In collaboration with Culture Cartel, we put the spotlight on 5 alternative individuals that have taken the road less traveled. We chat with them on their passion and journey, and hear out on what inspires them.

Photos by Dju-lian Chng


 Zaran Vachha, Co-founder of Collective Minds, 222 Arts Club and The Rooms, is synonymously known for running events in both London and Hong Kong for over a decade. 


We caught up with Zaran on his brainchild Collective Minds, how 2020 has evolved the music and nightlife industry, and what’s next for him…



Introduce yourself
 Zaran Vachha, Co-founder of Collective Minds, 222 Arts Club and The Rooms.
How did Collective Minds come to be?
I ran a company called the little black book in London and Hong Kong for 10 years we mainly did consultancy and branded events. Living in Asia I felt there was a need to tie all the independent promoters together. Our vision is to get people to work together instead of against each other. The music industry has been unnecessarily cutthroat. People with bad attitudes trying to step on each other. We are trying to develop a community that works together. 


How has 2020 changed the music and nightlife industry for you?

2020 has put a massive spanner in the works. It’s sad to see peoples hard work go down the drain. People in the music and nightlife industry are mostly in it for the passion. There is very little monetary upside to this industry. So seeing people lose everything they have worked for is life changing. I hope the rebuild people help each other and work together to recreate their scenes. Restriction of what we can do is going to be a lasting problem well into 2021.


What do you think the opportunities that live streaming & digital music events might provide in the near future?
I believe virtual events have been on the road to happening for a long time. However, it got pushed to the forefront too soon and it’s been a massive trial and error period. But I think it’s reaching a point of quality but unfortunately a point of saturation.


What are some of the most memorable gigs you’ve attended or even booked? 
I think the most memorable tour in recent memory was Kamasi Washington in Bali and Singapore. In both cases we sold more tickets than we thought for such an obscure jazz act. He played 6 songs in two hours and the whole crowd was mesmerized.


Are there any acts in your bucket list that you’ve yet to catch?  
Daft Punk. I’m dying to go to a Daft Punk concert.




Listen to Zaran's Spotify playlist here: 



Show you the way – thundercat, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins
This is my go to song – when someone ask me to play a song. It’s a great reset to what was playing later.


101 FM.- Little Simz
Just a fun song. Makes me miss London a lot. Such a talent.


Could Heaven Be Like This – Idris Muhammed
I play this song on repeat it is definitely percussion the build up. It’s perfect.


Topdown – Chanel Tres
Yes guys Compton house is now a thing. And its fucking amazing.


Nightrider – Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes and Freddie Gibbs
The coolest song of 2020. Just got such a vibe. The collab between tom misch and yussef days is just bang on.


Hold On – En Vouge
Best intro to a track ever. Classic 90’s amazing.


Follow Me – Aly & Us
Just a straight banger.


Gabriel. – Roy Davis Jr / Peven Everett
Don’t tell my girlfriend but garage is my one true love. She comes a close second.


Energy – Skepta / Wizkid
How can you not like this song?


Toast – Koffee
I have played this song into the ground and I still love it!!


Flowers – Andrew Ashong / Theo Parrish
It’s just a beautiful song that everyone needs to listen to immediately.


Abusey Junction – Kokoroko
We out here album is just such a bloody delight. Curated by Gilles Peterson a selection of brownswood artist. Nothing wrong with it.


Bennie and The Jets – Elton John
I like to sing/shout this at my partner in the mornings she loves it.
I like to sing/shout this at my partner in the mornings she loves it.