News Column

Youth Spot: Striking the right chords

June 16, 2013


June 16--For those who have a keen ear for variants of music, Dubai is a melting pot for such sounds. Not quite up to the standards of Amsterdam or Goa, over the years, because of a thriving night life, the emirate has become home to some top DJs, mixers, composers and performers.

Being a multi-cultural society, the city inevitably gave birth to some young talent with a knack for good music. Twenty-three-year-old Mangal Suvarnan is the child of such a phenomenon. Suvarnan plays acoustic guitar and flute, and applies his compositions using 'industry standard hardware and digital workstations'. However, his brilliance does not lie there.

He does not just strum a few tunes on his guitar; his unique plucking style and semi-classical bursts of flute makes his self-composed music thought provoking and emotional, something that people of any age can connect to. An ex-student of Herriot-Watt University, Dubai, Suvarnan is fast garnering a fan following on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and music sharing portal Sound Cloud.

"I was 11 when I got my first guitar. It was a gift from my older brother and I guess it was the best thing that has ever happened to me," he said. "I've received no formal training in music and I officially started making music in 2011. I did study Indian classical music for a very short while when I was a child but I learned the guitar and the flute on my own," he said. His guitar was a "15-year-old beauty".

"The flute was something I picked up when I was studying in Scotland. It's a simple tin flute and I got it for three pounds. But the sound it creates is just amazing," he added. Suvarnan aims at making it to the big league someday. With sufficient knowledge of basic sound engineering, Suvarnan has composed a few acoustic tracks and several progressive trance songs that are up on Sound Cloud.

His acoustic tracks like All of my Days and Solace are deeply personal, but they also reflect the angst and ambitions of youngsters. "I really want to follow my passions, but there is always that small amount of uncertainty. What if I don't make it," he said.

Suvarnan commented that perhaps Dubai needs more venues for artists like him."Dubai might have several venues for dance (or) club music. But you don't have several places that cater to new music. Most DJs cover music by commercial artists because it is something that the audience can connect with," he said. "A place that encourages acoustic music is what the city needs. For people like me, who are not very big fans of commercial stuff, getting a space to play my own thing is a little difficult," said Suvarnan.


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