Small Talk X SMALLTALK – #LIVEANDLOCAL EP 01 Wrap-Up
It’s time to face the music! With new bands in the country churning out groovy sounds every other minute, all they require is an audience – and #SOCIAL wanted to give them one.
On 21st October ‘18, they kicked off their property #LiveAndLocal – a brand-new showcase of India’s freshest sounds in their most original avatar(s), via Social Offline’s Facebook page! Taking their (in)famous #antiSOCIAL energy above-ground, they started off with Mumbai-based neo-soul quartet, Smalltalk.
The Colokyal team took a moment to chat with band members Samarth Bahl, Yohann Coutinho, Linford D’Souza and Siddharth Shankar (feat. a special guest appearance by band manager Rehaan Oonwala), after the gig, to knock it down in a free-wheeling conversation regarding their experience playing this first edition of #LiveAndLocal, their art/work, and of course, a healthy dose of small talk.
Colokyal: So, we’ve heard small talk is a pain. Why pick this name?
Smalltalk: No pain, no gain! You really think small talk is a pain?
C: It’s just what we’ve heard! So you guys have this signature Sajid Wajid Sheikh artwork on your latest album right now. What was the inspiration behind this, and how did you guys contribute to it?
S: Through a lot of conversation, mostly. And with someone as accomplished as Sajid, we wanted to give him space, without having us supervising his every move. It was mostly a lot of chilling and sharing ideas. It did however go through 2-3 drafts.
C: Most people give briefs, right? So in that sense, how did your first conversation with him go?
S: I think our brief was just getting to know him. After the first draft, that’s when we got a little more involved – deciding the color and details. Honestly, after we met him, we realized the best thing to do is just to tell him to listen to the EP. In fact, it wasn’t even about the whole EP – there was this period of time where he just had ‘You Don’t Even’ on loop, and he heard newer things and kept adding elements – that’s why you see so many details in the artwork. If you zoom into some sections of the artwork, there are straight-up references to some of the lyrics as well. So basically he got it straight off the music, just vibing to our tunes. Also, there are like 5 heads on our artwork, if you look really closely!
C: Now that we’ve had some legit conversation, on a scale of 0 to Vulfpeck, how indie would you guys say your music is?
S: Seven. A few steps behind Vulfpeck, assuming Vulfpeck is a 10.
C: Nice! So considering you guys just went #LiveAndLocal – any idea how long it’ll take to get #InternationalAndFamous? Are you guys even aiming for that?
S: Depends on how many shares this thing gets! It’s in your hands now, guys.
C: Haha, #NoStress! Since we’re already nailing the small talk bit of the interview here, here’s another rating question – From, “we don’t like labels…”
S: (Interjecting) Labels as in music labels? We love music labels!
Meet The Band
C: We meant Genres!
S: If what you’re trying to say is, we don’t like to be labelled into one category or genre, it’s true, because we don’t create our music from that space. We just let it happen.
C: So the full question was actually – on a scale of ‘we don’t like labels’ to ‘we named our band Smalltalk,’ how hipster would you consider yourself? In retrospect, we think you guys answered that question already!
S: Our hipster level is zero! We’re not very hipster. Do you think that? Do you think we’re hipster?
C: Maybe it’s just Rehaan’s shirt?
Rehaan: I wear fractal shirts, okay?
Smalltalk: Yeah, that’s as fractal as Fabindia gets.
C: We’re loving this! Can we get more inputs from Rehaan?
S: Yeah! His favorite meal is a thali.
Versova Social aka the venue for Episode #1
C: Great small talk guys! Considering we’re also a resto-pub, here’s a food related question for you guys to munch on – favorite food?
S: Thali. South Indian Thali. Well, one of us prefers North Indian – and he’s the South Indian! So we’ll go to lunch somewhere and he’ll order the Deluxe thali – and the rest of us will order a simple thali. Then we’ll attempt to jam, but everyone’s in a food coma, so it just becomes very laid back.
C: Haha, we totally relate! Last but not least, since you guys obviously spend a lot of time together, what kind of small talk do you guys engage in?
S: Well, okay sometimes we do, if you really must know. Mostly about our issues – all of it’s gotten too real.
C: So this escalated quickly then, eh?
S: Yeah. Actually, we prefer silence to small talk, I guess.
C: Irony much?
S: Haha, #TrueStory!
Special thanks to the band, Romario Rodrigues & Rehan Oonwala (Kranti Art Theory)
All artist images are courtesy of the artists themselves
All artwork is courtesy of Gary Curzai