It’s a late Thursday evening in Bandra, and I’m headed to a music hub, exclusively for music lovers. From the entrance, Adagio is paradise, welcoming you to party. I’m joined by a dozen under-30s making their way down a creaky staircase that reads ‘Take Me Down… Paradise City’ to enter a basement for their regular dose of vinyl listening. Here, you are all set to listen to a vinyl… as music should be listened to. The basement has a well set up audio-visual experience, with a projector and a mini cinema screen. Plump yourself on the carpeted floor for a vinyl session or browse through a wide range of books there.
The tiny space, enough to accommodate 100-120 people, is open to anyone with a membership. Aman Singh Gujral, founder of Adagio, tells us that the idea behind all this was purely due to the honest and passionate love for appreciation of art and music and to simplify the process for learning music, especially an instrument like the guitar, which he is very passionate about.
It was late 2015 when Aman decided to quit his CA studies and venture into the idea of Adagio. “The time just felt right to quit and channelize the energies into the project.” It started off at a friend’s garden post-work on the evening of 16 November 2015 when a couple of 22-year-olds at the time (Aman and Ishan) were sketching a hypothetical space comprising of some of their favourite things with utmost analogue vibes, and a guitar fretboard as the door handle. “We were inspired by all things analogue, right from listening to music on vinyl records to practising yoga for fitness, reading a book (hard copy) or any other form of art involving as much human vibes into it,” says Aman.
It started off as a bedroom project with a handful of guitar students and a small community which used to head to Aman’s home to listen to music on records. Soon after a bit of savings and growth in members, the idea of Adagio began to really shape up when it found a real location at Chembur on 26 February 2016. Having no practical idea of how a company functions, Aman ventured into the project with only passion and a commitment for paying back to the rock n’ roll that he grew up on. Quitting his job and confronting his family about his ideas was the first hardship. Little did he know at the time that there would be many challenges waiting in the next few years.