[VoxMix Tapes] The Story Of Capricio – The First Telugu Fusion Music Band of Hyderabad

In the world we live in, Music also is a tricky business. With so many avenues opening up for artists worldwide to showcase their talents, it becomes a matter of choice really. Add to that, our generation has a wasp’s attention, and if an artist isn’t impressing you in the first few seconds of his play, well then, he isn’t impressing you at all. That’s the edgy world we live in. Bands, Artists, YouTube channels, Audiophiles, and Disk Jockeys, have their task truly cut out. Innovate and Impress. Talking of which, we are in conversation with a band, named Capricio, in Hyderabad which is creating its own niche, by doing something highly innovative. Fusion of retro regional language hit songs, is their fodder, as they create seamless transitions and bring out works which dip you into all sorts of nostalgia and serenity. The band Capricio consisting of four members, Eknath Kiran and Ganesh Kroviddi (Vocals), Sai Teja (Percussionist) and Shravan (Keyboard), is defining the indie scene in the city with their performances. We thought we’d catch up with them and find out as to what makes them click. Excerpts of it below.

What does Capricio stand for? And how does that definition reflect upon the band members?

Capricio is taken from the Italian language, meaning ‘Live Form Of Music’ and it has a specific definition in western music that it relates to. Capricio in C scale or Capricio in D scale is what it stands for. This means presenting a musical piece on a scale of C or D. So the term relates completely to a western theory or thought. How it reflects on the band is when we fist formed the band, we started implementing the western theory in our genre of Telugu and Hindi retro pieces. For example putting in some harmonies and blues into such pieces, say Reggae progressions and such into traditional Indian songs. So, that gave a new revolutionary flavour to our music.

We are curious to know how four seemingly unconnected people came about to form a band of fusion music? What’s the story behind this?

Sai Teja, the percussionist of the band looks back at the origin, “So the story starts with Ganesh. Ganesh called me one day, and he said that there was a singer called Kiran who needed a drummer or a percussionist, and asked me to help out. So I went with Kiran in search of keyboard players, drummer and such. After a while, we did find them and made up a collective. At that point of time, we thought that it would be better if we could have two singers in the group we were forming. Therefore, we expanded to Kiran and Ganesh, to make a symphonic duo. Later on, Sravan, who is the keyboard player now, came on board. So that’s how it all started. Four unconnected people are all connected via music” he says.

If you guys had to pick up a point where the journey of Capricio was truly defined, what would that be? Also looking back, would you say you guys could’ve done something better or are you satisfied with where you are at present?

The point would be where we established a magical synchronicity within Kiran and Ganesh. When we reached a stage when they would pick up the notes in tandem and perform as a duo in he most wonderful way. Their coordination became one of our greatest strengths. Vidya Sivalenka, the manager of the bands adds “when you see them live, each gig defines the journey of Capricio, because of the chemistry between the members, as to their spontaneity and improvisation. That is perhaps Capricio’s USP and truly defines the band”.

When we formed a band, we started creating a music which was entirely new. A piece which was not shown anywhere else and practically no one was doing that, at least in Telugu industry or Live shows. So that was truly unique and original. When we jammed together a new essence gets created. Of course, the more we do the more we evolve in our music and presentation. So we’d say it has come to a good place now, but there’s definitely a greatness to be achieved. there’s always a lot more to come.

How does a typical day of music preparation go for Capricio? How does every member of the band contribute to building a musical piece? What are the bands that you draw your inspiration from while composing?

It all starts with inputs and research. We collect the suggestions and requests we receive during our shows, and go back and work on them. We form a basic structure and start practising on improving those suggestions with various musical elements. Most of our preparation involves preparing a songs list, brainstorming about innovative ways to go about it, then we sit together and then start jamming. That’s all the practise we do to some extent.

However, when we get on stage, the piece acts on its own, as it evolves into something else. So, practice sessions are very random to start with, and what the audience sees on stage is the final evolved product. Agam, Suraj Santosh, Masala Coffee and MTV Coke Studio. We check out all the bands, collect info from different sources and try to draw a knowledge base for what we see.

In this present age of original scores and compositions, here you are making a mark in Fusion music. In this context what are the advantages you find by doing so, and what are the limitations you have for this?

To look at the advantages, well we could list, Improvisation at the freedom to do so. Also as people know the songs we keep, it’s easier to connect with them on a nostalgic level. To list the Limitations, I guess we don’t get a great recognition because we don’t do Original Compositions. But of course, we are planning for OCs in the near future.  The other limitation is that presently within Hyderabad’s music culture, not everyone listens to bands playing Telugu. That becomes a hurdle for us. The smaller number of Telugu Music listeners is something we need to overcome to become truly popular. Only some places which encourage. Another thing is, weirdly Telugu audience feel a bit embarrassed to listen to their songs when they come to see us live. It somehow doesn’t fit in as a cool thing to do. This we have to change and we will. Our appeal to them would be to accept music in any form possible. After al Music itself is the coolest thing on earth.

When we see your performances, most of these revolve around retro hits and classic in Telugu and Hindi. Any particular reason for sticking with them? Also while composing a fusion piece what care do you take to make the transition from one song to another feel seamless?

No particular reason. Basically, because they can connect easily to the song that they’ve already heard and liked. Also, we like to re-introduce old classical hits and retro music to the present generation of music lovers, who are more inclined towards international bands from the start. Thus, we want to build a platform which is both unique and highly relatable while educating about our music culture.

We do have a good classical knowledge base, which helps us fuse raga based pieces in a good transition. And, film songs, we just go with the feel for it. Firstly, we have a good database of songs across ages, and we know their tunes and structure. We pick up a song, and while in it, we try to infuse something which sounds similar or relevant there. It’s all trial and error mostly, and after hours of doing so, we end with a structure to the fusion.

Lastly, where are you guys playing at these days and how has the experience been? Also, where do you see Capricio going forward in the next 5 years?

Our best experience is playing at MoonShine Project, where we play our genres ever so freely, in Telugu. Telugu music is really appreciated there. And other places we play are at Air Cube, Out Of The Box and recently we started playing at Dock FortyFive. So these places we are playing Bollywood stuff. We enjoy Bollywood fusion music as well, mainly cause its different and there are greater options to explore. To make Capricio on the best bands in regional music across the country. We want to reach to every indie music lover within our nation. We want to be so popular that VoxSpace needs an appointment to interview us.

Capricio should be a great vehicle for original and evolving music, in terms of presentations, visualisation and collaborations. I think we were blessed to have a great production value in our gigs till now. Becuase every band uses programming, but with our live instruments, it is difficult to maintain a good presentation value. therefore, we think we’ve got the best production inputs any band could ask for. Abhyuday Choudary behind the scenes makes us work magic. Also in this regard, we would like to thank Vidya Sivalenka for being the driving force for Capricio, day in and day out. Our leader is Vidya, and the way she’s making us click is incredible.

In this regard, Vidya adds “This band is such an incredible thing to happen to Telugu Music Industry, cause they are here to propagate the music in ways never tried before, and have become the bridge to many aspects of the artform, recording and live, Retro and Modern, and more importantly western and Indian music. and therefore I’m sure that Capricio will eventually become the best music band to come out in Telugu in the next 5 years”.

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