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Making A Scene: Tracing the history of Indian bands in Singapore

Veteran musician Md Raffee takes you through Singapore's Indian band scene from the 1940s to the present.


Published: 20 Oct 2020

Time taken : >15mins

Veteran musician Md Raffee takes you through Singapore's Indian band scene from the 1940s to the present.

Discover Singapore’s Indian band scene from the 1940s to the 1980s when Mohamed Raffee’s band The Vasatham Boyz entered the scene. Hosted by Sheela Narayanan, this podcast also covers Md Raffee’s contributions to music scenes in Singapore and India, and what inspired him to become a full-time musician.

Mohamed Raffee has been active in Singapore, Malaysia and India’s music industries for over 35 years. His repertoire ranges from Indian ghazals to Western classical, jazz, pop, rock and blues music. A multi-instrumentalist proficient in both Western and traditional Indian instruments, he rearranged and produced the Tamil song Munneru Vaaliba for the 1998 National Day celebrations. Raffee has also scored theatre productions such as The Coffin is Too Big for the Hole for Singapore theatre group Agnikoothu and films such as Gurushetram–24 Hours of Anger (2010) as well as Kollywood hit director Ravikumar’s Jaggubhai (2010). Raffee also worked closely with acclaimed Indian film music director A. R. Rahman from 1995 to 2007 while collaborating with other composers as arranger, keyboard programmer and instrumentalist. Raffee has released four albums of original music with his band The Vasantham Boyz and he continues to perform regularly with them.

Sheela Narayanan spent 13 years as a journalist covering beats from social issues to arts and entertainment before making the switch to corporate communications. As one of the hosts for this podcast series, she is thrilled to be part of Kalaa Utsavam 2020, particularly at a time when the resilience of artists everywhere is being severely tested. She believes that their works and creations have never been more important in helping our communities survive these extraordinary times.

Experience the diversity

Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts

Immerse yourself in Indian arts and culture during the festive period of Deepavali, with Esplanade's annual Indian festival of arts.

20 – 29 Nov 2020
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