In its fifth year now, a charity music concert put together by Mumbai teenager, Mrinalini Somani, is a true testament to the power of music in bringing people together.
16-year-old Mrinalini Somani started the WE concert to help underprivileged children
Tonight, Mumbai’s Royal Opera House, which has played host to some of the world’s most accomplished performers since the time it reopened last year after a formidable restoration process, will provide a stage to artists of a different kind. Seventy students from across Mumbai, from 13 schools and including underprivileged kids from the slums of the city, will bealt out songs by Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars, Adele and Shawn Mendes, perform dances and play a multitude of instruments to an audience of nearly 500 people.
The brainchild of 16-year-old Mrinalini Somani, WE 2017 brings together school students between the ages of 13 and 18, along with those from the Salaam Bombay Foundation, an organization that empowers and educates children from the city’s slums.
“We’ve been practicing for three months and to perform at the Royal Opera House feels so overwhelming,” says Somani. Dressed in a black T-shirt with the slogan ‘Here comes treble’ and strumming a semi-acoustic guitar, the teenager proceeds to perform a rendition of Adele’s Chasing Pavements, reaching the high notes with impressive ease. It’s almost hard to believe when she confesses that she was a shy kid. Somani has been spearheading WE for five years now.
Still from a previous performance at the WE Concert
In 2013, the teenager was performing at the Sangit Kala Kendra in Mumbai as part of a programme centred around 100 years of Bollywood, when she interacted with some of the other artistes who happened to be children from the Salaam Bombay Foundation.