Although Rupa & the April Fishes are based in San Francisco, CA, their music is a specifically locale-free style of pan-culturalism, with lead singer and songwriter Rupa Marya singing not only in English but also in French, Spanish, Hindi, and the Roma language of the Gypsies.
Marya was born near San Francisco, but her Indian-born parents traveled quite a bit, and she was raised not only in California but also in northern India and France. Although the study of medicine was Marya's main priority -- she is an internist on staff at a teaching hospital in San Francisco -- she also began playing piano and guitar as a child, and began writing songs as a teenager. After a stint in a folk duo with San Francisco singer/songwriter Kate Isenberg, Marya formed Rupa & the April Fishes with the intent of blending all the forms of music she had been exposed to, from wistful French chansons and dramatic Roma ballads to the Mexican-American pop that permeates the Bay Area, along with politically minded lyrics that concern her internationalist mindset. Featuring herself on guitar and lead vocals, Marya formed Rupa & the April Fishes while completing her medical residency, bringing cellists Ed Baskerville and Pawel Walerowski, trumpeter Marcus Cohen, accordionists Isabel Douglass and Adrian Jost, bassist Safa Shokrai, and drummer Aaron Kierbel into the fold. The band's debut album, Extraordinary Rendition, was released in 2007. Este Mundo followed in 2009. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi