Musician Neil Fernandes’ recently launched Midane- The Music and Dance Academy at Alto- Dabolim intends to focus on contemporary style of music. NT BUZZ finds out more
CHRISTINE MACHADO | NT BUZZ
Musician and music producer Neil Fernandes has been steadily creating music waves in Goa in the last few years. Having released his debut album at the age of 17, he has in the last few years been performing in bands like ‘The Coffee Cats’, ‘Obsession’ and ‘The Jazz Corner’, and has played alongside legends like Braz Gonsalves and Louiz Banks. And now the youngster is all set to share a few secrets of his music success with his new academy Midane – The Music and Dance Academy at Alto-Dabolim.
And his aim, says the True School of Music-Mumbai graduate, is to steer away from the old school style of teaching music. “A lot of music academies tend to focus on teaching classical style of music. Also, not all of them teach you the application of this learning or how to improvise. My aim is to make the teaching more contemporary style based,” says Neil.
A lot of people in Goa, he adds, are not acquainted with this style. “The indie music scene is just emerging. Although there is so much talent here, budding musicians tend to get stuck doing the same old pop style. Although it cannot be denied that this is also owing to the hotel industry demands, there needs to be more music education in other music styles like jazz, bluegrass, etc,” he says.
And it’s not just music that people can hope to learn here, but also dance. “My parents Mick and Daisy have been running a ballroom dance school for many years now. This will now be integrated in the academy. In fact the name of the academy ‘Midane’ is a combination of the first two letters of each of our names,” he says.
In fact, his father Mick Fernandes has created a concept called ‘dancercise’ which combines dance with exercise for an all-round fitness experience. Mick was also ZIN member and instructor (zumba) from 2013 to January 2019 and won the All Goa Ballroom Dance Competition and the Indian Navy Ballroom Competition. Besides this, he choreographed a dance sequence for the BBC TV series ‘Sharpe’, starring Hollywood actor Sean Bean. Apart from ballroom dance classes, Neil, a dancer himself, will also be conducting classes in contemporary jazz and free style at the academy.
Midane has already opened doors but will become a fully fledged academy by September-end.
The academy will have Portuguese origin singer conductor, pedagogue and singer Maria Meireles teaching vocals (fundamental technique, classical and jazz). Having performed with several choirs and ensembles all over Portugal and India and collaborated with international artistes such as The Rolling Stones and Andrea Bocelli, Maria is also a self-taught jazz singer.
Neil himself will be teaching guitar, drums, violin and music production.
In October, they have invited a guest faculty, an Italian drum teacher Matteo Fraboni for percussions.
“We are also hoping to get a saxophone teacher and more guest faculty in future,” says Neil.