Happy Birthday, Savvy

thank you Swayam Khanna for this amazing video

 

1.

Savinay Shetty snores.

Savinay Shetty snores so loudly that in 2013, when we were rooming together in Bangalore, for the Smirnoff Experience show, I had to sleep in the bath tub..

And even hiding in the bathroom, with the bathroom door shut, I still couldn’t sleep, because the tub was trembling.

That’s how loud his snoring is.

A rumbling, grumbling, wall of sound that makes bathtubs tremble.

2.

Savi and I used to sit beside each other at the old Oranjuice office, on the 4th floor of Gayatree Plaza, opposite Mahesh Notandas jewelers on Turner Road.

It was a great spot.

We always had eyes on Jairam and Owen’s cabins. We could always see their silhouettes, through the frosted glass, and we could read their body language.

And we could always tell when the figures inside those cabins were growing agitated, because we never had our backs to them.

That’s when we’d slip out of the office for a chai break.

And thus, we avoided being yelled at.

Most of the time.

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Pradeep, Bosco, Savi, and I at the old office.

3.

Savi has always been the kind of guy who prefers to let his work do the talking.

Maybe that was his downfall, in today’s music industry, where people don’t talk about the gigs anymore, because they’re busy talking about themselves on Facebook.

I wish more people knew how integral Savi’s been for so many great shows. How many contracts he’s closed, deals he’s signed, and riders he’s handled.

Maybe he should be more ‘out there’ on social media. Maybe he should have played that game.

But he doesn’t, and that’s one of the reasons I respect him so much.

Savi’s old school.

All he cares about is the vibe, and the show, and making sure the band is happy, and ready, and prepared, and the lights are working, and the crowd is under control.

All the bullshit — the egos and clients and inter-agency confusion — that stuff gets on his nerves, so he ignores it.

He focuses on what’s important.

4.

Savi and I shared a dream.

We had a vision, our vision, for India’s music scene.

We worked on it, for years, planning and probing and searching. He wrote to hundreds — hundreds — of agencies between September 2014 and September 2015.

I made so many presentations, for him, for artists, for clients.

All we wanted to do, was one great show.

We tried, for years. And for years, it always fell through at the last moment.

But then one night, it happened. Only for one night. It didn’t last, our dream. But on that one night, it was alive.

Our dream was Tycho and Explosions in the Sky and Giorgio Moroder at Mehboob Studio for Johnnie Walker the Journey. It was the next step in Vinay’s dream, which was Bonobo and Snarky Puppy at the Journey in 2014.

And it was amazing.

5.

Savi was sitting next to me in the office at Gayatree Plaza when we saw that Tycho — fucking Tycho — had uploaded artwork that I’d designed to his Facebook page.

It was a surreal moment.

It’s also a long story. Seconds before, we’d seen him upload slightly different artwork to his Facebook page. Artwork with an erroneous Indian map on it. Artwork that I’d designed.

Artwork with geopolitical consequences.

Luckily, we got it taken down before things got out of control.

Luckily.

That was the biggest fuck up of my career.

But we survived.

Thanks, Savi.

6.

Savi was standing next to me in two of the best moments of my life.

The first was when Explosions in the Sky played Yasmin the Light at the Journey, and I looked at him, and said, “dude, this is actually fucking happening.”

And he said: “I know, man. I know”

And we hugged.

The second moment was when Scott and Rory and Zac and Joe were on stage, in that ethereal blur of images and light and sound that was ‘TYCHO.’

The second moment was when Scott grabbed the microphone and said: “I just want to thank Oranjuice for bringing us to India. It’s progressive promoters like them who make nights like this possible.”

Because when he said “Oranjuice,” he meant Zeeshan and Brad and Aditi and Sukriti and Garry and Neville and Vinay and Shazneen and Varun and Owen and Jairam and Dipika and Dinesh, and all the great guys and girls who descend around us to make events happen.

But when he said “Oranjuice,” I felt, deep down, that he was talking about Savi and me.

Because the two of us fought the hardest to bring him here.

We fought. We fought clients, we fought our bosses, we fought everyone who didn’t think it was a good idea.

And maybe it wasn’t.

Maybe if it was as great an idea as we thought it was, more people would have come for the show.

Enough people didn’t come. The show didn’t sell out, the way Bonobo had the year before.

So — to everyone who we let down, I have to say, I’m sorry. We really thought we made the right decision, that we made the right choices with the time and resources and knowledge available to us, at that moment in time.

To everyone at Johnnie Walker and Oranjuice and Fountainhead and everywhere else who believed in us, in our vision, I have to say: I’m sorry. We tried our best. We really did.

That show wasn’t sold out, like we’d hoped it would be. Our vision didn’t match up with the rest of this country’s. And you trusted us.

But for those of us who were there, inside that studio, those of us who saw and heard and felt that moment, we know how perfect it was.

So thank you, Savi. For making it happen.

You’re the best, man.

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