A young Lila Ramani sat in her high chair bobbing her head back and forth in between bites of Cheerios to the Spanish music her parents put on the stereo. After a checkup with the family pediatrician it was determined Ramani had a mild case of boogie fever, and was prescribed a guitar to treat the involuntary head movements — but the serial head-bobbing cereal eater wasn’t done yet.
Ramani, a junior majoring in computer science, grew up in a very artistic household.
“My mother runs an art space in Brooklyn for mixed media, and my dad was in a Malaysian Beatles cover band. Oh, and my grandmother was a poet,” she said. Thus, it only made sense for Ramani herself to embark on her own artistic journey of self-discovery — learning to play the guitar as early as the fourth grade and becoming a self-proclaimed prodigy by the fifth. Ramani complained that in high school, however, practice resources were scarce; the environment wasn’t particularly conducive to playing music and so she had to play under cover of darkness. Once she came to Tufts, however, everything changed for the better.
Upon her arrival, Ramani was amazed at the wealth of opportunities available for a young artist like herself. She joined the Tufts Jazz Ensemble, meeting many like-minded students, some of whom would become her future bandmates and even housemates. Her band, born out of Ramani’s curiosity with ensembles, is the now-famous (at least on campus) group, Bad and Blue. Ramani praised the facilities at Tufts, expressing only one complaint.
“I wish we could reserve more than one of the practice rooms in Granoff, it’s kind of hard to practice as a band in one small room,” she said. Bad and Blue is comprised of seven musicians. One can picture the comical image of a tiny Granoff practice room filled to the brim with Ramani’s eccentric personality alone taking up half of it.
Ramani also praised the music culture at Tufts, and, in particular, the many opportunities for bands to perform for the community. Bad and Blue has performed mainly in Applejam shows as well as for Midnight at Tufts. She explained that, while Applejam required them to record a few songs before agreeing to showcase their talent, after being accepted, the group members benefited from terrific opportunities to rock out with their friends.
Ramani plans to study abroad in Seville, Spain, next semester, where she hopes to hone her skills in the Spanish fingerpicking style she developed as a budding fourth grader. She also hopes to add a bit of Spanish flair and spice to her Amy Winehouse/Esperanza Spalding-influenced musical personality. As for the band, it’ll be taking a short hiatus.
“We’ll have to take a break next semester, but I hope to jump straight back into it when I get back,” Ramani promised.