Sofar Delhi NCR is dependent on not just its music performers but its visual artists to get the ball rolling with people each month. From making the gig look good to capture the raw emotions artists feel on stage, our visual charmers capture it all.
Dhruv Kalra is one of our in-house photographers who has been associated as a volunteer for a little more than a year and it has been quite a ride.
He discovered Sofar Sounds through Srishti Das, who headed the communications team at the Delhi NCR chapter.
Kalra shoots a lot of different scenarios, but still calls himself a music photographer because music is the reason he started working with photography.
“When I was in my late teens, I started going to gigs and I always wondered how cool would it be to capture the emotions and expressions of a musician on stage,” says Kalra whose inspiration in music is Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, who propels him to keep going, no matter what.
While Dhruv is open to listening to the Sofar’s intimate serenades, his favorite genre is Heavy metal which surprisingly makes him feel happy and calm. Kalra’s favorite Indian artist to watch is ‘aswekeepsearching’ but his first show with Sofar was his favorite one yet because it featured three different artists from all over the world.
The blend of Bluegrass, Classical heavy metal and Hip-hop at our March 2017 show blew his mind and remains his motivation to show up and shoot at every Sofar Delhi NCR show.
Dhruv has had a great experience with Sofar where he has met a lot of new people from different backgrounds of life. “I get to watch and listen to so many amazing artists whom I might have never seen if it was not for Sofar,” says Kalra who has expanded his horizon as a music photographer with the entity.
The concept of Sofar Sounds is important to him as independent musicians in India find people who actually listen to the music and respect the artist on stage.
“People mingle with each other and the artists in that short 15 minutes break which usually doesn’t happen at club gigs. People get to witness new and different artists as a surprise which I think is very cool as it removes any preconceived notions. I think this makes both the audience and the artists happy,” says Kalra who is enthusiastic about volunteering at every show.
Kalra doesn’t shy away from the fact that life is tough as an independent photographer in this country.
“You don’t get gigs you want. You get paid like peanuts at the gigs you shoot. And the usual shitty clients, delayed payments are things every independent professional goes through. There are also the good parts; like feeling happy seeing all the pictures I shot,” says Dhruv who lives for the great feeling when random people meet you at gigs and compliment you for your work.
“It has been 5 years since I have been a part of the independent music scene in Delhi and I have worked with some of the best bands and a few great festivals from the city. Life is been pretty good,” with that our metalhead in-house visual artist with the longest dread signs off.
(All pictures featured here are by Dhruv Kalra and are his personal favorite)