CLIFTAN – Goan Band poised to invade Indi Pop

A very successful young Goan band has been making wide waves in Muscat for the last couple of years. After last year’s resounding success of their debut audio CD, “Memories of Christmas“, the Oman-based band styled as New Dimensions is preparing for the release of their second music venture. This time round they leave the western scene behind and invading the Indi pop scene with their forthcoming chartbuster “Zamana“.

However, this time round the group has changed from the original lineup of drummer Paul, guitarist Shawn, base guitarist Alcantra, keyboardist Nadeem, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Clifford D’Silva and Tanzer Vaz on the synthesizers, to a new foursome comprising of Clifford and Tanzer besides Santosh (ex-13 AD) and George (drums).

In their reformed avatar the dynamic ensemble is titled “Cliftan”. Clifford D’Silva from Saligao in Goa and Tanzer from Margao has been at music for nearly four years together. They perform weekly at hotels depending upon the season.

With a huge competition powering western music, the eastern music certainly seems to be at a rather loose end. That feeling must have probably prompted Cliftan to explore Indi pop, which too has witnessed a burgeoning market in the last couple of years, particularly in the Gulf and Asian region.

“Zamana” takes off with melodious pop with a renewed vigour, pumping in a lot of originality to seek its niche at the right chart levels. The theme song “Zamana” speaks about the past and the present. The Hindi lyrics, quite original in their getup, have been penned by Sameer, a popular playwright, poet and scriptwriter from Mumbai, now based in Muscat.

The lilting music has been composed by Clifford and Tanzer at their personal state-out-the-art digital studio in Muscat, where the former works for Yamaha Music Genetco while the latter studies at the American College of Business Sciences.

Indian ones. It’s pop. We have catchy tunes which gel well with youth, with their diverse tastes where their feeling for music is concerned.”

“I started off with the violin and proceeded to the guitar. Eventually I was tempted to try my hand at digital recording with a Yamaha O2R mixer, which has been a magnificent facility to put our talent together,” says Clifford, talking about his initiation into music, which blossomed from his love for music and bolstered with his study with the Trinity College of Music.

Cliffy, as he is known back home in Saligao, always nurtured the aspiration to get among the top bands, whose music he had been addicted to. “The Seventies band America was my real inspiration to search for the musical strain in me. Sister Hazel is among the other modern bands I prefer to tune into the moment I have time to listen to my personal choice,” Clifford adds. Of course, being at a top ranking music company, he is constantly immersed into all sorts of music.

As for Tanzer, the young musician taking an early lead with the piano, is a professional pianist already. Tanzer performs solo at major hotels in the Muscat. However, Yamaha, which could be rightly called the watering hole of all musicians in Muscat, is where the two aspiring music producers brushed shoulders for the first time, and sort of took an instant liking for each other’s proficiency in music.

“Zamana” is due for release in Oman by December end. The music has been designed specially for the Asian market. Cliftan, with a couple of multinational companies extending their support, is on the verge of signing up with one of the major music companies, who have shown keen interest in their creativity.

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