From a small and intimate gig in a restaurant down south, to a series of distinctive concerts around the country, Naadha Gama, comprising a few young vocalists have come a long way to now have over 70,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel and a huge number of followers on their other social media platforms.
The picture that has been painted in the hearts of Naadha Gama fans is an intimate concert with a cosy atmosphere, one between a ‘paduru party’ and an ordinary concert with bean bags and lights. The most recent Naadha Gama concert was held amidst an enthusiastic crowd at Waters Edge and was the seventh such concert held locally.
While the Naadha Gama artist team consists of young and upcoming vocalists Ridma Weerawardana, Dinupa Kodagoda, Methun SK, Kanchana Anuradhi, Supun Perera and Dinesh Gamage, artists such as Lahiru Perera and Sangeeth Wijesuriya have also been featured in some of their concerts including the most recent.
Speaking to Teen Inc about the inception of Naadha Gama and their journey ever since, Methun SK said, ‘’We didn’t foresee growing into what we are today, we just started with a simple gig in a privately owned restaurant in Matara and Ridma Weerawardana and Dinesh Gamage who were at the time close friends of mine, joined’’.
‘’The gig was a very small musical gathering of only over 160 audience and at the time, we didn’t have any intentions to carry on with having concerts but we most certainly had a specific concept in our minds of the way in which we wanted the concert to be that is with bean bags and lots of lights and a comfortable seating arrangement for our audience’’ he said.
Methun went onto say ‘’it was only after the end of the concert that we decided to continue as a series with no idea of what we had in store for us’’ to which Ridma added that many suggested to continue in the same manner that the very first gig was held.
Emphasising on why Naadha Gama is different from other concerts, Methun said ‘’the most significant difference between Naadha Gama and other musical concerts is the interaction between the audience and the artists as we have ensured that the audience is not merely seated watching a concert but instead wanted to make it a different experience for them altogether’’.
Methun went on to say, the concept formulated by the team was also one which focused on a less expensive concert series.
Ridma speaking of the collaborations with other artists, said Naadha Gama has also collaborated with other artists and the team evolves and changes including changes in the band for different concerts adding that it is not limited to a certain group performance.
‘’Certain [people] may be a part of one concert but not of another concert but is still a part of the family and there is an incredible team behind every concert making everything possible for us,’’ he said.
Ridma added, “we also have plans to start another series with different artists and together with a few other plans for Naadha Gama that we hope to work on in the near future’’.
Naadha Gama concerts have also not been limited within Sri Lanka, Methun said adding that in October 2019, a concert was held in Melbourne, Australia and that was the second largest concert during the time with a crowd of over 1400.
While noting that their fans and audience have consistently extended their support to Naadha Gama and has been a part of all the concert series, Ridma said ‘’once you come for one concert, you tend to be a part of the family and we have an audience who would travel out of Colombo just to attend the concert and that means a lot to the team’’.
Methun said for the artists, it is the moments that they feel like the crowd enjoying the concert that makes it all worth the effort adding that the crowd also sings along with the artists and flash their phone torch at the stage during most of their performances.
Adding to this, Ridma said the Naadha Gama concert held at Nuwara Eliya was very intimate adding that the artists were able to hang out with our audience.
‘’The response from fans on social media is also very heart-warming and amazing, we didn’t expect so many people to join our very first live and when we noticed the reach on social media, we realised the capacity we have reached’’ Methun said adding that Naadha Gama has much greater things coming up for their fans.
By Faadhila Thassim