Aneesha Kotwani On Collaboration, Community & WAVLNGTH
7 November 2016
Aneesha Kotwani is the founder of WAVLNGTH – a booking/promoting/management agency that despite coming to fruition just under 9 months ago has been responsible for some of the best club experiences we’ve had this year. Based out of Mumbai, the collective has hosted thoughtfully curated shows featuring the likes of Nic Tasker (Whities) and Bradley Zero (Rhythm Section) along with a whole bunch of India’s finest, and Swiss selector and producer Milo Häfliger who will be touring India later this week.
Behind WAVLNGTH is a team who put their heart and soul into music, stressing on creating across-the-board experiences, as opposed to your run of the mill gig. Aneesha Kotwani’s reputation precedes her – she was one of the founding members of Regenerate, one of Mumbai’s foremost crews and a key member of Humans Of Music - another HONY inspired page that manages to deliver fresh content and conversations with Indian musicians on a consistent basis.
We decided to get the word out first – WAVLNGTH’s going places. It began with a bang and from the looks of it, its graph seems to be on a steady rise. Aneesha tells us about her plans for WAVLNGTH, the spirit of community and mutual experience that drives the company and the importance of listening to your peers:
You’ve been doing a lot with WAVLNGTH this past year but this isn’t your first foray into the industry at all. Tell us a little bit about how you started with Regenerate and why you wanted to get into music promotion.
I spent my key years (early 20s) in London, and I had a few stints in the industry there before Regenerate. And I keep saying this to every person I meet, but the musical experiences I witnessed during my time there have made me who I am today. Being an only child and a girl, my family was overly protective when I was young and I probably wasn’t ‘cool’ back in the day when everyone was out partying during their teens. Moving back wasn’t a choice and I got bored of going out (when going out for a gig was all I did before). So I sat down one night, penned down my ideas and starting connecting with people who I could potentially work with. I was eventually introduced to my partner through a common friend with similar ideas, and things started from there. Safe to say, Regenerate has been a great ride and I am truly blessed to grow within the music industry over the last 3 years.
What did you learn from your previous experience, and what changes did you want to make with WAVLNGTH?
I’ve learnt more life lessons from my previous experiences than anything else I can think of! Mainly that everyone has it in them to achieve what they want, especially if they want it bad.
What I also learnt was WAVLNGTH is not here to compete. Yes, it is human nature to get worked up about what others are up to because you’ve put your money on the line, but that’s exactly why I am happy to reach out to people and collaborate. Maybe try and actually bridge a gap in the community so different crews work together.
This approach to work is exactly what we want to base the ethos of WAVLNGTH on. That and following your gut.
Your flagship WAVLNGTH gig started out pretty big with Tasker – how did that come about?
My colleague Damé D’silva’s passion and admiration for the artist made me see the genuineness in his love for music, which is how i see music too! I really like warmer, groovier sounds as well so we just followed our gut and did it. And we couldn’t have asked for a better launch tour! Tasker is a great selector and an amazing human being.
What was the goal behind starting WAVLNGTH? Did you feel like there was a gap in the scene that needed to be filled?
Honestly, it was for the love of music.
An achievement would be for people to trust our opinion as an entity, and our taste in selecting the right acts whether you know them or not. That they just come to experience something different from the usual ‘crew’ gigs they so loyally attend. That’s when you’re a true music lover.
Really excited to see Milo Häfliger next – how would you describe his sound and what to expect from the gig?
Milo Häfliger was introduced to me be by one of the artists on our roster - Kaleekarma. Again, they way I saw her face light up when she spoke about his music or his sets made me feel like the way I do for some of the artists I love. Milo’s music is healing, introspective, soothing, dreamy and surreal. His sets also include a lot of organic, ethnic and multicultural influences. From live instruments, to vocals to tribal beats, or sounds of nature - you’re in for a journey from the moment he presses play.
What according to you are the changes that we need to see in the industry today for it to flourish?
Less ego and monopoly. More collaborations (not the usual ones). To have a transparent and communicative environment, co-operating and helping each other.
What are some of the artists that have influenced you personally over the years?
There are a lot of artists that influence me, but experiences that have influenced me are fewer in comparison. The first live act I ever saw was Simian Mobile Disco, and that night will always be special. Watching The XX in a 200 capacity venue was the best thing I could have asked for; as was SBTRKT live. Rihanna is sensational, her aura is captivating. A Guy called Gerald at the Pier. Bradley Zero at antiSOCIAL, Mumbai. These experiences were magic. I love listening to the artists work individualistically but nothing compares to that human interaction between the artist and audience in a live setting!
Some of the Indian artists you’re digging at the moment are?
I really like Ezzyland’s music and am extremely impressed with the production skills he has picked up just in the bedroom. Rishon Bondal from Bangalore is really cool and I’m digging the UK house influences in his new EP. Burudu are extremely talented. I love the sincerity with which Kaleekarma approaches her work, Monophonik playing after Stimming in Mumbai with the entire analog set up was pretty on point. And I will always dig Blurry Slur x Orbs & Zen because they’re my homeboys.
What can we expect from you and the WAVLNGTH team now? Any hints about who’s coming next?
Just do more work from the heart. As for the hints, let’s not give everything away and keep it interesting!