Category : Music
Mashmellos, ‘Lazer’, and high ‘Temperature’ at Vh1 Supersonic
 Verus Ferreira  
 16 March 2018  

When you have headliners such as Marshmallow, Major Lazer, and Sean Paul coming together, you know you are at one of the best festivals in the world.Kicking off the fifth edition from last year’s three stages, the fest brought in six stages this year, with the main stage Sonic Realm taking you into fairytale land with an Alice in Wonderland setup, complete with a clock, the hands that actually move, but anti-clockwise. You also had the wings of the ladybug open and close at intervals. And to top it all, you had the commanding deer right in the center. Laboratory Supersonic was the first stage as you entered the venue, and comparatively small compared to the others, but sporting a very industrial feel, complete with shipping port containers stacked in the backdrop. Live Arena was the huge main stage and a well thought of Changeover stage for much smaller acts. Between the Live Arena and the Spectrum stage that had more of the EDM acts, was the Reggae Stage close to the Beer Garden spinning out some classic reggae tunes on CD and vinyl. The first day of the three-day festival held from 9th, 10th and 11th February, saw Indie acts like Komorebi, Parekh & Singh, Clayton Hogermeer, Kohra, and Midival Punditz to the Live Arena stage offering the topper for the night Nucleya, Dillion Francis and Major Lazer on the Sonic Realm stage. Anyone who was at the festival will tell you how packed the venue was, and going by statistics from last year, this season saw the highest number of footfalls, with a total attendance of around 12,000 people on all three days. Major Lazer, who has played in the country before, began his set with one of Bollywood’s iconic track Choli Ke Peeche moving over to Kendrick Lamar’s Humble and Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, besides of course his own songs. Lazer showed his love for Bollywood with more unexpected tracks like Ladki Kar Gayi Chul and a few others. If Daft Punk had their helmets, Deadmau5 his mouse head, Christopher Comstock, known professionally as Marshmello, an American electronic dance music producer and DJ had the mask head. Day 2 saw a few die-hard Mashmellow fans walk in with the face mask and dancing just like he does.Though the day started with some great acts like Madboy Mink and the Stage Collective at Live Arena, followed by the Shillong based Soulmate who gave a rousing performance, this was followed by the Ska Vengers ending with Bombay Bassment and the Fanculos. The Spectrum stage witnessed some big bang performances like Ash Roy and Tuhin Mehta to Joseph Capriati, while The Laboratoire stage witnessed some galactic performances from Raja Kumari bringing tracks like Meera, Believe in You, City Slums. DJ Uri played the turntables with Ryan Sadri on Sax, but the night eventually belonged to Mashmello. Once again like the previous night opening act was almost similar to that of Major Lazer as both of them had Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai as the opening song, but from there Mashmello went on to his blockbusters we love so much. The last day at Laxmi Lawns saw indie acts like Aswekeepsearching, Pentagram, The F 16s and American rock band Incubus to the Spectrum stage offering a fantastic set by Arjun Vagale. The main act for the night was taken by Sean Paul, with audiences expecting a night to remember. Sadly the Jamaican rapper who sported an orange jacket, was not in his element but managed to raise the bar a bit with songs like Temperature, She Doesn’t Mind and a few others. The venue had lots to offer, if you ever got tired of the music. At a sprawling 35,000 sq ft moving around from each stage would give you enough exercise to lose a few calories. Like last year, there were several installations to keep you busy. This year had a giant slide, swings, cute de-stress tents, a see saw, and a mechanical bull, besides of course a fabulous food court with a mini flea market. Sadly if you wanted to have your poison while you enjoyed your favourite act, you would have to down the glass of beer or Jim Bean at the bar itself, as no alcohol was permitted outside the bar area or allowed to be carried from one stage bar to the other. Something that the organisers should seriously consider doing away with. One may try to adhere to the Legal Drinking Age (LDA) of 25, but chances are you might just get away with it at the Beer Garden that had practically no security to oversee who was drinking what. Despite the hits and the misses, Vh1 Supersonic gave us memories we will always cherish. Can’t wait for next year.Text and Photos by Verus Ferreira 

Music Story
 Verus Ferreira  
 16 March 2018  

Harvey Leigh Cantwel aka HRVY  is the guy of every teenage girl’s dream. With sky blue eyes and a ruffled blonde hairdo, the 19 year old lad is a fountain of talent. Seated at the Bottomline Media office, in a pair of torn jeans and a dark blue kurta, with his management team all around, when we meet HRVY, he’s like your boy next door, casual and down to earth. His first ever live performance at Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai was sold out with many claiming his performance was truly astounding. He had the girls literally falling for him. His alluring face, million dollar smile and attractive looks, all go to make him a real charmer. HRVY is today one of the most searched singers with his video Personal clocking about 50 million views to date. His songs Phobia, Holiday and the latest single Personal are hot favourites with teens, with their lyrics, most stemming from HRVY’s personal life experiences. HRVY is a social media sensation on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter Before his fame on social media, HRVY was a presenter on BBC’s Friday Download. After that he took to social media and released his first EP, Holiday on 25th July, 2017. While his name is on every teens lips, we can’t but wonder, why the Londoner from Kent, chose HRVY and not his real name. We choose to find out this and lot more when The Teenager Today’s music columnist Verus Ferreira got exclusive access to the dashing youngster. Here are excerpts from that conversation:So everyone wants to know the reason for the change in name. Can you tell us where the ‘a’ and ‘e’ disappeared?My team thought we might take out the vowels ‘a’ and ‘e’, and see how it sounds and make my name sound a bit different. It just stuck What music did you listen to while you were growing up?I listened to U2, songs that my dad used to play in the car. I also like Justin Timberlake, he’s great, then there’s a singer Craig David from the UK and a lot of people who were on the charts while I was growing up. So when did the real love for music light up in you?Music got my fancy at a young age when I was like five or six when I first got to understand what music really was and really enjoyed listening to it. By the time I was 13, I decided that music was what I wanted to do. I had posted a cover of a song on Facebook called ‘Simply Amazing’ by American singer Trey Songz. I shared it around on Facebook and it got a lot of traction for me and it just reached a new high. Then my manager thought I should make a video of it with me singing in it and yeah that’s how it really clicked. So it was a Facebook video which appeared on YouTube. Do songs like Phobia, Holiday, or Personal, give out a message to all your fans? Well not really, I mean, we just write about how we feel which is a concept on how we all work. I like Holiday which is a bit of fun, while Phobia was like more of heart break song, and I know people would like that kind of stuff, it’s just got that romantic side to it. So do these songs stem from your real life experiences?Some of it kind of influenced it a bit, while some of it isn’t, and some is just made up. Well going back in time I liked this girl and so it comes from there. Well the songs are a little bit of my own experiences, and so like I said, like Personal has a line about my ex girlfriend, with a line... you used to flirt with your friends. And as I said I guess a lot is also made up. Every artist goes to a lot of obstacles to reach the top, you have succeeded quite easily. How did you do it?I feel like my career is only just started, and I am sure there will be some obstacles in the way in the future. I think for now it’s been pretty okay, I’ve been on the top, so I’m fine. Your EP ‘Talk with Ya’ has both the songs Phobia and Personal. Phobia is slow, while Holiday is a bit up tempo. How do the fans react to such songs?The fans really like Phobia because it’s much slower, while Personal is danceable, which is really good, so they get a chance to choose what they really like, they have both, songs that they can chill out to at a party and the other to just listen to. Besides singing do play any musical instruments?I really want to learn the piano; I think it’s a very beautiful instrument So in the future what songs would you like to make, slow or maybe a few dance numbers?I would like to release music that has everything, that has both slow and fast numbers.Coming to your first visit to Mumbai, when you knew you were coming to India, what is the first thought that came to your mind?I am really happy to be in India, even if it’s just 5 days. It’s amazing to see such a diverse culture out here. I love the people, they’re so friendly. Everyone who I met, asked me about how I liked the country. They were really very nice and kind to me. So have you heard or watched any Bollywood movies?I have heard a lot of Bollywood and there’s this actor that we have been talking about with my team, I think his name is Shah Rukh Khan and yes I want to watch his movies before I go or take some DVDs home with me. You also have a tour with The Vamps coming up soon, are you also planning a collaboration with them also?Yes I have a tour with them in March and about collaboration well who knows, we are all friends and it may happen. So for now, it’s just the tour with them and just have some fun and yes we want to come to India again. I love the country and will be here again soon. The Vamps are supposed to be on tour in India in June this year and I’m coming back with them. Do you plan on shooting any music videos in India, considering that there have been many artists like Coldplay who have also shot videos here? Now that I have been here I definitely want to shoot a video, and yes the next time we come to India, or maybe when we come in June and also at the end of the year, we may just decide on it. We would probably take in a bit of the Indian culture in it and yes wear something like this (points to his blue kurta). So what are your dreams and aspirations?To take over the world in a good way, musically have my music everywhere. What are your future plans?Just keep releasing songs and to release more music, travel around the world....... just to have fun.... really.What memories would you take from India?I take memories of the people, how they relate to me, the things I’ve seen on the streets, everything around me, the food. I want to try some street food, we haven’t really done that yet, we have kind of hotel food at the moment, so I want to try the dosa. So finally we come to a question many girls would want to know. Do you have a girlfriend?No (laughs). I don’t, I am singleAny message for your fans? I love you guys, thank you for being so supportive, Shukriya. Text and Photos by Verus Ferreira