In conversation with Ramya Pothuri about the intimate Living Room Tour
To promote the launch of her debut EP We Never Left last August, Ramya Pothuri, along with Rishi Bradoo (BLEK) and Ronit Sarkar (Awkward Bong), organized The Living Room Tour. It is exactly the kind of gig every music-lover wants to go to – small, intimate and without mindless distractions. Watching the after-movie makes us jealous of everyone who got to go.
Ramya Pothuri is a self-taught Mumbai-based musician who’s had a long journey with music. Originally from St. Louis, USA, Ramya has been singing and performing at talent shows from a really young age. Growing up in an environment without TV and cell phones, singing was the only thing that could pass the time for Ramya and her sister. She also started teaching herself how to play the guitar when she was 11, thanks to her dad. She moved to India with her family when she was 16, and singing and performing was what helped her through the initial months. Despite her interest and receiving unending support from her family, Ramya didn’t consider music as a career till graduating from high school, when she took a gap year and sang four days a week at a hotel.
After moving to Mumbai and releasing her first original music, she decided that she didn’t want to launch her EP at a crowded, noisy venue since that wasn’t the environment for her music, or anyone’s music for that matter.
A lot of gigs that happen in clubs happen, of course for the musical experience, but also for selling alcohol and socialising. People walk in, are then encouraged to drink, get noisy, and then the music is not the center of the experience like its supposed to be. This can work for some artists, until you have, say, a singer-songwriter with really mellow music. A lot of times they get talked over, or the venue is just to noisy. During these gigs I also notice the audience at the front of the stage straining to listen to the music.
This gave birth to The Living Room Tour, with 5-6 artists/bands performing at each show. The shows were a pure listening experience and although they took a lot of work to organise, Ramya says it completely surpassed all of their expectations. “I didn’t know how many people were actually wanting an environment like this to listen to music. The last two days had packed rooms, but everyone had come to just listen,” she adds.
Ramya cites Bon Iver, Julian Baker, and The Paper Kites as her influences.
18th Jan – Tuning Fork, Mumbai
22nd Jan – SoFar session, Mumbai
11th/12th Feb – Control Alt Delete, Mumbai