| 17 Jul 2024
'Totem Pole' the first ever music fest for teens

MUMBAI: High Street Phoenix, one of Mumbai’s favourite destination centers, is gearing up to host Totem Pole, a music festival aimed primarily at teens, from the 15 to17 January, 2016 at the Courtyard of the mall. After countless overwhelming live performances by national and internationally renowned artistes across genres for the past few years, Totem Pole is a brand new venture for reaching out to the younger audience amongst music lovers. Totem Pole has been curated by Flying Carpet Productions, headed by one of the finest entertainment entrepreneurs in India, Ashish Manchanda. Manchanda has worked extensively with Grammy winning producer of Michael Jackson’s records, Bruce Swedien and combines the values of the West and East to bring an unparalleled audio video experience.

There will be featured performances from internationally renowned artists like Kefaya, an international music collective formed in the UK by musicians and activists, Giuliano Modarelli and Al MacSween, who are gearing up for the launch of their debut album ‘Radio International’ which features collaborations with musicians across India, Palestine, Spain, Italy & the UK. Bellatrix, UK’s first professional female beatboxer who holds the titles of 2009 World Beatbox Champion, 2014 UK Beatbox Champion, 2015 World Team Beatbox Champion and 2015 UK Team Beatbox Champion and Navid a.k.a. B-Boy Spaghetti (Break dancer from Norway & Member of the ‘Norwegian Kingwings crew’) will also be performing live showcasing their talent to a very large audience of music lovers at High Street Phoenix.

Totem Pole will see performances by India’s leading homegrown talents like Raghu Dixit, one of India’s best contemporary folk bands and currently India’s biggest cultural and musical export, who has played to over 100,000 people in his home state and at every big music festival in India, from Glastonbury, to the BBC to later with Jools Holland to even playing for the Queen of England and the entire Royal Family. He will be performing songs from his latest launch album, ‘Jag Changa’ which had shot to Number 1 on the Indian iTunes charts after release beating Bollywood and all International releases. The second day’s headliner act by an electro pop band, Best Kept Secret, which has opened shows for International bands like Puddle of Mudd and Gilby Clarke along with ex Guns n Roses guitarist. Amongst other artistes will be RVD- Rohit Vasudevan Diaries, Lil Sakk and Dharavi Rocks (a joint educational music and dance project initiated by Acorn Foundation, an NGO working with slum kids & ragpickers, and Blue Frog).

The three day long fest will also give teenagers and attendees an opportunity to participate in workshops, seminars, panel discussions and contest for ‘Top of the Pole’, a school band competition which will select some of the best musicians from Mumbai’s school circuit. As a one of its kind initiative, Totem Pole will help the winner or the winning band to create an EP under mentorship of professionals behind the National Award winning movie soundtracks like ‘Dev D’ and ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ and TV shows like ‘MTV Unplugged’ and ‘Coke Studio.’ The winning artist(s) will also get an opportunity to create a video of their top single which shall be directed by industry professionals who have contributed to large format videos like that for Beyonce amongst others. Stalwarts like Jatin Kampani are on-board for Totem Pole to ensure the event garners creative success.

Opining on the industry and concept, Flying Carpet Productions founder Ashish Manchanda said, “There is clearly an unmet need of live music for teens and young people. They are high listeners, fans and consumers of music but unfortunately do not have access to great music performances due to environments driven by smoke and alcohol. We want to fulfil this need by offering a safe, yet fun environment for young people to enjoy great music and get exposed to great music and performing artists.”

Commenting on the first edition of ‘Totem Pole’ at High Street Phoenix, The Phoenix Mills Ltd. president (West) Rajendra Kalkar said, “This is the first time we are hosting ‘Totem Pole’ a music fest for the teenagers which also invites families and friends to enjoy at the fest. We are offering a plethora of activities and engagement programs for our young customers which will be a combination of learning as well as entertainment.”