Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You can sing, so can I!

June 16, 2013 was a regular Sunday for me.  As a sub-editor of a daily, I work on Sundays, from 4.30 pm to 11.30 pm. But that day, I was going to sing. It was beyond the humming in my bathroom and the antakshari sessions. I was about to get my voice recorded in a studio. And I did, thanks to techie-turned-singer Sunil Koshy and his initiative, “From Mug to Mike”. 

His idea was simple –– get interested “bathroom singers” to join the community that was set up as a Facebook group in April 2013, provide them a basic introduction to professional singing, and give a chance to record their voice in a professional studio. For those interested to continue, Koshy would conduct advanced training sessions.

He had the support of his associates in the music industry and his loving wife. Sa Studio in Banashankari, Bangalore became the venue, with the first workshop in April 27. I joined the crew in June.

What unveiled in the following months was beyond the dreams of the organisers.

Word spread fast as friends of the aspiring singers took note of their smiling photos taken the studio. “Over 400 bathroom singers have recorded in a studio for the first time ever in their lives, in a span of less than six months. People came from other cities in Karnataka and even from Pune, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram just to attend our workshops,” says Koshy, beaming with pride. 

Participants came and attended the advanced sessions repeatedly, giving Koshy and team the confident to hold a stage show for amateur singers. The first show, on August 18 in Bangalore, became an assembly of enthusiastic singers stepping out of their privacy, receiving tremendous appreciation. 

“There was a stream of messages and enquiries,” remembers Koshy. “Rotary Club of Kochi invited us to conduct workshops there.” Thus, ‘From Mug to Mike’ crossed the state orders on October 19 and 20, 2013. Next year will open with their entry in Chennai, on January 5.

“There have been many people writing to us from around the world, including US, UK, UAE and other countries,” says Koshy with pride. Koshi is yet to acknowledge it, but going by the number of participants till date, ‘From Mug to Mike’ is currently the largest recording platform of amateur singers in India.

I am happy to be one among the hundreds. As of my recording, well, it was mediocre. But, hell, it’s my first recording in a studio. And I am happy that I could sing!

(Illustration: From Mug to Mike)