“In the beginning, I thought it was just spam,” says lead vocalist Vandana Srinavasan as they prep to perform at the Olympic Park in London at the end of July.
Chennai fusion band Staccato has been chosen out of 10,000 entries from Asia to perform at the London Olympics 2012. The 10-member ensemble will perform at the Olympic Park for the cultural exchange events on July 30 and August 2.
15-year-old keyboardist, and youngest member of the band, Kaashif Rafiq tells us about how he got the band their spot in the Olympic torchlight
First, my dad came to me and mentioned his friend, Shrimathi, who had a contact for the ECE (Educational Cultural exchanges) that work with the NOC (National Organising Committee) and told me to apply for this. So I gave an audition tape of two songs (‘Salsa’ and ‘Songs By Air’) from Staccato. So it went through a four month process and about 2-3 weeks back we got selected.
When I got the email, it felt really good to be representing the country. From Asia, only India and China got selected.
Stream their two winning tunes below.
Lead vocalist Vandana Srinivasan told us that getting the slots at the London Olympics may be a huge opportunity for them. However, they currently require sponsors to fund their trip to the UK
We’ve been given four slots starting from July 30. We have a month to go and we are going all out to try and get sponsors. It’s a great opportunity for us and we really want to go. There is a lot in it for anyone who wants to be associated with the cause. We are representing India at the Olympics and you could be the sponsor on this trip.
Srinivasan also told us about how her initial disbelief caused her to assume that it was all a scam
In the beginning, I thought it was just spam. I was sure there was some game involved, how could we have been picked? We did a cross check and it turns out that it was genuine.
Everyone around us thinks we are not excited enough. And we are, but the reality gets us concerned because till we get sponsors we are not going to be able to go. So we are so worried about sponsors that we aren’t really going, “Wow, Olympics” just yet. But I am sure if it all works out and we are ready to go, it is going to be beyond glee. We are waiting to enjoy the excitement.
Staccato are a experimental fusion band that bring together their classical Carnatic trappings with blues, jazz, and arabic influences, as well as western classical. The band are well-known for their renditions of songs by Chennai composers AR Rahman and Illayaraja. This is not the first time the band has landed in the international spotlight. They composed the soundtrack for the film Thinapayanam, which won Best Score at the Paris Film Festival (Festival of Sankilyan Viruthu) in 2010. Staccato has also represented India at the world finals of Tum Tum Pa, a percussion event organized by Red Bull in Brazil.
Check out Staccato’s performance at Score Magazine’s Tribute to AR Rahman below.
Photo by Madhana Gopal