Yes, I’m back in India – almost exactly one year on from my last trip. Last year’s trip if you remember was as a result of me winning the UK Young Music Entrepreneur Award 2008. So last year the British Council organised my trip to Mumbai and Bangalore to meet key people from the music industry out here.
Well a year on and I have developed proper friendships with some of the people I met last year, for example Tasneem Vahanvaty who works for the British Council in Mumbai and Gaurav Vaz who does so many things including playing bass with The Raghu Dixit Project and being Head of Programming Head of RadioVeRVe
I have kept up with Tas through the odd communication and she knows my every move from my Twitter stream! She came to stay with me in October and there was no news I could give her she didn’t already know via Twitter and a dose of psychic power!
Gaurav and I also follow each over Twitter but have also had the opportunity to work together on a number of smaller projects but namely when The Raghu Dixit Project came to the UK in July and played a couple of gigs in Birmingham that I put together for them (and of course had all the lads stay at my house which was great fun).
So both Tas and Gaurav have shown me around their home towns (Mumbai and Bangalore respectively) and I have given them both the official ‘Clare’ tour of Birmingham.
I also met Vijar Nair when I was here last year – and he deservedly won the Young International Music Entrepreneur Award this year and so while he was in Birmingham we started to plot some joint projects. He manages the Raghu Dixit Project and helped organise their trip to Birmingham in July and next year we are planning a conference in Birmingham – that looks very likely to happen too.
As part of the build up to this bigger project – I talked about wanting to see more of India and how I wanted to explore more links with the classical and folk music industries as we didn’t really look at those as all last year. So he set up this tour around the Unconvention event he is hosting next week in Mumbai – and here I am.
If you want to feel dizzy – have a look at my homemade map of where we are going over the next few days!