Lead Programmer
Baybeats / Esplanade (Organizer of Baybeats)

A fine and versatile performer, Akilesh is a very sought-after percussionist across not confined to the Indian Classical paradigm. His sound has been described by critics as being a pleasing blend virtuosity and aesthetics. His approach to performance highlights the tonal nuances of the Mridangam (South Indian percussion instrument) while being rooted in the polyrhythmic tradition of Indian percussion. Akilesh has represented Singapore regionally in numerous festivals and conferences namely ANMC Bangkok 2010, Asem V Kuala Lumpur 2012 and “roots and traditions” Manila 2017. Apart from composing and arranging, his new love is to spread the art of konakkol (art of performing percussive syllables vocally).

Akilesh has worked/collaborated with international artistes such as Guy Manoukian, Paul Erhard, Rakesh Chaurasia and U Rajesh. He’s also worked with prominent local groups such as SA, Nadi Singapura and is part of Varsha, his Indo-Jazz fusion outfit that consists of his brother Vignesh, Dr Tony Makarome and Mohamed Noor. They went onto perform at the Singapore International Festival of Arts in 2019. He was awarded National Arts Council’s Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient for the year 2012, and has completed his Masters in Indian rhythms.

As a full time Programming officer at the Esplanade, he is part of the team that presents many festivals and performances throughout the year and has been the lead programmer of Esplanade’s alternative music festival, Baybeats since 2018.


Baybeats is Singapore’s own annual alternative music festival presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Since 2002, it has sought to showcase local, regional and international alternative bands. Baybeats is an opportunity for musicians to meet and exchange ideas; as well as for audiences to celebrate free live alternative music over three fun-filled days! Now Baybeats is one of the most anticipated music festivals in Singapore and the region—drawing large audiences to a variety of alternative sounds such as post-rock, shoe-gazing, grunge, punk, metal, emo, glam rock, electro, electronica, indie, folk, power pop, and twee! In the past few years, Esplanade has welcomed 70,000 visitors annually at Baybeats. It will continue to become an annual melting pot in the heart of Asia facilitating exchanges of different musical cultures. Best of all—it’s FREE!!

About Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay: Esplanade is Singapore’s national performing arts centre. Our year-round line-up of about 3,000 performances presented by Esplanade, our collaboration partners and hirers include a diverse calendar of ticketed and non-ticketed programmes featuring dance, music, theatre, visual arts and more, making the arts accessible for everyone. We work in close partnership with local, regional and international artists to develop artistic capabilities and content, push artistic boundaries and engage audiences. We also develops technical capabilities for the industry nationally. In May 2015, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay was chosen as one of SG Heart Map’s 50 special places. Find out more about Esplanade’s presentations: Web: