Comments (0)
News |  07 Sep 2016 16:06 |  By RnMTeam

The Fanculos bring Jamaican ska to India

MUMBAI: 'The Fanculos', the high energy ska/reggae band who debuted at The High Spirits, Pune in April, and followed it up with a gig at Blue Frog Mumbai in June this year, is a newly formed outfit.

The dance band comprises popular musicians from Mumbai including Ramon Ibrahim on vocals, keys, trombone, Vinay Lobo on guitars, backing vocals, JJ on drums, Saurab Suman on bass guitar and Ryan Sadri on tenor saxophone.

As all the members of the band have several projects on the trot, it was not easy to get everybody all together and begin a new venture. got to speak to Ramon Ibrahim, frontman/songwriter of ‘The Fanculos’ and learn about the journey, the sound of the band and more.

Says Ibrahim, “My father is from the Caribbean and my mother is Italian and they both loved all kinds of music! So I was exposed to a lot of different music from an early age. I fell in love with SKA at around 11 and I've always wanted to write and play a bunch of SKA songs, and that's basically how The Fanculos began to happen.”

Ramon has been working in Mumbai as a session musician and music producer for the last five years and he met all the members on sessions or gigs. “I met Vinay, our guitarist, at a tribute gig he was playing and I was blown away. I met JJ (Jehangir Jehangir, who plays drums) and Ryan (saxophonist) when I collaborated with ‘Something Relevant’ a few years ago. I most recently met Saurabh (bass player), who'd moved to Bombay from Delhi, and I knew the band was complete,” smiles Ramon.

Discussing the sound of the band, Ramon explains, "SKA comes from Jamaica and around, it was the precursor to reggae. I believe that the word SKA referrers to the 'skank' which is an accent on every 2nd and 4th beat - like reggae. It was played live in the dance halls of Jamaica with guitar/bass/drums/ and horns and is extremely danceable."

Ramon said he is writing music for an independent film that he can only talk about in a couple of months. Everyone in the band has fingers in other pies also. The band is working on a three-four songs EP, which will be out shortly. “It will be kept as live-sounding as possible to try and recreate what we do on stage,” adds the vocalist.

Passionately talking about independent artistes and the booming music scene in India, Ramon shares, “I obviously think it's fantastic that indie seems to be very much on the up at the moment. There are some very cool bands around but more importantly, the indie audience has gotten much bigger and far more discerning than in previous years. It’s a very healthy, self-sustaining symbiosis (that sounded really pretentious, sorry, but it is true).”

The Fanculos will be gigging at The Humming Tree in Bangalore on 9 September and at NE Expo in Guwahati on 3 October 2016.

The Fanculos LIVE at High Spirits, Pune