Sanam slay it at debut Dubai concert
After Sanam’s explosive three-hour concert at the Zabeel Park Amphitheatre on Thursday, October 18, I requested the Mumbai-based band, for an interview.
Though the band members were exhausted after delivering a power-packed, non-stop performance, they agreed to chat with me the next day, at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel.
Around 3,000 people had turned up for the band’s debut concert in Dubai, and they were not disappointed as lead singer Sanam Puri’s mellifluous voice led them to sing along to their interpretation of cover tunes.
Most of the fans were already familiar with popular Bollywood numbers, so there was an instant rapport between the band and the audience.
With over 4.7 million online subscribers, Sanam have been tagged as ‘India’s fastest growing YouTube channel’ in 2018. Some of their cover versions like Mere ‘Mehboob Qayamat Hogi’, ‘Lag Ja Gale’, ‘O Mere Dil Ke Chain’ have attracted over 50 million views, but they don’t take the numbers too seriously.
However, Sanam is more than just a cover band. They believe in showmanship and present a well thought-out and rehearsed act.
When asked about the band’s approach to recreating classics, Sanam Puri said, “It is sensitive to touch some of these songs, so we make sure not to go overboard or get carried away. We want to give the songs a modern touch and we put in a lot of thought on how to arrange the music, add instruments, do the vocals, but most importantly, it has to be tasteful.”
“We keep the soul of the songs intact,” added drummer Keshav Dhanraj.
At the concert, two opening acts performed the ever popular song Dama Dam Mast Qalandar, but we didn’t need a second guess to know who slayed it.
With the audience already under their spell, Sanam did a rendition of Amr Diab’s Nour El Ain, and there was a collective gasp from the crowd as the band surprised fans with the Arabic track.
When asked about Arabic music, guitarist Samar said, “We listen to Arabic songs and Dubai is one of the few places we can perform them.”