The year 2020 brought more woe to the Goan band Sky High than the particular emotional duress and physical trials of the pandemic. Perhaps it was the inevitable fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. After aeons of being on the Goan music scene, Blasio Pinto, Aurvile Rodrigues, Collins Dias, Anthony Fernandes and Elvis Alves called it quits and went their separate ways.
Beginning in 1996, Sky High made a mark in Goan music history by being the most sought-after band for weddings at one point. It also found a place in the Limca Book of Records as the band members were the first guests on FM Rainbow’s programme Nite of the Fortnight, which aired in 2006 for the first time.
The programme, which was developed by RJs Bambino Dias and Savio Noronha, was significant for being the first chat show-cum-music concert on stage in Indian radio history. Sky High kicked off the maiden episode with their hit original song “Jump”.
“Flaming Orange”/“Zoomba” composed by the band, specifically for the I-League team Sporting Clube de Goa, was inspired by the bright orange football jerseys sported by the players. AIR-Panaji’s golden jubilee had the band playing “Lovin”, another original, this time with a reggaeton beat.
Once having performed all over India with the likes of Remo, Band of Boys, Shaan and Sagarika, and others; and having played at international venues such as Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and the Goan Festival in London, UK, the band is starting all over again with a new crew.
Blasio Pinto, who originally started Sky High, has recruited new members and begun performances again since March 2022. “I’m very passionate about music, so I decided I would give the band another shot,” says Blasio.
He continues, saying, “I went hunting around for new band members. I had to ask around and through friends finally came up with an excellent line-up of musicians.”
This new avatar of Sky High has Keith Fernandes from Vasco, all of 21 years, the youngest member, playing the bass guitar. Thirty-year-old Sylvester Fernandes from Mapusa is on the drums, and Sean D’Souza, 31, from Candolim, plays the lead guitar. Keyboard player Zeserino Mathias from Betalbatim is one among the oldest at 44, while Blasio, of course, lends his vocals.
“Covid has seriously affected gigs. That, plus the new set-up has affected the perception of the new edition of Sky High. It takes time for the establishment of anything new,” says Blasio.
While the spritely singer comments on the adverse effects of Covid on the whole economy and the arts, he nonetheless continues with his trademark exuberance, looking to the future with much hope.