures with him.
Warsha handles guitars and strings, but you don’t ever see them.
Clyde is the first trumpet and alternates the lead lines along with Warsha, and Aditi, who has a bag full of improv scat and Carnatic solos.
The Bassman of the band, Arjun also leads arrangement and composition, while being applauded for his sense of humour.
We are a bunch of people that get along like a house on fire and share inside jokes that you would not approve of.
How did the concept of Voctronica evolve? What inspired the creation of it?
Voctronica was put together by British Council India and Sony Music India, in conjunction with renowned beatboxer and vocal performer Shlomo (UK).
The first setup dissolved shortly after but was restarted by some of the initial members along with a few new ones, in 2013.
This setup of 6 became a 5 piece band in 2015 and then transitioned into a 6 piece band again in early 2018.
As a band that’s been around for a few years now, it’s been great to see a natural transition in everyone’s career gradually move towards pursuing music full time.
At present, all the members of the band are full-time professional musicians, sessions artists and are individually part of several other projects as well.
If you could have chosen any other profession what would it have been?
Warsha would’ve been a Neuro Psychologist.
Avinash would be a Journalist.
Nagesh would be a Graphic Designer.
Aditi would be a Filmmaker.
Arjun would be a Cardiologist.
Clyde would be a Marine Biologist.
How is the choice of profession treating you so far? What are some of the difficulties you face as a result of the choices you have made?
When you’re pursuing Music full time as a career, it’s best explained by drawing a parallel to a start-up.
You’ve got to cover your bills, invest yourself to make the very content (product) that then you reinvest in making that very music you’ve set out to make.
One of the biggest challenges is that of financial stability.
Another would be how to communicate your music in a manner you wish for it to be received, whilst retaining the soul you intended for it to be expressed with – a challenge in a time of hard selling and clutter-breaking.
How have we overcome it…?
Well…, we will certainly be in a position to talk about it when we find out the answer to that one.
Until then, we have our heads down, belief in our music, and keep on working hard.
As cliched as that is, a positive frame of mind makes good things happen and allows you to be prepared when fate brings you an opportunity.
If you had a choice to collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
It would have to be Jacob Collier.
What is the vision ahead? What vision do you have in mind for your Voctronica?
Through the last line-up change, pushing out our originals did take a bit of a backseat, but is ready to go now.
We’ve recorded a couple, and intend to hit the studio with a couple more very soon.
The most refreshing thing about all this is the opportunity to push the “All Vocal Original” space out to Indian audiences.
We also recently started a YouTube series called FanCam, where we go to the homes/offices of friends/fans, install a GoPro on a ceiling/table fan (yes, quite literally fan-cam) and just bust a jam.
This also allows us to connect with our patient and reliable audiences digitally, and more regularly as we’d like it to be.
We are also keen on getting more active on the international A Capella and vocal music circuit, and bring a little flavour of India to the global community.
For now, we have our next one year locked in, and we are excited about what the future holds for us.
What is the single most important advice you have learnt over these years, you would like to impart to all those budding beatbox artists?
For anyone reading this with an interest in beatboxing, please explore YouTube and the rest of the internet, there are tons of tutorials out there today.
You can also join The Indian Human Beatbox Community on Facebook, and reach out.
Help is very readily given to those looking for it.
Practice hard and keep a towel handy, because there will be spit.
How many international competitions have you guys participated in?
Moscow Spring Acapella 2019 and Vocal Asia 2019 are the two festivals we’ve been to this year.
We hope to revisit them next year and to make our way to a few more competitions internationally.
Is there something exciting in store that we can expect?
A couple of originals dropping soon, along with new FanCam videos.
We’re also doing a few pop-up gigs through the city over the next few months.
You recently participated in a competition in Russia, and were declared runners – up in the Acapella competition in Japan, could you tell us a bit on your experience there and what it felt like?
The experience in both these nations has been surreal and an extremely grounding experience for the band.
Meeting other groups from other parts from the world has been one of the biggest takeaways, alongside performing to a crowd who does not understand the language that you speak.
The hospitality and kindness of the people from these countries is also something that will remain with us.
After being declared runner’s up morale must be high, do you plan on entering any upcoming competitions?
Band morale is definitely high.
We’re always on the lookout for festivals and competitions like Russia & Japan.
If the opportunity arises, we will approach the situation with enthusiasm, like a kid with a new toy.
Beatboxing is yet to pick-up within India on a commercial level, what are some of the difficulties you face being a beatboxing group in India?
Beatboxing is now a relatively well-known sub-genre of the Hip Hop scene in the country and is gaining popularity with each passing day.
However, having said that, it is yet to be absorbed into the mainstream culture of India.
When we started out a couple of years ago, people would be confused and dazzled by what we did, because they couldn’t figure out where or how the music they were listening to was being created.
Which is your favorite beatbox group?
Exit from Seoul, South Korea is a unanimous one for the band. Club for Five from Finland deserve a shout out as well.
Club for Five from Finland deserve a shout out as well.
What is Voctronica’s style within the beatbox genre of music? Would you call it unique from other beatbox groups out there? If so, can you tell us how?
Every group has their own flavour of the sound they want to create.
It is something that defines the identity of any band.
In our case, it has to be our blend of beatbox and heavy vocal bass.
That, along with abilities to emulate tones of different instruments is unique to our sound.
We have been the first ones to marry A Capella, Beatboxing and “Vocal Instrumentation” in this fashion, and it’s been a really rewarding journey.
What sets you apart from the other beatbox groups out there nowadays?
The biggest challenge is that most of what we do is unchartered territory because we don’t follow A Capella in the traditional sense.
Something we try and drive home is that the voice is the first Instrument we all get acquainted with.
Irrespective of our respective musical prowess and former experiences, the Re-acquainting, and Re-discovery of what we can do with our voices and indigenous techniques is a challenge we relish daily.
The fundamentals are the same, but traditionally A Capella uses very human-like tones, which is what we try to evolve out of, barring a few exceptional scenarios.
We want to sound like instruments as far as possible, in that we capture their essence vocally, and there’s no place we can go to, to learn a course on “vocal instrumentation”, if you will.
Between the 6 of us, you can hear drums, a bass guitar, electric guitars, trumpets, saxophones, violins, synthesizers, shakers, and lots of random sounds like birds, clicks, vinyl crackles, and others.
Another challenge, of course, is the art of Arrangement.
We leave no stone unturned…
In creating arrangements that do justice to the idea we wish to express or the source material (when reinterpreting popular music).
But to be as musical, and as tonally proficient as one can be.
The aim being that people should walk away feeling the full force of what an All vocal ensemble can achieve.
That being said, not every act bears the goods to crack such arrangements, and we have been lucky to focus on our strengths and create music that people have certainly absorbed positively.
What is the one message you would like to leave your audience with?
Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who believes in us, supports our career and has taken the time to truly make an impact on us.
We hold ourselves to a high standard and hope to do exactly that when it comes to meeting people’s expectations, be it creating new music, performing in their hometowns, or making good content.
We at IDAMOS SYSTEMS look forward to more such proud moments and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Here is leaving you with you with Voctronica’s most recent Fan Cam video. Watch below!
Tell us what you think of this all-vocal ensemble in the comments section below.
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