Meet Zia Maccuri and Resil Vera, a lesbian singer/songwriter duo (each only 21 years old), whose growing attention in the Mumbai music scene has already earned them a feature in TimeOut magazine and a possible deal with a local record company. Both from New Delhi, they moved as a couple to “the city of dreams” nearly five months ago in order to pursue separate careers in music. An established DJ/rapper, Zia (as she calls herself), takes inspiration from artists like Eminem, while Resil (another pseudonym), the more introspective of the two, finds creative insight in songwriting from bands like Coldplay and Radiohead. Their two disparate talents combine into a unique musical package, now known as ZiaRes, that is nothing like I have ever seen before in Mumbai. I met and interviewed them as they were preparing for their first ever concert together (before the birth of their name ‘ZiaRes’) at a popular music establishment in Mumbai called Bonobo. Here is what they had to say:
I originally met Zia and Resil at a neighborhood pizza joint only one month after they had moved to Mumbai. They were interested in performing, but had few contacts to get them on stage. I managed to arrange a performance for the two of them at “Khush (Happy) Night,” a popular LGBT-themed party which, until recently, held monthly soirées at Bonobo, a disco/bar in the Bollywood-studded Mumbai neighborhood Bandra. My only suggestion to them was to “write a song that you can perform together.” They did, along with a number of their originals, and were the hit of the night. Their performance ultimately brought them a magazine feature, a manager, and burgeoning gig schedule. One day, after having just returned from Hyderabad for a gig, Zia and Resil both messaged me on Facebook thanking me for inspiring their new identity as a band. Blushing, but nevertheless grateful for their gratitude, I insisted that it was only the truth and love behind their music that was responsible for their success. It’s true! (Did I mention that my ego expanded like a helium balloon? I felt like a father to a newly born, though I think of them more like sisters!)
Clearly, both Za and Resil are extremely talented. Zia has an incredible passion for and ability to improvise rhythmically, while Resil’s genius lies in her ability to structurally organize music lyrically and chordally (Resil has over 500 compositions, she says). Still, what strikes me the most about them is not their musical ingenuity, but how well they seem to gel as a couple and music duo. The strength of their relationship is obvious in the subtle ways they communicate with each other. Though both seem to speak different creative languages, sometimes it takes only a wink from one of them to get the other to understand. Zia and Resil fit like a glove.
The Indigo Girls better watch out! ZiaRes is one of the young, emerging talents to watch out for this year.