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Shaa'ir & Func
They feed on each other’s eclectic musings and present the world with some striking music. Meet Monica Dogra and Randolph Correia aka Shaa’ir + Func.

They overwhelm you with their rich, frothy music; there’s a flushed up energy exploding through every note. There’s an underlying sensual pleasure that the electronic explorations bring you, and though you might be tempted to compare them to other international electronic acts, the chemistry that you can dig into while listening to Shaa’ir + Func (Shaa’ir is Monica Dogra, and Func is Randolph Correia of Pentagram) is unique.

As Monica freestyles, her long, wavy locks sway to Randolph’s groovy rhythms. After playing their original set, Monica does Crazy by Gnarls Barkley; her insanely sensational vocals, minus any backing vocals, leave the crowd gasping for more. High on experimentation, they conventionally drill through the pulse of the audience. Shaa’ir and Func are best when they play live. Their energy infectiously traps you in the web and refuses to let go.

While Randolph has been around in music circles performing with Pentagram, DJing other times and keeping up his slick production skills, Monica has been creating waves in the international scene, by being a part of Broadway.

Their site skilfully explains their personalities, their musical temperaments and the smooth creation of the band. The message behind everything they do is love; their album also passes on this message.

At the Big Chill festival in Goa where the duo played this year, all their friends ganged up to cheer the couple to do their best. We caught up with Randolph and Monica who are both touring abroad currently. “The most amusing compliment we have ever received is that we are like John Lennon and Yoko Ono,” laughs Randolph.

The Record: What was the initial meeting like? Did the two of you connect with each other immediately?
Randolph: I felt I had met the most talented girl in the world. She had the most amazing mind and the most amazing voice. So I felt I had almost found my cosmic musical connection. I would definitely say I connected with her immediately. What keeps us going is the love that we share for a good life and better music. Performing with Monica is the best thing in the world.

Monica: I think he is a powerful force in the growth and change of the music scene in India. I also think he rocks my socks off!

TR: How did the current sound of the band shape up? What did you have in mind when you began the project; has everything fallen into place?
Randolph: We started writing music together even before we were called Shaa’ir + Func, and then we started to take it seriously the moment we realised we had enough songs for an album. Both of us have varied influences in music, so putting them together was the most interesting combination. Modern day electronic music met with soul from the 50s and the 60s. As much as we like to go with the flow, we always have a fixed agenda about what we want our music to say and where we want to go with the music. And considering I’m in New York right now, things definitely seem to have fallen into place. We’re going to the UK soon, to work on our next album so it’s going to get even better.

TR: What does New Day: The Love Album mean to you? How would you describe it?
Monica: My interpretation of the title is that love is everything and the only thing that is certain is change. New days give us the opportunity for more love, more life, and freedom in [our minds]. Above all, we’ve got to keep love as our answer and our purpose. Love for our people, love for ourselves, and love for possibility.

You can read the rest of our feature pn Shaa'ir & Func in the August 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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