Shriram Alluri aka Alluri is a musician in the midst of a cultural renaissance in Hyderabad’s music evolution. Shuttling in between Italy, UK and India, Alluri’s musical style is inclusive of Indian vocals coupled with Western compositions. Some of his notable performances at the international stage include the Cambridge Folk Festival in July 2017, Sofar Sounds X Amnesty at Milano in Sep 2017, Transmusicales at Rennes, France in Dec 2017, Tallinn Music Week 2018 at Estonia in April 2018 and at London in 12 June 2018. He was also part of the NH7 Weekender Pune in 2017.
Radio City Freedom caught up with the musician ahead of his Indian tour that is scheduled to be held on August 10, 2018 at Hard Rock Café, Mumbai and Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad on August 18, 2018.
A recent website headline hails you as the revolutionary of Telugu rock. How far do you agree with that?
Alluri: I will defer to this response: They might very well say that but I could not possibly comment. I do what I do with conviction and leave it all on stage. I can't influence opinion.
In a recent interview, you said that you would ask people to come and watch you play, but instead you were asked about which film you are composing music for. Why do you think are most people not aware about the concept of making music independently unless it does not carry a credible validation?
Alluri: Every industry needs a hero. There isn’t anyone for music that unifies a massive nation such as India. So I get why the average music consumer might ask that question. But I have met a few ardent music listeners who don’t react that way.
Is it an instinctive choice to fuse Western elements in your music or is it strategical to widen your audience?
Alluri: If I was a strategic person I wouldn’t be in the music industry. If I was asked to write Telugu songs before I had actually written them, I would have laughed it off.
Why do you think Hyderabad is still at a nascent stage in terms of receiving independent music? Or if you feel the dynamics have changed, how far is the city away from a complete change of perspective?
Alluri: Apart from Punjab and few states in the North East there isn’t a thriving independent music scene in any other state in India. In Hyderabad there is a small scene where live music is gaining momentum but mostly when the band or artist covers songs. Remains to be seen how perspectives will actually change. But it looks promising currently. Ask me again in five years.
Your thoughts about sharing the stage with former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock.
Alluri: I will be playing with him for the first time. The teenager in me is very excited. I hope to tap into that energy on stage. We are already on familiar terms. We recorded a song in Milan earlier this year with Muse's Producer Tomasso Colliva. He came to watch my gig in London in June this year. So everything is in place for a fun evening at Hard Rock in Worli.
What’s the set list for the scheduled concerts in Mumbai and Hyderabad?
Alluri: I kick the evening off with my Italian band. We play a few of our Telugu and English tunes. Glen will then take the stage and do a brief solo set. We then take the stage and join Glen to finish the set off. A few covers will be played too, to make sure the audience are with us at all times and a Sex Pistols song too to finish!
It is a different setlist for Hyderabad with more Telugu songs being played. I can’t wait to play the songs from my album on a big stage at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium. We have a Tabla and a Flute player from Hyderabad joining us.