Three Kiwi Indians living in Auckland have created a very upbeat and an unconventional music band that has taken the community by storm and has become one of the most popular and new faces to look for this year. 

Coming up with a ridiculously creative yet straightforward Hinglish name ‘Gharelu Gigs’ that translates to ‘house shows/performances’, the band has garnered some outstanding attention from the community. 

Introducing the band founder and lead singer Anchal Marwah who is also a rhythm guitarist, is the brains behind the band’s formation and growth in the last few months. Adding more colour to the band is the lead guitarist and giving vocals Swanand Chitnis, and Anchal’s friend from his Uni days, Prabhakar Mohana Sundaram as the keyboard player. 

‘Gharelu Gigs’ was conceptualised and created in December 2018, and the band members joined in as Anchal, and his new band member Prabhakar started performing at casual shows and house parties. Anchal met his lead guitarist Swanand at an event in Auckland and have been friends and integral when it comes to music ever since. 

The band was created with a simple concept of singing along casual music concerts where these artists perform, and the audience joins in- becoming a part of the whole show. 

Anchal narrates the idea that excited him to progress from a hobby guitar player and singer to taking new leaps to form a band was a party or a place where people can join in with the performers and sing along and enjoy the show with the feeling that they are the stars of the show. 

“We all have that singer within us that seldom comes out, is too shy or embarrassed to sing in public or is just a passive audience but deep down they want to sing their hearts and express, and our mini music concerts gives them the freedom to join in, sing along and experience a great show,” Anchal told The Indian Weekender in an interview.

About the band members: 

Anchal Marwah, came to Auckland in August 2014 to pursue Post Graduation in ICT. He has then been very active in singing, playing guitar, modelling and dancing that led him to participate and win IWK’s Mr Diwali title ATEED Diwali in 2017. He also won the title of Mr Bollywood Factor in 2018, hosted by Radio Apna. He has been associated with “Prayas” theatre company as well since 2018 and was one of their vocalists for the song “Allah Hoo” the title song for the play namely “DARA”. Anchal has also started doing modelling projects recently. His latest song “Lamberghini Clubmix” has crossed over 115K views on “YOUTUBE” which earned him hundreds of new fans not just in New Zealand but from overseas as well. 

Swanand Chitnis, came to New Zealand in late 2017 pursuing higher studies in management in Auckland. He had been associated with music since he was in India, after coming to NZ, Swanand continued his passion for music performing with different bands, playing as a lead guitarist and showcasing his talent at several stage shows including performing for some renowned artists from India.

Prabakar Mohanasundaram came to New Zealand in 2014 for higher studies at the University of Auckland where Anchal and the two started doing covers of popular songs. The duo’s performances soon became a hit amongst college mates landing to play at their friends’ house parties, eventually paving the way for more gigs across Auckland. Prabakar has been a pivotal figure to the band due to his knowledge of strings, alongside his great taste of South Indian music, which helps the band to explore the songs from South India and cover Tollywood songs too.

In conversation with The Indian Weekender, band members Anchal, Swanand and Prabhakar give more insight about his band, how it has become popular and what is the next project for the band.

IWK: How would you define ‘Gharelu Gigs’?

GG: Gharelu Gigs, itself describes by the name, to have a fantastic gig at your own ‘Ghar’ (House). It is all about having a fun time involving the people around you to sing along and be a part of the action, with a free jam. 

Whether it is your wedding, house-warming party, birthday party, anniversary, or just want to get that coke studio vibes, the answer is Gharelu Gigs. It is more of a modern-day Karaoke, where we will be playing along with you while you sing and join us. 

IWK: How is the band unique and different from others?

GG: Just imagine you go to this housewarming party or this BBQ party and you see three people playing and singing Bollywood songs with their guitars, keyboard, and mouth organ, while you enjoy a few drinks. After some time, you feel like joining in and singing that old medley. At the same time, we play the guitar for you, how amazing does it sounds, you feel that personal touch, as there is not a stage or big setup that can make you nervous, sit next to the guitarist and start singing, it’s a whole new different feeling. 

We will come to your house, no needs of hefty music setup, no mics needed, no speakers, all we need is you to be enjoying your pick while we bring some peppy Bollywood and Hollywood numbers playing live to your house. 

IWK: Which places and concerts have the band performed in New Zealand? 

GG: Currently, Gharelu Gigs is mainly focusing on doing gigs in Auckland and nearby places; however, we are open to travel across New Zealand for gigs and spread the cheer around with our Gharelu performances. We have performed and catered to a wide range of audience, from playing for seniors at Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust on their 25th-anniversary event to performing for younger party people such as on New Year’s Eve, PAGE3 event hosted by LA ZEPPA etc. 

IWK: What is the aim of the band, where do you see yourself grow and perform in the near future?

GG: We want to spread the joy of live music to as many ears as we can, as we really love to sing with an entertaining crowd. In the next two years, we want first to spread the concept of Gharelu Gigs to the whole of New Zealand where people can enjoy live music in their own house without the need of big sound setups and that way adding a personal touch to it. Secondly, we are working now on original compositions with a mix of jazz and Indie-pop to it, which we are planning to release mid of this year.

IWK: What is the message you would like to give your fans/prospective audiences?

GG: We thank our fans and community for giving us so much love, and it is through their word of mouth that we have grown this popular. Through our performances, one thing we can promise is there has never been a Noise Control complaint when we perform, its a great vibe, pleasant, soothing and live music without mics and speakers, so everyone can enjoy the party till late in the night.

We know different languages, so a variety of performances can be performed such as in Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and a few songs from South India as well. 

Our charges as well are very very nominal and or I can say we understand the ‘Gharelu Budget’ and hence, we tailor the fees as per the client’s requirements.

We can be contacted on Gharelugig91@gmail.com or +64224787980/+64224026757.