Aria with Hosi Nanji (extreme left) and family
When her father Hosi Nanji slapped his bass guitar for the band, People in the 1970s, the music scene in Bombay was an eclectic mix. The band did leave a mark. Cut to 2017, his daughter Aria Nanji — a 21-year-old performer and about-to-be certified producer — is keeping the musical legacy alive. Nanji is a music production and engineering student at Berklee College of Music, Boston, and is on a two-week vacation in the city. Ahead of a Folk/Americana gig tonight, she discusses her dream of becoming a full-time producer for musicians.
“I will finish my course in December, and once back, I want to start producing for musicians in the city. I learnt a lot about production techniques in Berklee and I want to implement them. Even my listening habits have habits changed. I listen to music critically these days,” says Aria, who switched courses (from performance to music production) to get closer to her dream. Sean Slade, who produced Radiohead’s first album Pablo Honey (1993), is one of her teachers at the institute.
The atmosphere at home shaped her musical perspective.. The family accepted and played independent music at a time when nocturnal outings were limited to a couple of Jazz and cabaret acts. “Both my parents could play the guitar, so it came naturally to me. And my father ran a band with veteran musicians like Ronnie Desai and Ranjit Barot,” she says.
Aria Nanji and Clayton Hogermeerg
Though Aria is focusing on the technical aspect of music, she isn’t taking gigs lightly, and is keen to continue with them. “Singing is a hobby, and I will keep working on it. I had planned this gig with Clayton Hogermeer (an old friend and Mumbai-based singer-songwriter) months in advance. We don’t get to perform together otherwise,” she reveals. The two had met while performing at a flea market in Bandra in 2014, before she headed to the US. “I was playing after him, and waited back to hear my performance. A few days later, we had a gig together,” she recalls.
Being an ardent fan of Folk music, she speaks of the artistes she would cover at the gig. “There will be songs by Sting, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez among others,” shares Aria. Her rendition of Blackbird (The Beatles) is already a YouTube hit. On the other hand, Clayton will strum a few of his originals like Boy With A Heart and Skies of Gold.
Aria will be heading back to Boston by the end of the month to complete her course.
Time 9.30 pm onwards
At Bonobo, 2nd floor, Kenilworth Mall, off Linking Road, Bandra (W).