He is said to have spent most of his childhood evenings around dias, stages and watching live events. And no it wasn’t the Lights, Camera, Action that got into his DNA but rather the buzz around live music concerts, festivals that was to become his destiny. Localturnon is proud to meet and get close and personal with a star in his own right, a noble, thoughtful, not at all confusing desi Gurugram lad, Mr. Shahzad Ali , the Director of Divergent Brat Hospitality and the curator of Confused Desi Food Concert. Below are the tit bits of the frank , straight forward and captivating tete-a-tete that followed at his artistic café in Connaught Place – the Café De Art
#localturnon: Shahzad, Before we start we are curious to know if all your ventures and surroundings take on the flavour or music and Art and this comes from the fact that this Café De Art is one of its kind we have seen in Delhi
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: Smiling (he is mostly smiling and laughing), Yes. I love to be in a space that talks music, art and culture. I think we were lucky to have been born in such a dynamic and culturally rich land that it is natural to be immersed with it. As regards this Café De Art, I am one of the owners and we did try to make it a haven where the right accompaniments like Music, Arts, Colours came together
#localturnon: What was your Childhood like in context of exposure to Music Fests and Conccerts?
#ShahhzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: My Father has represented India in International Sports Events for years. He was also working in the Railways at a post which allowed him to get invites to events as they were usually held at SAI complexes and elsewhere. So if you can imagine a childhood where we would be shown invites to all the top events in the city with the choice to go to any of those and that too with a VIP pass (chuckling) who wouldn’t. And I think that’s where the whole connection started. Imagine a teenager exposed to performances, the sounds, the whole ecosystem was somewhat addictive and that addiction has stayed on. I follow almost all music and food concerts in the city and elsewhere. Even if I cant attend I do make it a point to read about, view the videos, post event reviews and it stays with me. I think this combination of Music and Food will get to anyone (laughing) so how could I escape it.
#localturnon: So if Music and Food are the ingredients for you where does Confused Desi fit in?
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: Yes, that’s the fall out of the combination I just spoke about. See its like this , when you want to go out for the weekend which cuisine do you select for that day. There’s always confusion , an undecidedness till you finally succumb to the deadlines and convenience in most cases. Same holds true for Music. When you are traveling in a vehicle which channel do you listen to or which kind of music do you want to hear. You generally toggle between channels and then listen to a song that seems interesting for the time being and move on again. (infact I read on your #localturnon blog about this article of the dilemma to chose between a playlist or a radio channel –https://blog.localturnon.com/battle-of-musics ). Thus is born the Confused Desi.
#localturnon: So are you saying that we as Indians are confused about what we like when it comes to Music and Food?
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: Let me explain. Music and Food know no boundaries. These are gifts that both connect people and bring them joy. They are meant to be consumed. They are the stuff that describes what fans and loyalists are.
There are the Baggas and the Tomars of North who relish South Indian Dosa and Sambar so much so that it is a staple menu on most holidays. Similarly the Iyers and the Kumars of the south search for North Indian cuisine when they want to party. And if the cuisines can get interchanged the Music follows. You can hear the Punjabi Dhols echo in the streets of Tambaram and Mani Ratnam’s and Rahman’s beats in Delhi Clubs on regualr basis. There is confusion admist the following. There is a little bit of ‘desi-pan” in all this confusion that we believe binds us, brings us together and makes us what we are – INDIANS in taste and likings.
Confused Desi bring these two vital elements of our lives viz. Food and Music closer to the audiences. We believe that these are things to be enjoyed to be relished and our attempt of providing a Food Concert is our way of living up to the larger INDIAN unity in diversity. Be it food be it music there is a “desi” touch that links us all. Our concerts will see a range of cuisines when it comes to food and a variety of musical themes coming to life on stage via popular artists. The objective is simple – Food. Music. Peace.
Its when this confusion (of food and music) reigns that the individual identities of North and South, of West and East get blurred and the true colours of Indian-ness come to fore. We are proud to be creating this confusion.
#localturnon: Is it true that there is a Confused Desi Food Concert happening in October in Delhi?
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: Yes, The first in the series of this confusion will kickstart on the Oct 14 when Raftaar takes to the stage at the Major Dhyaanchand Stadium, Near India gate. Infact its all over the prominent ticketing sites like Paytm, Bookmyshow, Eventhigh, Tixido etc. But make sure you buy your tickets well in advance for its going to be one fully packed show.
#localturnon: So what can the audiences expect at the Confused Desi Food Concert apart from Raftaar?
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: Confused Desi is all about Music and Food and at this Food Concert billed as this seasons top draw not only for it has RAFTAAR but will have a host of other performances around Music / Dance and food of course. The specially curated food stalls, 40 of them will ensure that the visitors will get to taste from a range of cuisines that you will feel there is a mini India at the Venue. Artists will range from stylish dance routines to get the feet moving, A Singer who can get the audiences involve and of course the showstopper will be Raftaar – so there will be Raftaar of course, Asees kaur , Dance Kabila Group, EDM / Bollywood DJ. And yes there is also a surprise audience engagement package that will get revealed only at the time of the concert but its sure to make folks take back memories with them. The idea is that we want folks to keep coming back whenever we do these events. And we get known for the Music and Food Connect.
#localturnon: Any recommendations for which tickets for the ardent fans ?
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: We have three sections. The General section is what we have classified as the Silver Passes. Then there is a Gold Pass that allows you to be nearer to the action but the VIP Passes are what I recommend to the ardent fans who want to see and feel the pulse of the show. Imagine you are like 5 feet away from the stage and with Raftaar and the speakers on. You have to be there to know what I am talking about. (smiling). But as I mentioned you need to make sure your tickets are in your hands well before we run out of them.
#localturnon: So will this Confused Desi Food Concert also take the shape of something like a NH7 or the Weekender kind in the long run?
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: I cant say about that. Both the labels you have mentioned have taken years to build and they stand for their own USPs. Confused Desi is just starting off and we plan to ensure that our focus remains for now on the upcoming event. Yes, if this is something the audiences take a liking to, then we will run it up with another one in the near future. It will be great if we can reach those levels where we become brands in our own right but it will not happen overnight and we are conscious of this. We want to make sure that experiences are what matter and you go back happy to talk about it and to come back to our concerts whenever , wherever we have them next.
#localturnon: Shahzad, it was a pleasure to have spoken with you and to have got the details of your Confused Desi Food Concert. We wish you all the best and yes, we will come back to you for passes should we not find them.
#ShahzadAli/#Divergentbrathospitality: Its my pleasure to have interacted with Localturnon. Thank you.
And for those who thinking how to get there… its simple – book your tickets in advance.. though there are three categories the silver, gold and VIP we suggest VIP passes will make sure you are closest to RAFTAAR at this show and you can reach out to +91-9999763737 for your passes. Once you have the passes, the venue where you need to reach on the 14th Of Oct is the Major Dhyaanchand Stadium, near India Gate. You can take the metro and get down at the Pragati Maidan Metro station and take a e-rickshaw or auto. For those who want to drive down there is ample parking near the pragati maidan parking slots.
All said and done it promises to be a grand event and we are already looking forward to it … Watch this space for more news says – localturnon !
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