They rocked the boat

2011-01-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG-BORN brothers Shahir and Shahan Chundra grew up in a home filled with the sounds of the Beatles, Queen and Led Zeppelin­.

Their father, Jashwin, played the guitar his entire life and while the boys never learnt how to play the instrument from him, the music left its mark.

The brothers recently returned from performing on the Miller Rock the Boat Party Cruise as part of the Johannesburg band MadLove.

Along with Shahir (vocals) and Shahan­ (rhythm guitar), the band consists of drummer Shakti Satyapal, who also comes from KwaZulu-Natal, Grant Sissons­ (bass guitar, vocals), and Nikolai Viedge (lead guitar).

“Coming from KwaZulu-Natal, a huge part of our musical background involved R&B and hip-hop, but once we were at university in Johannesburg, we were exposed to different genres of music, which included rock,” says Shahir.

“It’s an exciting period in South African­ music because for the first time our local artists are producing music that does not have a stereotypical­ South African tag on it,” says Shahir.

“New sounds and new production values are helping local bands to compete­ as equals in international markets.

“We are benefiting hugely from working with Darryl Torr from Open Room Studios. Torr has won a Grammy for his work with the Soweto Gospel­ Choir and he recently completed the new Zebra and Giraffe album.”

The band members are also all accomplished in other areas. Viedge is currently doing his PhD in philosophy at Wits university, while Sissons has his Masters degree in industrial psychology­.

Shahir has a BA degree in motion picture medium, Shahan has his B.Com in finance and Satyapal has his BA degree in marketing.

“We all work at our various secondary careers from nine to five, while devoting all our other time to trying to get the band as far as we possibly can. It sometimes feels like long days with no immediate gains, but whenever we’re in band practice or on stage our brotherhood and our love for the music make it all worthwhile,” said Shahir.

The band is also currently recording its debut album with Torr and will tour the country once it’s released.

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