#Showbiz : Sizzling Serving of Sweet Music (NST)

Prem and Sri of Music Kitchen

Prem and Sri of Music Kitchen are the opening act for the Triple Treat concert which happens tomorrow at Hotel Istana KL.

THEY grew up surrounded by creative and expressive uncles and aunts who sang or played musical instruments.

No surprise then for cousins Prem Darsha, 25, and Sri Sidhartha, 20, who have since developed a natural flair and easy-going knack for melodies and rhythms.

Both are now passionately forging their own “road less taken” musical path.

“They are mostly devotional singer-songwriters,” says Prem of his father’s family of five brothers and two sisters, adding nonchalantly that “music is in the blood.”

Prem, whose musical weapon of choice is the trusty keyboard, says he decided to study music at the ripe age of 16. Both he and Sri, who is studying drums, opted to do it the home-school way.

As they explained it, a few years ago, an uncle offered the two of them the chance to manage a recording studio, where other older relatives would also jam.


The eager Prem and Sri quickly took on the responsibility, and started producing for other artistes as well.

As they both liked food, the moniker Music Kitchen was an apt choice as it also signalled an organic start. “It’s simply a place to cook up music,” says Prem enthusiastically.

How time flies, with that happening almost three years ago. Music Kitchen has since produced tracks for the likes of DJ Altimet and Balan Kashmir, among other local indie, underground and niche artistes.

Says Prem of their own brew of sonic concoctions: “We come from bhajans and pop music, so it’s naturally a sort of fusion music background. What we do is mainly covers but done in the style of mash-ups.”

He adds that they want to give the tunes a new and fresh perspective. “It’s kind of a mix between hip-hop and pop — that’s where we want to go.”

The road to sonic bliss was predictably not an easy or welcomed one. “When we chose to do music, the extended family was not too keen. They said we can’t do well for ourselves with music,” recalls Prem.

But perseverance, passion and lots of hard work made all of the difference.

“Now things are better. We are doing all right, especially as we are now going to perform our biggest gig,” he says, brandishing a big smile.

NST Stephen Devassy
Stephen Devassy has been touted as an integral part of the blooming non-mainstream music scene in South India.


That would be at Mojo Projects’ event called Triple Treat tomorrow, which will take place in Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur. Music Kitchen will be its energetic opening act to get the crowd of music lovers hyped up.

The exciting aural event brings together well-known bands in the longstanding Indian independent music scene. Triple Treat represents one of three concerts taking place before the final main stage concert for the 3rd Malaysian Independent Live Fusion Festival (MILFF).

The other live music outfits are Stephen Devassy & The Solid Band, Agam and Naresh Iyer & The Navneeth Sunder Ensemble.

Stephen has been touted as an integral part of the blooming non-mainstream music scene in South India since he started winning fans through his talent and charisma at the age of 18.

The popular artiste is considered to be an inspiration to young and aspiring musicians, which is something that Prem can readily attest to.

“It was just really wonderful to see our picture on the poster for the show, right beneath Stephen’s glamour shot!” says Prem, with a wide-eyed Sri nodding in agreement.

As for Agam, who performed in Malaysia during Mojo’s very first MILFF back in 2016, the band certainly left an indelible mark on the duo.

The two admit that seeing the tight band perform a solid set on stage then was also what inspired Music Kitchen to keep on going at it despite the challenges to realise their musical dream.

Since its formation way back in 2003, Agam has certainly made quite an impact in the independent music scene, with its unique blending of sophisticated Carnatic ragas with edgy rock riffs.

Apart from creating original compositions, Agam takes on a fun approach by coming up with interpretations of popular mainstream film music as well.

Fans will be in for a treat as the proficient band will be performing songs from its new album during the Triple Treat show.

“When we saw them perform during the MILFF show, that was when we said to ourselves that we really have to do this one day, to be here one day to perform. That day has come. It’s really going to happen,” says Prem with a spark of accomplishment in his eyes.

NST Agam
Agam has made an impact in the independent music scene with its unique blending of sophisticated Carnatic ragas with edgy rock riffs.


  • When: Tomorrow, 6.30pm
  • Where: Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, KL

Tickets: Visit www.airasiaredtix.com or call 012-2000 505.

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