Mumbai-based musicians Tejas Menon and Dinkar Dwivedi have released Conference Call: The Musicall. It is a short film featuring the two of them, along with singer-songwriter Kamakshi Khanna, Adil Kurwa of The Koniac Net and Jishnu Guha aka Short Round. The film guest stars singer-songwriters Mali and Aarifah Rebello. Complete with good music and writing, this is one of the more elaborate and well-made products of the lockdown.
Written, produced and recorded entirely at home during this period, the film is a satirical parody on the universal obsession with “content”. It begins with employees Tejas, Kamakshi and Adil joining a call with boss Dinkar, as they prepare themselves to pitch their idea for content to the client Jishnu. But as the call begins, they break into song and complain about how these conference calls have gone on for way too long. As they wait for the client, Tejas steps away mid-call to catch up with girlfriend Mali.
The complaining goes on in sing-song, and the boss explains what he believes to be the reality of all realities. Aarifah Rebello provides backing vocals to his take on the unavoidable all-pervasive content. The song you wrote, the pasta you cooked, the drawing your nephew made – everything is simply content which may or may not find its value in the digital world.
As Jishnu Guha, who is the perfect embodiment of a nagging client, sugarcoats his rejection of the deck that Dinkar’s team just presented, Dinkar starts losing his grip on this and finally comes out of the web of content creation.
The 12-minute musical provides humour and is a reminder to take it easy, appreciate creativity, do what makes you happy and most of all, cut the futile conference calls. Over the last two months, several musicians and labels around the world have taken on the challenge of innovating and coming up with new ways of engaging with their audience, with or without music. With their commentary on the bottomless pit of content, ironically, Tejas and Dinkar Dwivedi have created the most effective piece of content.