Bridging the musical divide

It’s a networking opportunity every Sri Lankan musician dreams of. The British Council’s Sound Pad brings together musicians from India and Sri Lanka and introduces them to successful British producers and bands.

Collaborating on everything from lyrics to actual production techniques, east and west learn from each other. It’s also a shot at a global platform for musicians and a chance to record with a producer of international repute.

Anil Balasuriya Santhush Weeraman

The British Council invites applicants every year and chooses musicians for the programme not only on the strength of their achievements, but also on the broadness of their vision. This year, Anil Balasuriya of the band Magic Vinyl and Santhush Weeraman of Bathiya and Santhush have been selected to represent Sri Lanka.

Anil, who is the founder of concert series Rockapalooza has big plans for the local industry – he hopes to set up a studio where young and upcoming artists can record albums for an affordable fee. As one of the island’s most successful musicians, Santhush has taken Sri Lankan music to the world, and along with Bathiya signed on to Universal Music.

The trip includes Brighton’s great Indie music fiesta - The Great Escape. Their current schedule has Anil and Bathiya spending the first five days at the festival and following it up with five days of workshops at Sound Pad. “It’s our chance to try and see how we can bridge the gap between our industry and theirs,” Anil told the Mirror Magazine. Unfortunately, Santhush Weeraman was not available for comment.

The two men will be joined by three other music personalities from India, included among whom is MTV VJ Nikhil Chinappa. “We have so many plans once we get there, it’s a great opportunity,” said Anil, “I think events like sound pad are inspiring for a country like ours, as it encourages organisations such as mine to go out and do more."

He explained further saying, "Through Sound Pad we will not only be able to experience some great new talent from all around Europe but we will also meet several other music entrepreneurs and compare notes and see where we can improve.

It will also give us the ideal opportunity to network between individuals in the industry in both UK and India thus helping us bridge the gap between our three countries."

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