When Chai Met Toast returns to Singapore for Kalaa Utsavam 2023 with brand new songs and a Bollywood touch

The 2023 edition of Kalaa Utsavam, arguably the biggest festival of Indian performing arts in the world, begins in Singapore on November 17, and for fans of contemporary original Indian music, one of the must-attend shows is that of the four-member indie band When Chai Met Toast.

When Chai Met Toast is a four-piece indie-folk alternative band from Kerala. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Chatting with Connected to India ahead of the festival, band members Sailesh Pai, Achyuth Jaigopal, and Palee Francis speak of their relationship with Singapore and their recent foray into Bollywood.

Recalling their experience of holding three back-to-back concerts at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix 2022, Pai says that being “a bigtime F1 fan”, that was the “best show” from his perspective, especially as the last gig was held near the pit lane, where the race cars stood ready to roar while the band sang on the stage.

Singapore is also special for the musicians because, “[our] first Esplanade show was the first international show as a band,” says Achyuth, adding that the band is “very excited to be back and to do an auditorium show with our new set list”.

The set list, built around their latest album Love You the Same, also includes a “couple of songs” that showcase the band’s nascent collaboration with Bollywood. One of these songs, Mazey Mein, is from the Netflix release Friday Night Plan.

During the course of the chat, Achyuth reveals that the band’s song When We Feel Young was inspired by the strength of the love seen in their parents’ generation. It must have struck a chord even with the Gen Z audience, because it’s one of the top five or top three songs among the audience requests that the band gets.

As to which Indian cities bring the largest audiences for the band, Francis names Bangalore, followed by Mumbai and Delhi, and then Kochi, Pune, and Hyderabad.

The band has also had some sellout shows in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, and venues in Virginia. “Always great to get out of the country and play our music for the first time to people there,” says Achyuth.

Now ready to rock the stage at Singtel Waterfront Theatre, Esplanade, for Kalaa Utsavam, the band is looking forward to a great audience response. As Achyuth puts it, “The energy we get is what we reciprocate on stage.”

Performance details

When Chai Met Toast – Love You the Same Tour
Date: 26 Nov 2023; Sun 7.30pm
Venue: Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

Watch the whole interview on the Connected to India YouTube channel.