The Sherp chats with the Co – Founders of Regenerate, Aneesha Kotwani & Bhishma Sagar
Meet Aneesha Kotwani and Bhishma Sagar, the Co-founders of Regenerate – a project and label started with the aim of bringing underground music –‘deep, bass-y with hard beats yet soulful and melodic’ and vibe to the forefront of Mumbai’s gig scene.
This newly formed label is launching their first gig at Sitara Studios this Sunday, featuring techno and house pioneer Geddes along with local talent – Moniker and Moon Shine.
What is the idea behind Regenerate?
Regenerate was formed to create a community of like-minded people who have an admiration for the kind of music that is deep, bass-y with hard beats but yet soulful and melodic. Both of us have lived in London for a while and it is unreal how much of exposure one gets to the amazing talent out there. From warehouse parties, to Sunday afternoon raves, parties at venues like a German Battleship to a power gas station there is so much one can experiment with and not face any problems with the cops or govt. regulations. Because that city gave us such amazing memories which would probably last a lifetime, we wanted to introduce the concept of a European hipster underground vibe here in Mumbai. The idea behind Regenerate is not to discriminate between anyone – everyone is welcome provided you are a genuine music lover. We want to be niche rather than mainstream by being exclusive in our choice of artists and music.
Why does the current music scene need something like Regenerate?
Simple theory – different place, same shit! I think we all agree that the nightlife in Mumbai doesn’t really live up to its name of being the party city. You can say we have been a bit selfish and are doing something WE LOVE so much, but are also aware that there are a lot of others out there who can relate to us and need something fresh & new to look forward too. Tapping into a new genre of music, getting an underground venue in check and putting something new on the table is definitely required in Mumbai. And we just hope our efforts pay off and have everyone leaving the venue happy!
Where does the idea stem from?
We were facing a huge problem when we preferred spending most of our weekends driving around in our cars or at house parties so that we had control of the music we enjoyed. But sometimes you need that release – to go out and party in a club, meet new people, socialize and have a bloody good time. Unfortunately the music didn’t quite do it for us. You could call us underground music snobs but we have an openness towards all genres – we won’t disregard any particular genre (maybe complain a little sometimes) but our heart always lies with deep house & deep tech. So there, this was how Regenerate was born, whilst we were sitting in a bar, chatting over a couple of beers and decided if we can’t see the change we should be the change!
What is the kind of music and vibe do you have in mind for Regenerate?
A mixture of eclectic beats ranging from dark, bass-y and grimy to groovy, sensual & disco infused. Our main objective is just to introduce people to good house music for the soul and not just the sole. As much as we love techno and occasionally enjoy a bit of trance as well, the genres lacks that emotion that deep house creates.
Is there any reason behind picking Geddes for Regenerate’s opening Gig?
One of the main reasons was because we saw him play at an after party in London from 7 am to 11 am and he absolutely smashed it! The fact that he could hold an audience until 11am on the dance floor definitely says a lot about his skills as a producer and artist. Also being one of the pioneers in house and techno music, he founded Mulletover with his mate Rob Star, a label that was at the forefront of throwing underground warehouse parties in London since 2006. So he fit perfectly well with the concept of Regenerate, the venue, the vibe we wanted to create and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board for our launch gig!
With so many venues available in the city, why pick Sitara Studio?
Sitara has definitely got something unique about the vibe it creates. Located in a tiny lane where one could almost miss it, we love the fact that it screams UNDERGROUND! Once you enter the place, it has got such a rundown feel to it that you want to get downright dirty and messy and have a carefree ballin’ time. No tables, no dress code, no VIP sections; there is a feeling of unison amongst the crowd. Also being host to a previous international act i.e. Skream & Benga which was a great success we were sure that the venue wouldn’t let us down. Oh and to let you in on some inside info – they’ve completely revamped their flooring and air conditioning so it’s not going to be a massive sweat box anymore, although we love it when things get a little bit hot and sweaty.
We’ve also collaborated with Minzo, a professional street artist to create an entire back alley vibe for our audience and have got Heineken & Absolut on board!! So for those of you who have or haven’t been to Sitara, you’re in for a sweet surprise!
What’s in store for the future with Regenerate?
Lots in mind for the future, we want to continue throwing some great parties and bring exquisite underground acts down; slowly expand to other cities and not just restrict our limitations to Mumbai. But also do a lot of small scale, intimate events and promote the local talent in our city. We would be much happier finding the hidden gems and bring them to the forefront rather than approach the big uns’ who’ve already established a good fan following. So yes, if you’ve got an unusual taste in music and are looking for an opportunity – you know where to find us. A big vision indeed and fingers crossed things work out as planned, but as of now we are just focusing on Sunday, putting on a great show and having an epic time!