- 24 Nov 2017
Showtime Kochi sets out on a goal to improve the music scene of Kochi
Showtime Kochi is a community of musicians whose goal is to improve the music scene of Kochi, by providing opportunities for the local public to showcase their musical talents in front of an audience, completely free of cost, whilst also giving them a chance to enjoy live music.
Showtime Kochi, or simply "Showtime", was started by a few founding members who wanted to help the local musicians of Kochi. As most of the members of Showtime are musicians themselves, they understood that Western live music in Kochi doesn't receive a lot of attention. Local musicians are expected to perform for free, and hardly get anything else in return. After several discussions, they realised that the best solution to this was to give the local public a taste of contemporary indie live music which is quite different from the "ganamela troupes" that they usually see.
The way to do this, they decided, was to start from the streets, and expose everyone to the joy of listening to live music, whether it be covers, or original compositions. And that is how they came up with the idea of a Street Jam. They wanted to show people that there was beauty in non-mainstream music too. Some of the founding members of Showtime Kochi perform music in slightly more obscure genres such as metal, so they realise the lack of attention non-mainstream music gets. In Showtime, all genres of music are welcomed and supported heartily.
The first Street Jam conducted by Showtime Kochi started as an informal celebration of World Music Day. A few musicians gathered around at Streetscape, Panampilly Nagar, and jammed out to some of their favourite songs. A lot of pedestrians gathered around and enjoyed the music for a while before continuing on their evening stroll. The event was a success, and that's when they realised that this was the best way to bring their music to the streets and to the public.
Since then, Showtime Kochi has conducted 5 Street Jams in total, including the aforementioned World Music Day jam, at venues like Decathlon (Vytilla), Lassi Shop (Changampuzha Park) and Cafe Kapio (Kaloor). The Street Jam is conducted every month, and is funded and organized by the members of Showtime, who come up to about 20 in number. They provide a sound system and some basic instruments - two guitars, a keyboard and a cajon to keep rhythm. Mics are also provided for singers. The Street Jam is open to everyone and is completely free of cost. People from the audience are encouraged to come and sing a song, or play a tune on the guitar, or accompany other performers, much like an Open Mic. It is a platform for live music, much like what their friends at Arbor Vitae, an organisation that conducts Open Mics around Kochi, provide.
A lot of performers have happily proclaimed that their stage fright has reduced after performing for a Street Jam with Showtime. The members of Showtime make it a point to support the performers and give them a lot of encouragement and love. Showtime Kochi has also been featured in Indulge, Indian Express.
Showtime Kochi's Street Jams have seen singer-songwriters, bands, rappers and magicians perform in front of their audience. Even though Showtime stands for the improvement of local music predominantly, they also encourage other art forms and are supportive of amateur performers as well.
Some of the bands that have performed for Showtime Kochi's Street Jams are - Metafolks, The Diaries of A Manchild, Mesmerocksia, Samsara, Cantabile Vibes, Raven In The Sea, Brain Stew, Three Hours Peace, Fourth Dimension etc.
This month, Showtime Kochi's 'Street Jam 6' is going to conducted at McDonald's Vytilla on Saturday, 25th November, from 4 pm onwards. Acoustic guitars, a keyboard, a cajon and a drumkit will be provided. Attendees can help spread Showtime Kochi's message by taking a selfie at the event, and will even be rewarded with a free drink/meal.
More details at: facebook.com/showtimekochi
Text: Arjun Subrahmanian Images: Showtime Kochi