Contemporary folk feels fascinatingly new, thanks to bands like the Tapi Project.
Startling in their ability to remain true to the essence of the folk tradition while being relevant to today’s social concerns, the Tapi Project, a four-member outfit, which includes guitaist Yogi Saniyawala, vocalist Swati Minaxi, drummer Gaurav Kapadia and guitarist Anand Joseph Mani, has carved their own niche in the field.
The group’s songs veer from the simple and the poetic to more complex, with delicately arranged layers of folk instruments and genres.
We spoke to Yogi to learn more about how the band started out, their inspirations and what’s next for them:
1) Why did you name the band ‘The Tapi Project’ ?
Tapi is a river flowing in our hometown, Surat, and we have a song titled ‘Tapi’ which is our homage to the rivers of the world.
2) And what inspired you to come together to start the band?
The inspiration comes from a will and desire to express ourselves and travel. We love to understand and know different societies, cultures and places. Performing gives us that opportunity.
Your music is a blend of world music, jazz, folk and other genres. How did you create your musical style?
Actually, we honestly do not know which style our music fits in. What we’ve created has come from an organic process.
What has been your favourite song to perform, and which has been the best place to perform?
Everyone has their favourites: Gaurav loves Dariya, Anand loves Yuhi Kahi, Swati loves Gumshuda, and Yogi likes Raho Mein
And we remember playing at a small place in Figueres, Spain with fondness. What a beautiful place and people!
Tell us a little about your debut album. What challenges did you face making it, and how did you deal with them?
The biggest challenge was finding the right studio. We were lucky to find our friend Nihit and then work with him. He was a source of inspiration and comfort, and working with him was financially viable.
What inspired you to write the song ‘Paigam’?
‘Paigam’ is about having meaning to the words we speak and use. We talk so much but it may mean quite little.
What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened on your music-making adventures so far?
Nothing unexpected, but yes, we have gotten a lot of love and appreciation from overseas countries, such as Europe, Hong Kong and Japan.
Any new music coming our way in 2018?
Hopefully! We are trying to work on new music and as our process is organic, we’re waiting for the music and words come to us.