The Woody Accouche Project is a rare blend of sounds which was founded in Delhi, India by Calvin Chiramel in 2013 and was conceptualized as an acoustic and organic jam based band that could blend the subtleties of classical instruments with contemporary folk, rock, rhythm, and lyrics.
This Rastafarian vibrant and energetic folk propaganda in the music is a culmination of the musicians’ experiences with art and music from around the world.
So far, so good
Their involvement with Sofar Delhi NCR started when Raghav, Artist Liaison of Sofar Sounds Delhi NCR invited them to perform at A Moving Art Market which is a wonderful and intimate initiative to unite artists and patrons.
They performed a duo set there, and showcased songs from their nine-track debut album, Jive Tribe, released in 2017, wherein, Calvin was accompanied by Nitin Virat on hand percussions and had a great time with the crowd.
Next thing you know, they got invited to perform at a Sofar gig within the week owing to the last minute cancellation by one of the slotted bands. So Calvin invited Kartikeya Vashist to join on Flutes and got introduced to Ismail, from Turkey, who plays the Darbouka and had been touring and traveling in India at the time. They jammed together on the songs a day before the gig and it sounded great, so they invited Ismail to join us at the Sofar gig the next day.
Influences and Influencers
As a songwriter and performer, Calvin has been influenced significantly by the work of Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and Bob Marley and The Wailers, and continues to be inspired by many others.
The band members bring with them their own inspiration from diverse artists and styles of music, which is what makes the Project such a treat to listen to.
Nitin Virat on hand percussion mentions West African tribal music along with Himalayan and Rajasthani folk music, and artists such as A.R. Rahman, Amit Trivedi and Mamadi Kieta as inspiration.
Kartikeya Vashist studied with Shri Sujit Mandal, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Dr. L. Shankar and enjoys listening to The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Prem Joshua, Advaita, Shakti, amongst others and is inspired by folk music from around the world.
Ismail Altunbas studied with ‘Misirli Ahmet’ and is inspired by Levent Yildirim, Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.
To be a musician
Their gig with Sofar is the only Sofar gig any of them have been to which is what makes their experience with Sofar special, to say the least. The band admired the meticulous planning that went into every aspect of the gig and found the atmosphere at the gig to be quite chilled out and comfortable which is essential to the performance.
Independent artists have always required the support of well-wishers and volunteer-based collaborations to further their careers and spread their music, given that, as opposed to signed artists they have to cater to every aspect of their work without the help of professional infrastructure and financial investment, which, needless to say, goes far beyond merely being good at musicianship.
Considering how hard it is for them to survive as growing artists, let alone, create their own music videos, Sofar certainly offers to bridge that gap not only by offering to create an industry- quality video but also promoting it to a worldwide audience.
It is, of course, pertinent to mention that as artists who make a living performing at various kinds of events, their audience may not always be receptive to the music, whereas at Sofar the audience looks forward to being surprised. Sofar audiences are curated specifically to find adventure in the unknown, which the band found extremely rewarding, both during and after the performances.
Being an independent musician is a long road of patience and perseverance and is certainly not the easiest choice as a career option, as is the case with most arts.
“The pros and cons of being an independent musician aside, certainly, Sofar is an opportunity not only to face a receptive audience but also to get that gorgeous shiny video made that we can learn from and share with pride, hoping to reach wider audiences which is what musicianship is about, to us,” says Chiramel who is stoked about the Woody Accouche Project’s upcoming video release on our channel.
Stay tuned and keep listening!