When Chai Met Toast
India's ever-evolving When Chai Met Toast (WCMT) balance their folk- pop roots with forays into indie rock and alternative rock. The band consists of vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar, guitarist Achyuth Jaigopal, keyboard player Palee Francis and drummer Pai Sailesh.
The quartet officially came into being in 2016 with their debut EP 'Joy of Little Things. The collective made a swift rise following the release, with audiences taking to their unique style of songwriting drawing upon multilingual lyrics and infectious sing-along choruses, incorporating acoustic folk instruments like the banjo. Over the next couple of years, they crafted what became the 2018 breakout 'Khoj (Passing By)' from their sophomore offering 'Believe', achieving both critical and public acclaim.
The follow up to the two EPs, the band's first full length album 'When We Feel Young' (2021), featured electric guitars, synths and a pop flourish while retaining some of their previous folk-indebted sound. Few of the songs from the album were also released as 'Nature Tapes’ versions - a series of videos where the band performs acoustically reimagined interpretations of their songs amidst nature. WCMT's latest is their third EP 'LYTS', recorded in London with producer Richard Wilkinson. Following the release, they are currently the most streamed English band in India and have cemented themselves as genre pioneers in the country.
Having headlined major music festivals in India and with a growing international listener base, the band was invited to and performed shows at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix 2022 and Expo 2020 - Dubai. WCMT completed two successful tours of the UK & Ireland in 22' and 23' and one tour of the US in '23, where they sold out legendary venues like
The Garage in London, King Tuts in Glasgow, and the Sultan Room, in New York. The US tour was followed by their EP release India tour, where the band sold over 12000 tickets across 8 cities - the highest by any Indian English artist.
The band is also endeared by audiences for their groundbreaking music videos. "As much as we are storytellers through our songwriting, a visual medium helps us take it a step further". WCMT's YouTube channel currently stands at 350k+ strong, growing at a steady pace.
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