Madooo Artist Interview
Tell us about yourself and your music
Madhukar C. Dhas, sings under the name Madooo in USA. He grew up in Chennai, India. Music turned up to be his addiction, inspired by THE BEATLES. After School and College, he moved to Mumbai, where he worked as an Art Director at Lintas:India. A theatrical producer, cast Madhu in the title role of his production of the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. While continuing to work in advertising, Madhu led one of India’s premier Rock bands, Atomic Forest, after which he began performing solo at 5-star hotels in India and across Asia. He moved to the USA settling in New York, where he again worked in advertising while also pursuing his musical interests. He now seasonally performs at Beatlesfests across the USA and Canada.
Talk to us more about your latest release
His first album, containing “The 9/11 Memorial Song” has over 500,000 views on YouTube. His 2nd album is a Beatles tribute CD called “To the ‘Fab Four’ from Liverpool…A Tribute from India” in whichMadooo re-arranged and performed favorite Beatles classics with a unique blend of Eastern strains & Psychedelic Raga Rock.
What inspired you to write this release?
The Beatles’ sound and the rest of the worldʼs music – and India most especially, have had a remarkable relationship. The nature of the band, its sound, look and the way the world heard rock ad pop music, all changed as their decade of the sixties wore on. Those changes influenced a generation, not only in Britain and the US., but everywhere. When the Fab Four went to the East in the early sixties as ambassadors of Western pop culture, they returned with a multitude of “new” Indian and Far-Eastern sounds as well as the Mahareeshi Mahesh Yogi as their spiritual advisor. What went unnoticed at the time was that they had also, inadvertently, planted seeds in their wake from which a new generation of rockers would someday sprout. Somewhere in South India, stood a boy, waiting in line for hours to get his first listen to the Beatles’ version of ʻTwist and Shout.ʼ“As a child, then living at a boarding school in Madras, India, I really did once stand in a queue to have a chance to hear the sound of that band from Liverpool, the Beatles. There was one phonograph available to the students, which we were allowed to use once a week at break time before dinner…I remember being blown away completely by their music,” says that boy, Madooo, “When Hard Dayʼs Night came out, I knew that someday I would sing and play guitar. And when I was in my first band, The Voodoos,we would await every new release, then go into rehearsal and try to copy the sounds.”
Describe the writing and recording process
The writing process of his original songs has a lot to do with the music of his homeland, India. Looking back he wished he had learnt classical Indian music that would have given him a better knowledge of hoe to blend the styles. But he accepts the way things turned out and has tried to keep his songs within Western Pop/Rock limits. Otherwise it might alienated his style a bit too much. The very first song he wrote as a teenager, “I’ll be Myself” had an Indian raga sound to it.
And he recorded the “Beatles Tribute from India” album with the main intention of giving back to his gurus The Beatles but decided to re-arrange the song in a way he heard them in his head. Some critics have said, if George Harrison had heard Madooo’s arrangement of “If I needed someone” he would have been proud.
Any plans to hit the road?
Circumstances prevent Madooo from hitting the road at the moment, but he plans to go back to India and perform nationally at reunion concerts etc. in the near future.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
This album is a journey back to the original reasons Madooo became a singer. When John, Paul, George and Ringo began to change the world, they changed it for people from as far away as Monterrey and Melbourne, as far flung as Kirkutsk or Kenyatta, and as steeped in their own unique musical tradition as Munich and Madras. Madooo lets us know that their legacy lives on, even today, in the voices of those whose lives were changed forever.
USA reviews that sets Madooo apart from other artists as spoken by names in the industry:
“You have done a great job of your interpretations… It looks like you are a very good part of the global scene in a very big way to me… Congratulations Madooo… It is a great contribution to the fab four’s legacy…”– (The Late Great Richie Havens – 2009)
“This album is incredible…an Indian music-salute to The Beatles” –Archer Dusablon – Host of ‘Beatles Basement’.
Madhu, you are one brilliant singer/performer/human being. Bravo to you! – Paul Saltzman. President: ‘The Beatles in India’; President: ‘Sunrise Films Limited’.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Still floating around in the music he grew up with, he keeps hearing the old classic in absolutely new dimensions that he hope to cover in forthcoming albums.
Who are your biggest influences?
The Bands of the 60s and 70s. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers Band, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, The Animals, Steppemwolf, The Kinks, Pink Floyd,… the list is vast.
What else is happening next in your world?
Madooo also is a graphic designer and designs packages, booklets, cover designs, posters etc for various musicians. The list also includes Jack Bruce’s 50th birthday Concert CD. Some of them can be view on his art page of his website at the following link http://www.bigdooker.com/graphics.html
Thanks for an awesome interview, Madhu
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