By Ashok Kumar
The Toyota organised “Feeling the Street” competition of the musicians who make streets their stage and six emerged winners in this competition..
Chosen from a pool of 370 artists across 29 countries, the winners were Robson Peres (violinist, Brazil), Thomas Cheval (pianist, Italy), Héctor Matías (bass player, Brisbane via Chile), Albert Peres (drummer, Colombia), Maneswita Jaiswal (drummer,Lucknow, India) and Chelei Solo from Nagaland, India, (vocals, India). The Indian Sub-continent Times had the privilege to witness live performance by these musicians at the Circular Quay in Sydney, on Thursday, last week.
On Wednesday, last, this correspondent had the opportunity to interview Maneswita Jaiswal over phone.
Following are excerpts from the interview:
The IST: Congratulations for winning the competition and how did you feel about it?
Maneswita: Thank you, it was an amazing feeling and a dream come true. It was my childhood passion to learn music.
The IST: How did you and where did you learn music?
Maneswita: I learnt on my own. I started with piano, then moved to guitar and finally to drums. I have been very passionate about music since childhood and I like to learn new things.
The IST: What was your connection with Saraswati Music College (SMC) in Lucknow?
Maneswita: I was in SMC for just one month but overall it was self-study and practice. But, now I am doing my graduation from University of Delhi and practicing music when I am not studying.
The IST: How is performing in streets as compared to concert in auditorium?
Maneswita: It is awesome in streets because you develop a direct connect with the people that is not possible on stage and I enjoy performing on streets.
The IST: You are due to record track with other musicians soon. Will it be the first time you will be recording?
Maneswita: I have never recorded before and I am eagerly looking forward to recording the track.
The IST: Did you get any offer from the Bollywood music directors or have you been spotted by Bollywood music directors?
Maneswita: No, I am happy busking on streets and I have not tried Bollywood.
The IST: Why on Streets?
Maneswita: I have been busking for the past six months. I got this idea when I was in Australia last year when I saw a bucket drummer. I played on streets in Australia and I did bucket drumming for the first time. But I got better with every performance. I busk in Delhi in Connaught Place or by the shopping malls. I am very excited to be in Australia I have and will meet people and great musicians.
The IST: Why did you take up drumming and how did you manage to get the strengthen in your arms to play the drums ?
Maneswita: I always wanted to inspire female drummers and musicians in India and worldwide. The strength comes by practice.
The IST: Wish you good luck for your future endeavours and recording.
Maneswita: Thanks you
It may be noted that Maneswita recorded her track last Friday, 14th October, 2016 and was very excited about it.
The second Indian musician is Chelei from Nagaland in vocals (singing) category. Chelei had been busking on the streets of Delhi only for a week, before she entered Feeling the Streets. Like Swita, she too never had any singing lessons or been in a band. However, she had performed in her two school bands while in High School.
“I always had a keen interest in music. I was and still am fascinated by street and You Tube artists, she said. “I mostly listen to Alternative Rock and Electro-Pop. The Veronicas and the Pretty Reckless are what inspired me to passionately engage myself in music. Chelei is in her final year studying English from IP College for Women, Delhi University. She was keen to meet fellow musicians in Sydney. She had never been out of India.