Bound by the tunes of passion, and music, a group of seven young artists from Vizag came together to form The Coastal Project (TCP). Today, with live music events taking an underdog stature in the city, TCP wishes to change that with its mix of Tollywood and Bollywood song covers. A young and upcoming band in Vizag, here is a look at TCP and their endeavour to make live music popular in the city.
When the lockdown restrictions were slowly being lifted in September, the city saw intimate gatherings with like-minded people. Ram Manoj Patnaik, the present lead vocalist for The Coastal Project, was earlier performing at such events. His friends, and him, soon recognised a potential audience for live music performances and decided to build a band together. They began to scout for other artists, and in December, started The Coastal Project. A diverse team of seven, The Coastal Project is a four-piece band with a vocalist, a multi-instrumentalist, and a couple of guitarists, as well as a backend team of three people.
According to them, Vizag houses many talented musicians, who lack a proper platform to grow in the city. “Until a couple of years ago, even the live music audience wasn’t strong enough. Now, with new restaurants and cafes popping up, bands like us are slowly picking up pace in Vizag. Most of the major events in Vizag source talent from other cities like Hyderabad. We, at TCP, intend to make our presence strong and create awareness on local talent.” says Himakar, the Social Media and Content Manager of TCP.
“Wherever we go and pitch ourselves as a band, we face skepticism on our capacity of engagement. Convincing our clients on choosing us for live performances is an obstacle we go through every day,” says Rushita Makena, Artist and PR Manager of The Coastal Project. “Once we bag a gig, we let our work speak for itself. We believe in creating an experience for our audience and interact with them throughout the show,” says Himakar.
Introducing the band’s members, Himakar says, “We come from different professions and ethical backgrounds. Pavan, our cajonist is a full-time employee at a corporate firm. Sanjay, our youngest member and a student of Electrical Engineering, is one of the two guitarists. Our other guitarist, Ashish also works as a freelance sound engineer. Teja, the Creative Head, is a stylist turned graphic designer. Ram and I pursued our Master’s degree from IIIT Hyderabad. Rushita previously worked as a freelance content writer. With our combined experiences, we bring out all our unique traits to TCP.” Most of the band being self-made artists, had to overcome the societal norm of choosing a more conventional career. Even their families took time to shed their skeptical worries and come on board with them being a part of The Coastal Project.
With performances at cafes like Hashtag, V-Hangout, and Hungry Hippo, their latest show was at Welcomhotel Devee Grand Bay. Their motivation is their audience’s overwhelming reaction and support. “We have a few audience members who make it a point to visit every one of our events. When we get messages on social media from people who enjoyed our show, it warms our hearts,” says Himakar.
Going further, with many more gigs lined up their sleeves, The Coastal Project is in pursuit to make Vizag known as a musical locale. Hoping to find some friendly competition, the young band also looks to organise live music festivals within Vizag.