The 515 Crew is the best Bollywood band in Europe. Since 2010 they have toured with well-known British Asian Artists such as Navin Kundra, Taz Stereo Nation and they are the live band for Indian Idol UK. They also gave three unforgettable concerts for DesiYUP. UK based musical director, pianist and producer Hinal Pattani remembers the events of this decade and is very proud of the band’s achievements. Although this year has been strange and sad, it was also beautiful and a blessing in disguise all rolled into one big emotional ball for him.
“Fortunately for me, I relocated from London to my home town in the Midlands, Leicester – home of the Gujarati some say. I had been teaching piano privately and during the move I managed to shift all of my teaching online. As a lockdown came upon us I was able to continue my work and keep my focus on positive things with the support of the wonderful parents’ whose children I teach, and not forgetting the children themselves. The kids have been inspiring over that whole period as they worked towards their grade exams so that kept me in a very positive place, occupied in the right way”.
Simple Things in Life
The pandemic allowed Hinal time to focus on his personal journey as a musician after many years. It has been a long time since he had the time to read and study art as a pianist.
“I took up studies in jazz with two very different teachers and have been able to not so much reignite, but boost my passion even further in deeper theory and performance concepts. Being able to learn new things again has been invaluable during this difficult period. This aside, I appreciate life very differently and respect all those things that we took for granted so easily… a simple meal at a friends house, a good movie in a theater, but also not forgetting the joy of an audience to make our playing worthwhile”.
Over the lockdown Hinal sporadically has done some online performances, but most memorable of all was a very intimate concert with Navin Kundra and some of their very valued fans. “There is more to come yet in January 2021 as I will be accompanying my wife and the Sangeet foundation for an online concert where we will discuss mental well being, with some entertainment on the piano. Alongside this I also did a concert for Sabrang International with Jazz and Bollywood vocalist, Chirag Rao, for their online event ‘Jashan’”.
There are two things that Hinal says he will leave behind in 2020; “working with people who lack the appreciation towards human beings that work tirelessly as a team to elevate their goals and intentions. And secondly, worrying about what will come next as one chapter closes… I’ve learned, but still often forget, that I am here to do what I do… and without fail the next door, and journey always presents itself for us to move on to bigger and better things”.
Hinal is grateful for each day.“Not many musicians get to live and work as full time musician. I’ve been fortunate to be able to really live out my life doing what I love to do above anything in the world. It has connected me to some of the most wonderful people and experiences over the years that have shaped who I am each day”.