VAYU, the kickass band, forayed into the national rock circuit back in 1997. Several line-up changes later, the band is still going strong with what the fans believe is their definitive line-up with 2Blue on vocals, Ravi on guitar, Crosby on bass, and Gopaal on drums.
VAYU offers musical virtuosity and soulful artistry that explores the spectrum of human emotions. Regular performances in the Bombay / Pune club and college circuit has earned VAYU a huge fan following. And performances with luminaries from the local and occasional international music scene — musicians of the likes of Gary Lawyer, Jules Fuller, Mattias ‘IA’ Eklund, Jonas Hellborg, and George Lynch — has catapulted the band to its much deserved critical acclaim.
2Blue was born in Agartala, the capital city of Tripura on April 24, 1975. His parents christened him Tirthankar Poddar, evidently oblivious of the rock n’ roll life he was destined for. Having acquired an alpha numeric moniker while in school, li’l Tirthankar pushed his way to becoming one of the most powerful voices in Indian rock. Always a man for his heroes, he attributes his vocal prowess to his childhood heroes — David Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner, Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Joey Tempest, and more recently Jeff Scott Soto and Jorn Lande.
2Blue forayed into the Mumbai rock circuit in 2002 when he joined the now-defunct neo-classical outfit Hidden Fifth. Having gained notoriety for his powerful high-pitched singing and on-stage charisma, he was soon invited to front VAYU in early 2003.
The road with VAYU has been quite a winding one. From playing for less than a 100 people in dark smoke-filled night clubs to packing up huge concert arenas, it’s been quite a ride. “For me, a VAYU concert yet provides the best canvas for free creative expression.” 2Blue confesses.
Ravi Iyer is arguably the most technically accomplished rock guitarist in Mumbai today. ‘Avant-garde’, ‘transcendent’, ‘mesmerizing’ — these are a few words that attempt to define his guitar work. Ravi stormed into the Mumbai rock scene in 1988 as the promising axe-man of Witch Hammer, a metal outfit that he had founded. Today, as the fire-breathing axe-man of VAYU, Ravi boasts a fan following a guitar player could only dream of possessing. In his playing, you will find inflections of his eclectic influences — those of guitar virtuosos of the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Gary Moore, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Eric Johnson, David Gilmour, and Joe Satriani.
Born on June 2, 1968, and raised in Parel, Mumbai, Ravi Ramaswami Iyer was exposed to Indian classical music at a very young age. Having received formal training in Indian percussion, Ravi diversified to guitar playing towards his late teens. Under the able guidance of guitar tutors like Bismark, Christopher Rodiques, and John Timothy, Ravi acquired superhuman dexterity and precision through years of obsessive practice — assets that later helped him in his inexorable rise to the top.
Crosby Mario Fernandes was born on September 9, 1973 to a Goan catholic family in Andheri, Bombay. Rumor has it that had it not been for his father’s constant nudging, Crosby would have been totaling accounts in some suburban office today. But thanks to support at home, the inspiration by bass greats such as Billy Sheehan and Victor Wooten, and the pristine tutelage of guitar coach Bismarck Rodrigues, Crosby discovered his true passion in the bass.
As a teenager, Crosby was fascinated by bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin till about the time his life changed when a close friend introduced him to the music of Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. And hence, aged 19, Crosby decided to devote his life to the six-string. Today at 33, he is every bit the mesmerizing guitar player he always wanted to be as his fans and students alike will testify.
On August 13, 1974, Gopaal Dutta was born in Parel, Bombay into a family that prides on its rich cultural heritage. Always intrigued by beats, grooves, and exotic sounds; the young Bengali lad found his true calling at age 16 when he bought his first drum kit. Under the capable supervision of drum guru Shashank Desai and later Manuel Cruz, Gopaal honed his stick-swiping skills, knowing well that success will eventually be his for the taking. In 1992 when he met Lester Godinho – the powerhouse human drum machine himself – Gopaal knew he was ready.
Under the keen vigil of Lester, Gopaal developed his own inimitable style – an asset that helped him earn the reputation of the most technically accomplished drummer in the business. Soon, Gopaal was invited to work with some of the most distinguished names in the Bombay music circuit — Asha Bhonsle, Amit Kumar, Shaan, the pop/rock bands Vedic Chant and Wafers, and finally VAYU to name a few.
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