- 30 Mar 2016
- FWD Admin
Home grown Indie rock band, When Chai Met Toast, on making people happy in Kochi and beyond.
You may not have heard of them, but once you do, then there is no way that you will forget them. When Chai Met Toast, they ‘jam’med. The joke was so bad that this band from the land of coconuts laughed helplessly, literally. If your sense of humor meets another kindred soul, you can only imagine what transpires . Chatting with the band, sans chai or toast, was refreshing as my cold drink in the sweltering summer day in Kochi. So when did chai meet toast? The lore is so urban that you would not be surprised at all. A chance meeting and jamming session in Fort Kochi between two musically inclined guys lead to the creation of When Chai Met Toast. A random name that stuck. But what will surprise you is the talent and knowledge that Ashwin Gopakumar (vocals) and Achyuth Jaigopal (strings, backing vocals) have to create music that is not just good, but as they say; happy. The two person band has grown with the addition of Palee Francis (Keyboard), Pai Sailesh (Drums), Kishan (manager) and other friends who are happy to be playing with them. So why does WtzupCity love When Chai Met Toast?
1. First of all, the Happy vibe – if Pharrell sang it, these guys do it. With their toe tapping numbers, your heart takes little leaps of glee, relive their ‘Beautiful World’ or take a tour with ‘Fireflies’ and ‘Superman.’ After all, it is all about the ‘Joy of Little Things.’
2. Loveable lyrics – who hasn’t attended a concert without learning the set list? With When Chai Met Toast, you would love to follow their easy lyrics even if you don’t learn it before hand, after all great messages have to be told simply.
3. They listen to other people – in all sense of the phrase. Their playlist includes Mumford and Sons (a concert they would do anything to attend), Coldplay (perfect for this hot summer), and how can you not swoon when they show you pictures with the great Rodrigo y Gabriela? We shared bands, songs and other music gyaan that will fill my week with delightful earworms.
4. The band itself! Achyuth Jaigopal is a classically trained guitarist who tours with the Raghu Dixit Project and has earned praises from the man himself. Mr.Toast has not even cleaned the dirt of shoes he wore at the Glastonbury with RDP. He is soft spoken and way too mature for his extremely young age. Achyuth is a Kochiite who released his debut instrumental album last year. Mr. Chai turns out to be the high on life , while Ashwin Gopakumar, a metal head with a soft center. With his passion for sound (how else would one describe a metal head) that’s oddly paired with with an engineering degree and shunning a shiny corporate job, Ashwin is the brain behind the band. He believes in connecting with the audience and will have you laughing in no time.
5. Great covers – they listen and play well, looks like they got it all ‘covered’.. Check out their covers of Scooby Doo and I Will Wait on their YouTube channel.
6. Freebies at concerts – Ashwin is a die hard fan of home made goodies. When Chai Met Toast gives out DIY kits which includes branded tea bags for your Chai break. Come on, don’t deny that you like free stuff, especially ones of the good kind.
7. Music for movies – Achyuth was approached to make the music for Humans of Someone. The experience was nothing like before says he. And the band was asked by Shaan Rahman to contribute to Jacobinte Swargya Rajyam. They were worried that movie music would be a task but were surprised by how much fun they had making the songs. So watch out for their tunes in the latest Nivin Pauly blockbuster.
8. They laughed at our joke – you really do need a great sense of humor to put up with the likes of us. And we had such a great time hanging out with these guys. We cannot wait for their concert at JTPAC on April 3rd, 2016.
When Chai Met Toast is just a year old and they have already matured in their music. Their second concert in Kochi will be a showcase of that. Raghu Dixit forced Achyuth to buy a banjo and the band claims that it has really changed their sound. Playing over 3 gigs a month, they are already drawing crowds of over 150 people. These are regular Malayali guys who decided to follow their passion. Their parents don’t necessarily understand their music, but are their biggest supporters. Achyuth and Ashwin tell how all their songs are sent to their folks first and usual comments are “ this is ok”, “ this sounds like a church song son”, “what is this”. They’re a start up band that has embraced the internet and the changes it has made to the music scene. A band that takes inspiration from everything, even the morning sunlight that wakes you up. They have made songs in 5 minutes and in days. Combining their two styles, Achyuth and Ashwin write songs that will strike a chord with the listener. When Chai Met Toast will be releasing their EP in a couple of months and also will be shooting an original video. We cannot wait to hear more beautiful music.
Words by: Maria John
Photos by: Jaffer Zadique & Abhishek Shukla
Event details: http://www.wtzupcity.com/kochi/events/when-chai-met-toast
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of WtzupCity.com.