‘Sanam’, a band of four musicians deeply revered for their renditions of old classics like ‘Lag Jaa Gale’, ‘Mere Mehboob’, ‘Dil Kya Kare’, and now making waves again with their original compositions, were recently in Goa. NT BUZZ speaks to the boys
RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
Having done a number of shows in Goa, mostly private, ‘Sanam’, a band of four talented members were recently in Goa to perform. Apart from work, Goa is also one of their go-to destinations and they visit often to take a break from work. “For creativity to flow, you need to give yourself a break once in a while. Goa does magic when we come here to refresh,” says Sanam Puri who is the lead vocalist. The other members include Venky S on bass, Samar Puri on lead guitar, and Keshav Dhanraj on drums.
The group started their journey in 2010 as winners of the Times Music ‘Superstars’, and then released their first eponymous album. Though there are many reasons behind the name of the band but to round up a few, Dhanraj shares: “We wanted a simple name that everyone could remember and connect with. A name that even international audiences could find familiar. A musical name. Turns out, Sanam is as simple as it gets. A word used in number of different languages all over the world. A name that describes our music.”
And over the years, the group, fondly referred to as India’s Fab Four have evolved as individuals and as a band, gaining confidence in performing live on stage, dealing with different crowds, and trying to entertain everyone and bring joy to their audience. “We work really hard to build a #Sanam experience worth watching live. In regard to our YouTube releases, we keep experimenting with new video ideas, new sounds and new musical styles to keep our music fresh and also to grow as musicians,” says Samar.
Also, the band considers a number of different factors and plans accordingly while choosing songs for live performances. Venky S says that they have a large setlist that is altered and tailor-made to each audience. “For example, when we visited Cape Town, we found a lot of Mohammad Rafi fans and we sensed a great deal of nostalgia in all the Indian origin people living there. So we made a new setlist that would take them back to their older days. We also mixed in some current hits to keep the younger audiences engaged.” Whereas in Pune, they kept their setlist more energetic and uptempo to keep up with the young college audience.
But in all their performances, Sanam says, they try to take their audience through a journey. He says: “Music is emotional. There are many different emotions that we can explore. We try to make our live experience as versatile as possible.”
Accredited for having composed their first original composition ‘Main Hoon’ for the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Amazing Spiderman 2’, the band has been awarded Best Music Content Creator (National Category) at the Social Media Summit & Awards 2017 in Amravati and Digital Icons of the Year at Talent Track Awards 2018. The turning point of their career, Dhanraj says is after they met their manager Ben Thomas. “As independent musicians, we were never taken seriously as a band. For the first time we found someone who believed in us as much as we believed in ourselves,” says Dhanraj.
Sharing the highlights of their career, Venky says that first impactful experiences are always the memories that stick. He says: “The first time we performed in Maldives and had a sea of people screaming for us and fans sleeping on the road outside a hotel they thought we were put up in, was something we never thought we would experience.” Performing to a sold out ice skating stadium in Amsterdam on the Kings 50th birthday and on a really rainy day, was something unexpected as well.
“We always thought Hindi music would be limited to India. But we travel the world these days performing in countries we never imagined we would perform,” says Venky. But the four of them, he says, have many more memories to experience. “The journey has only just begun.”