Mr Jaison Sequeira: The Heartbeat of Sur Ensemble

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Mr Jaison Sequeira: The Heartbeat of Sur Ensemble

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A 28-year-old singer-songwriter hailing from Gurupura, Mangaluru, started composing songs in his early teens.

Having done his schooling at St Joseph’s High School, Bajpe. PUC at St Aloysius Pre University College, Mangaluru. Degree at Alva’s College and completing his MSc in Mangalore University.

Mr Jaison Sequeira was employed at Eurofins Advinus Ltd., Bengaluru as a research scientist. At present he is a Research Fellow at Konkani Adhyayana Peeta, Mangalore University working on population genetics of Konkani speaking population.

Mr Jaison Sequeira
Some Facts you must know about Jaison Sequeira:
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira presented his own compositions at the Konkani Natak Sabha, Inter-Parish singing competitions which fetched him prizes. 
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira, Self-composed 11 songs were presented during a Konkani TV reality show ‘Soad 4’ in 2014.
  • Maiden music album ‘Ho Jeev’ released in the year 2016. This album was nominated in the best music album category during the Global Konkani Music Awards – 2017.
  • First musical show ‘Poilo Sur’ at Kalaangann – Mangaluru.
  • Second musical show ‘Dusro Sur’ at Puttur.
  • Third music concert ‘Tisro Sur Unplugged’ at Kalaangann, Mangaluru. This programme introduced the concept of ‘home concert’ in Konkani music world.
  • ‘Chovto Sur’ at St. Aloysius College followed by ‘Sur Project’ at St. Agnes College which was a multilingual concert with songs focussed on the fight against depression. This show was critically acclaimed by both Konkani and by Non-Konkani audience.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira, founded ‘Paypassion App’, for the online streaming and sale of regional music.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira has composed over a hundred songs in different languages including Konkani, Kannada, Tulu, Hindi and English. He has written close to 100 poems that have been published in regional magazines and websites and recited on All India Radio and many literary fests.
  • His songs ‘Oh Chitteye’ and ‘Mera Desh’ are streamed on all online music streaming sites. ‘Oh Chitteye’ was nominated in three categories at the Kannada International Music Academy (KIMA) awards 2019. He was nominated for ‘Best Indie Artist’ category.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira formed The Sur Ensemble band in 2019 which is a platform open to young musicians to experiment on Jaison’s compositions under his direction. This ensemble of musicians presented “Hum Honge Kamyab”, Jaison’s original song to spread some positivity during the lockdown. Quarantine version is available on YouTube.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira was awarded ‘NBJ Kala Puraskar 2018’ for his contribution to Konkani Music.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira has received ‘ICYM Award of Excellence 2019’ for music from Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore Diocese.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira is a resource person at various summer camps teaching the nuances of music and presentation.
  • Mr Jaison Sequeira is also a Social Activist and Influencer on online platforms conducting live sessions. He is the president of ICYM, Gurpur unit and a committee member of Manddsobhann, Mangalore.

1) It’s indeed a pleasure to have you with us, Mr Jaison Sequeira. Could you please introduce your beautiful family to us?

I live with my parents and my younger brother at Gurupura Kaikamba. My father owns an electrical workshop that fabricates meter boards and panels. My mother is a house wife and our family’s lifeline.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

2) Mr Jaison Sequeira, ou are a spectaculous singer and a songwriter. How did it all start about?

I am flattered by that adjective. But yes, I write songs and I sing them. It all started in my teens. I always wondered how people create such powerful songs that influence the listeners, making them sing, dance and most of the time provide companionship. I had a huge respect for original artists even in those days.

It is this uniqueness in creators which fuelled me to do something of my own. And the fuel hasn’t exhausted till this day. Even now, I wouldn’t want to write songs that please a group of people. Instead I want to bond with my soul through my songs and I am sure there will be someone in the crowd with the same want.

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3) Mr Jaison Sequeira, you were employed at Eurofins Ltd. as a Research Scientist. Could you please guide us on, how one can be a Research Scientist and what are the steps and processes involved?

It was my childhood dream to be a scientist. It wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it to be. I completed my masters in Zoology at Mangalore University. There was a campus selection drive, got selected and was employed as an associate research scientist at Advinus Pvt. Ltd. which later became a part of Eurofins.

I request all the youngsters to complete post-graduation in any subject. It is the minimum criteria for industry.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

4) Mr Jaison Sequeira, you had presented your compositions at the ‘Konkani Natak Sabha’ and had also won prizes. What did you feel at that moment?

It was a confidence booster for sure. My compositions reached an audience for the first time. And winning the competition was like an icing on the cake. I thank my parish for that opportunity and KNS for providing the platform.

5) Mr Jaison Sequeira, being a self-composer, you presented 11 songs, during a Konkani Reality show named ‘Soad-4’ in 2014. Tell us about the efforts and Hard-work that went into the making of these 11 songs.

Frankly speaking, it takes a lot of brain drain and emotional experience in the process of song writing. Some songs flow spontaneously in a single sitting and some take weeks, months and even years. I am not one of those that pile up a bin of waste paper.

If I am happy with the start, I continue to finish it. If not, it remains as an unfinished song. Ultimately, a song is a marriage between the words and the tune. There can’t be a “chalega” in a composition.

There was an added pressure on me during ‘Soad 4’. The organisers happily agreed to allow me to sing my own songs. But cautioned me that I won’t get extra sessions with the musicians. That was a challenge.

Most of the time it was just one rehearsal before the stage performance. Only God knew how I was feeling within. But when you are on the stage it’s a different dimension. When I look back I see my growth as a performer. It wasn’t so bad after all.

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6) Mr Jaison Sequeira, your maiden music album ‘Ho Jeev’ was nominated in ‘The Best Music Album’ category, during the ‘Global Konkani Music Awards’- 2017. What do you think were the key elements in the song that paved your way to the ‘Global Konkani Music Awards’.

It’s a competition. My album was nominated but it lost. There may be a hundred things we are good in. But there are a hundred more ways to do better. ‘Ho Jeev’ album should have been promoted well. That’s one of the biggest learning points for me.

This album also taught me an important lesson. The accompaniment (music) for a song is an integral part. And the beauty of original music lies in its purest form and not in its interpretation. Most of the Konkani songs in the recent years are an interpretation where the music arranger/producer interprets the song. The song writers (lyricist and the composers) are not involved in this process.

However, it is more like a norm these days depending on the feasibility that the chronology of a song production starts with a lyricist and a composer who create the song followed by a music arranger/producer who creates the sound track and ends with an engineer who mixes the vocals with the track to give a pleasant sounding product.

I dream of producing songs the old fashioned way where there’s no admixture whatsoever, hopefully soon.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

7) Mr Jaison Sequeira, the ‘Poilo Sur’, ‘Dusro Sur’, ‘Tisro Sur’ and ‘Chovto Sur’ Musical concerts have dived deep down into the hearts and minds of the people. What was the thought during the creation of ‘Sur’ sequels and what was the driving force behind it that made it so successful.

To call these concerts successful, we should redefine success. For me success means achieving a purpose. That’s it. Otherwise it is an unending quest. I accept that I was an amateur during the first two concerts. I wouldn’t say they were purposeless. They were solely a product of an impulse to do something like a music show.

The difference was witnessed from Tisro Sur Unplugged. It was a home concert. The concept is new to our region. Theme based music and an intimate experience for a small likeminded crowd.

It was praised by the audience not only as a way of entertainment but also as a personal experience. And I could notice a few people attending the concerts that followed Tisro Sur without fail. That’s when I realised that my music has a following too.

8) Mr Jaison Sequeira, you are also the Founder of ‘Paypassion’ App. Could you please enlighten us more on this.

I have always believed that we don’t just live for ourselves. We carry the responsibility of a civilization. So I have this crazy desire to bring the change I want to see.

Paypassion was born out of this drive. It is an android music streaming application where you can buy recent regional albums and listen to the songs on your phone. When I released my album I struggled to deliver it to my listeners abroad. So I created this application spending my own money. It’s a non-profit initiative to help budding song writers.

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9) ‘Oh Chitteye’ song has won the hearts of so many people. Tell us about the journey of the song and the award and nominations it has fetched you.

This song is a memorable one for me. It is my first non-Konkani song that went public. I was in Bangalore when this song took shape. This song introduced me to three hardworking youngsters from an art academy in Bangalore, Vinay, Lohith and Tejesh.

The video of this song was highly appreciated. It even got nominated at the Kannada International Music awards. I was nominated for the ‘Best Indie Artist’ category. Achieving this with very limited resources is something we all look back and smile at. So this song is special one for me. It is available on all online platforms.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

10) Mr Jaison Sequeira, the birth of ‘Sur Ensemble Band’ is a boon to all the young musicians. Jaison, tell us what exactly the ‘Sur Ensemble Band’ does and how it works.

‘The Sur Ensemble’ does not fit under the definition of a band. It is a group of motivated musicians who are ready to work hard, be creative and experiment.

If I am impressed by a young musicians, I just call them. If they agree to prioritize art over money, then we make the best of it. We practice a lot. And the result is out there for everyone to see.

In these noisier and louder days it is rare to hear someone from the crowd saying “Every musical instrument had an important part to play in those songs”. That’s exactly what we hear during an audience review session after my concerts. I would like to work with more musicians and plenty of instruments.

11) Mr Jaison Sequeira, the song ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’ was created during the lockdown and it has touched the hearts of the listeners. Tell us how you made it possible.

This song was completely recorded at home using ordinary phone mics. All of us were locked in our respective homes. The idea struck when I found a lot negative news stories on social media. I just wanted to share some positive vibes in these gloomy times. Thanks to the Sur Ensemble team for agreeing to walk that extra mile and create this song. Now it is on YouTube.

12) Mr Jaison Sequeira, you have won awards like ‘NBJ Kala Puraskar 2018’ and ‘ICYM Award of Excellence-2019’ for music. Tell us more about your contribution in the field of music.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

I will just reiterate my words I uttered during the award ceremony- “I take this award not for the list of achievements I have, but for the hope and belief the organisers have on me that this boy would grow to be something someday”.

Every dream is a sure achievement. All it requires is a little support. And trust me when I say, there’s no dearth for dreamers. My fourth concert was a reality only because of the prize money I received with NBJ Kala Puraskar.

13) Mr Jaison Sequeira, as a songwriter what are the main features you always focus on.

For me, it is the perfect blending between the words and the melody. And when it happens you’ll know it’s done. When I composed ‘Gadir Ek Bob’ I was so overwhelmed that I had to let my emotions flow. And every single time I close my eyes and sing it, those emotions flow as tears. The same goes for the happy songs. I just can’t stop being happy when I sing them.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

14) Mr Jaison Sequeira, in the present society, where we live, we often find more singers than the song-writers. Why is that so?

From my observation, I think it is not so easy to be a singer song-writer. To write, compose and to sing is like doing the job of three different people. It takes the experience of three. And the environment you grew up in also matters.

The more challenging it is, the lesser people would want to do it. So you find lesser number of singer-songwriters and plenty of singers. But let us not underestimate singers. There are many talented singers who work really hard on their craft.

15) Mr Jaison Sequeira, as a President of ICYM Gurpur unit and as a committee member of Mandd Sobhann, Mangalore, what were your major learning’s?

In an association, you learn the fundamentals of democracy. Leading is something that I am quite familiar with. I have been a leader of smaller and larger groups of people since childhood. But when the group includes youngsters, the leader has to first stop being a leader and start being a companion. And when the group includes experienced people, then it is always good to be humble and just be ready for an opportunity to play your role.

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16) Mr Jaison Sequeira, tell us about the struggles you have faced in life as a Musician and how have you overcome it.

I have never categorised myself under a particular title. I like to be free. And for those who want to be free, struggle is real. For me, the most painful experience is to see my compositions lying in a book. I have more than a hundred songs, most of which have not been able to reach their due audience.

I just want to share my joy or sadness or surprise that is present in my songs. I want to see the different ways these songs touch people. So far I have tried to do so by producing an album, through my concerts, through Paypassion and also through social media. But I want to do more. I have some crazy ideas cooking in my mind. Fingers crossed.

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17) Mr Jaison Sequeira, as a Human being, what would be the biggest give away in your life?

Every life has a story to tell and every death has a lesson to teach. The way I have lived so far is mostly like a boat sailing against the currents. It’s interesting yet exhausting at the same time. But the show must go on.

I never miss an opportunity to learn new stuff. I am studying the genomic diversity of Konkani speakers. I have worked at a pharma company. I take up responsibilities in the church and outside. I enjoy writing songs. Not so much into cooking. I am someone who would do the dishes. I am sometimes a social media freak. And sometimes I just want to disappear.

I love reading history! I enjoy wasting time on completely irrelevant subjects and then realize how important it is to know them. I am an activist when it comes to politics, social issues and my language. I am 28 doing all the things that I love to do and at the same time wondering what ‘getting settled’ actually means. So, it is important for each one of us to understand that all we do is explore. And that exploration is unending.

Mr Jaison Sequeira

18) Mr Jaison Sequeira, what are your Future Goals and ambitions as a Musician, as a Songwriter and as a normal person?

When people I know ask me this I just say “I want to be happy and maybe have a beautiful family one day”. And obviously continue doing what I love to do both as an individual and as an artist.

Thank you Mr Jaison Sequeira. It was indeed nice to know more about you. The entire Team wishes you all the very best for you future.

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Mr Jaison Sequeira: The Heartbeat of Sur Ensemble

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