Interview: Kanchan Daniel Band Talks About Keeping The Blues Alive In Mumbai

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Kanchan Daniel Band

The Kanchan Daniel Band is a blues-rock band that has been keeping the blues alive in Mumbai–I remember when I first saw them at a packed show at Three Wise Monkeys, blown away by their energetic performance and Kanchan’s killer vocals. In just a short span of time they have performed at both Hard Rock Cafes in Mumbai, D’Bell Mumbai, Bflat Bar Bangalore, Blue Frog Mumbai, Sophia College, Kino 108 Mumbai and Ragasthan among several other live music venues. We caught up with the band’s front-woman Kanchan and keyboardist Mukesh to find out more about their journey.

“We are a patriarchal society and it is not socially acceptable for a girl to sing on a public platform, even in modern times.” – Kanchan Daniel

Kanchan Daniel Band
Kanchan Daniel Band

Why are there such few female fronted bands in India?
Kanchan: I think the reason there are such few bands is because we are a patriarchal society and it is not socially acceptable for a girl to sing on a public platform, even in modern times. However, there is a ray of hope as many as times are changing and many women are coming to forefront in may areas. Even in music, being a female musician or fronting a band in India is more socially acceptable than it would have been twenty years ago.

What have been your favorite gigs thus far?
Mukesh: To be honest all our gigs have been our favorite though our last two at Hard Rock Worli and Hard Rock Andheri were probably our best yet.
Kanchan: My favorite gig so far has been Ragasthan 2014, Khuri Dunes, Jaisalmer…the most amazing thing about that gig was that we played the blues in the middle of desert to hundreds of people. It was a beautiful experience. Our gig at Hard Rock Cafe Worli has been one of our most enjoyable gigs as well.

What are your favorite venues in Mumbai, and why?
Mukesh: Currently Hard Rock Cafe Worli and 3 Wise Monekeys in Khar.
Kanchan: Our favorite venues in Bombay so far have been Hard Rock Cafe Worli and Andheri, O’15s Cafe and D’Bell Mumbai. The vibe that we get from the audience present at these venues has been overwhelming. They really seem to enjoy the blues and I can see them flipping out to the music from on stage (laughs).

Kanchan Daniel
Kanchan Daniel

What’s your take on the music scene in Mumbai, especially for blues music?
Mukesh: The music scene in Mumbai is steadily growing and specifically for blues music it is definitely becoming bigger. The Mahindra Blues Festival is proof of that with all tickets being sold out before the show.
Kanchan:  I think blues is a relatively difficult genre to try and get across to an audience but I do find that people’s appreciation and understanding for the blues is always increasing and I’m glad people enjoy our music and our effort to revive the lost feel of the blues. As a blues band I find that people are making an effort to understand this genre and in Mumbai people of the older generation really seem to enjoy the blues and our generation is slowly beginning to feel the yesteryear blues.

Favorite Indian bands?
Mukesh: Tough on Tobacco
Kanchan: My favorite Indian bands would include Soulmate, Indian Ocean and Blackstratblues.

Favorite blues artists?
Mukesh: BB King, Eric Clapton, Janice Joplin
Kanchan: B.B King, Big Mama Thorton, Joe Bonamassa

Favorite jam rooms in Mumbai?
Mukesh: That Studio
Kanchan: Sitara Studio Dadar. 3rd Step Jam Room in Juhu.

Kanchan Daniel BandHow is the songwriting process for you? Do you guys jam a lot to create new material, or did Kanchan have a lot of material to work with before the band formed?
Mukesh: Kanchan is our songwriter. She comes up with lyrics and most of the time the tunes as well. Then we as band collectively work on the song. Sometimes we just jam and Kanchan gets inspired and she writes lyrics. Before the band started we had three songs, “Wise Man”, “Lola and Jim” and “The Road.”
Kanchan: Initially I had a lot of material. Songs that I had written and composed and as a whole band we’ve incorporated them into our playlists. We re all working or studying. I intern as a clinical psychologist by day! So we all have day jobs or college, and yes we do jam whenever we get the time and work on new originals. Every band member always has some really interesting  ideas to bring to our jams and we incorporate all these ideas into our songs.

Which are your favorite places to chill in Mumbai?
Mukesh: Globe Studios – The recording studio where I work, jam rooms that we have played at and Bru World Cafe near KFC.
Kanchan: We usually chill at Globe Studios where Mukesh works. Sometimes we jam there as well.

Favorite restaurants/lounges/bars/clubs in Mumbai?
Mukesh: With work and band I don’t really visit a lot of bars/clubs. But as a foodie I recommend Sernyaa in Andheri – best momos in Mumbai.
Kanchan: Between Breads, Hard Rock Cafe Worli, Taco Bell and Three Wise Monkeys.

Favorite city outside of Mumbai to perform in?
Kanchan: Jaisalmer and Bangalore

Keep up with this energetic band on Facebook at and give them a listen on Reverbnation.

Post By Amanda Sodhi (10 Posts)

Born and brought up in Washington, DC, Amanda Sodhi moved to Mumbai from Los Angeles to pursue her passion for music and now fronts a pop-rock band called The Chudail & Demons. She is a vocalist-lyricist, VO artist, journalist, award-winning screenwriter & filmmaker and also runs a social media & online PR firm called Artist Handle.

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Amanda Sodhi

Amanda Sodhi
Born and brought up in Washington, DC, Amanda Sodhi moved to Mumbai from Los Angeles to pursue her passion for music and now fronts a pop-rock band called The Chudail & Demons. She is a vocalist-lyricist, VO artist, journalist, award-winning screenwriter & filmmaker and also runs a social media & online PR firm called Artist Handle.