The beauty of music lies in its ability to provide feeling across borders, classes, and races, and to resonate where words fail. I remember hearing the Gypsy Kings playing live at a Merkato 55 brunch party in New York; I remember dancing to Cuban band Las Orishas at Poble Espanol in Barcelona; I remember listening to Australian rock from my tent at Glastonbury in the U.K.; I remember singing “Beautiful” along with Akon, live at the Indian Premiere League Launch in Mumbai. With such an eclectic fusion of sounds crossing the globe, I wondered about India’s spot on the playlist. While Bollywood music is certainly a global export, my time in Mumbai has introduced me to a new, innovative, and increasingly popular scene that is gaining momentum all over India and on the international stage.I had heard about Indian Ocean from the moment I stepped foot in India. The Delhi-based band has been around for about 20 years and many have grown up on their music. I knew their powerful words had the ability to move people of all ages and that they were immensely popular on the Mumbai scene. Nothing, however, prepared me for the crowd I witnessed on a Wednesday night in Mumbai when Indian Ocean performed at Blue Frog, the city’s most popular music venue. The concert was slated to start at nine, so I assumed an arrival time of eight would give me more than enough time to get settled. When I pulled up to the venue, however, I was greeted by the sight of hundreds of Mumbaikers who had already beat me to the scene, waiting in line since morning to what was an already completely full and sold out show. Luckily, my friend knew the owner, and he ushered us to the front amid much animosity from the other fans. I felt bad for all of those waiting in line, but then again, it was research!
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