Although that jittering feeling almost always sets in ahead of a stage performance, artistes find solace in the fact that the audience will reciprocate the energy they emit.
And this Goan singer-songwriter is poised to bring an adrenaline-fueled performance to the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) on December 19, 2023. “I expect the audience to feel the soul of Goa in their bones," says Joanne Fernandes.
Having graced the SAF stage thrice in the past, this time, Joanne will be performing at the Old PWD Complex, Panjim, along with Vijay Xavier, Clifford Siqueira, Ian de Noronha and Joe Ferrao, who call themselves ‘The Local Tribe’.
Joanne and The Local Tribe – a creative bunch of locals who grew up together as fellow musicians and friends – share a strong desire to preserve Goa’s gold, its music.
Together, they’ll perform some redefined Konkani folk and original material at the festival.
It’s no secret that when it comes to music, Goans almost act on instinct. Mindless of their own behaviour, as soon as they hear a Konkani number, you'll find them grooving to the beats or lip-syncing those tunes.
After exploring genres like Jazz, Blues, Soul, Rock and more, Joanne who got into music at age 15, has turned to her roots, those familiar Konkani melodies.
“I'm learning from the greats who have paved the way for artistes like me by honouring their songs, rearranged with a new twist,” Joanne says, revealing that while nostalgia is something she holds dear, her modern-day compilation of day-to-day stories will unfold in 2024.
In collaboration with producer Dhi Harmony, Zaai Go, her upcoming single has long been in the pipeline and is slated for release early next year.
The Konkani track tells a tale of a local fisherwoman going about her day, selling fish in South Goan style (Saxtikar), and will be performed for the first time at SAF 2023. "It's just a taste of what's lined up for the New Year," she smiles.
And while the studio allows her ideas to take form, it’s the stage that lets her share the magic. “As much as I enjoy the process of creating in solitude, I feel human connection is important and prefer a live audience where there’s an exchange of raw energy,” she explains.
Joanne admits that exploring anything beyond her comfort zone gives her the nerves.
“There's only so much one can prepare to deliver their best, then it's simply trust and team work,” she says, adding that it's between that control and surrender that one gets a sense of adventure and excitement.
Although she and her musical buddies have had the opportunity to be part of the festival, she believes Goa holds much talent that remains unexplored.
“I am grateful Goa has a thriving scene where musicians are able to sustain their lives while following their passion. However, I’d like more venues to support original music which would help musicians present their artistry and break out of the mould of cover songs,” she says.
And, having visited the festival in person, she says, “Being here, and this opportunity, feels amazing but I’d like to see more locals - more artists, local audience, vendors, maybe even a cutlet-bread stall."
"I think more credit needs to go to the locals,” she adds.
As a musician or listener, no matter where you or the music originates, it has the power to shift something within you.
On a concluding note, Joanne encourages young musicians from Goa to make authentic and heartfelt music, “Tell us your story. Keep it real,” she concludes.
WHERE: Old PWD Complex, Panjim-Goa
WHEN: Tuesday, December 19, 2023
TIMINGS: 8.30 pm -- 10 pm