We’ve all heard of the 16 year old electronica prodigy Chrms aka Veer Kowli making waves with his music and ability to emote through it. No wonder he had people taking notice with his fresh new beats and brilliant artwork & aesthetic, but what’s really got us going is the dope collaboration with the super talented India born, California raised songstress Zoya on his latest single ‘Heart Rates’.
With more than an astounding 123,000+ views online on the single which caught The Chainsmokers attention when they re-posted the track last year. ‘Heart Rates’ was uploaded on Chill Planet’s Soundcloud and has been able to gain 192,000+ plays since then! The success of the single led to the official video release last week and what you’re about to see will truly blow your mind away.
Both Veer’s parents, who are graphic designers & artists, also run their own advertising agency so it was natural for Veer to have been exposed to great art in all forms. When he was about 9 years old he dived into making artworks and rendering models, then got obsessed with the art of film making and telling stories and has made a couple of short films too. Is there anything he can’t do? I bet not.
The beautifully shot video stars Elyseah Shaikh and is directed by Swamini Phansekar. What’s more interesting is that Veer was a part of the video conception & execution and is the Creative Director too. We’ve read about Veer’s inclination towards film making and design and this video is proof that this dude is going places!
“This song healed me in many ways and it is so fucking incredible to hear how all of you have appreciated it in your own experiences. June 13th I sent over the vocals to Veer (who I am still BAFFLED at how such a young kid can be so intuitive and talented as a producer) and there you have it. Heart Rates became Heart Rates. I do a lot of collabs. But this one, I will never forget. This song was a magical one. Love you Chrms, little broskie.” said Zoya on the release of the ‘Heart Rates’ video.
Akriti Niti Guha speaks to Veer Kowli who is Chrms and his manager Ben Ryngksai from KRUNK, about how the collaboration with Zoya came about, the concept behind the video and how Chrms is breaking all stereotypes in the Independent Music Industry.
Akriti: In a non-traditional industry and society where music isn’t really considered a legit profession how does one start producing music at Age 9 and end up with his first big release at Age 16?
Veer: Today’s society has always discouraged young minds from fully and freely going for art and music as a career choice. According to them, you should always have a plan B. In one way or another the world is going to tell you every day that you shouldn’t try to be an artist, that it’s not a worthy pursuit, but my parents told me that I should go for it, go do whatever that makes me joyful; and do it with everything I have. Music has always been a part of my life and I always used to listen to something while creating. I was introduced to electronic music a bit later on and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Out of curiosity, I looked up how it’s made, and the fact that you can create any sound right from your computer. It sounded too good to be true. I dug deep into it and found out about DAWs, music production and sound design. It all began from that moment. I started taking music seriously about 2 years ago when I started the “Chrms” project. Since then, I have released several tracks, started working with KRUNK, and performed a few gigs across the country.
Akriti: Tell me about your collab with Zoya? how’d that come about?
Veer: I met Zoya at a show of mine for the first time and we connected a few days later. I told her about this track I had just finished producing and that it was missing something – Her voice. She really liked the beat and sent me a rough draft of the vocals, that’s when I knew it was going to be a banger! After we finished the track, I made Robin Blaauboer (Owner of Planets Music Netherlands) hear it. I released few tracks with them before and he was interested in releasing “Heart Rates” as well.
Akriti: Tell us about the conception of the video. Is this your first stint at direction and how was the whole experience?
Veer: I wanted the music video to tell a visual story similar to the aesthetic of my brand yet connect with the original song and enhance the meaning of it. I happened to meet Swamini Phansekar (Director of ‘Heart Rates’) a friend of mine who had been studying film making for the past few years. The next thing we knew, we were talking about my music video, writing a script, looking for a cast, fixing a budget and all that. Elyseah Shaikh who is a model and actor based in Mumbai was on board to be our main character in the film. Anirudh Raman (Swamini’s boyfriend) was the director of photography and editor. Siddhanth Khemka, another friend, was the executive producer. Preeti Mathur (my girlfriend) helped us with the production design. Ben Ryngksai, my manager, did all the PR and marketing for the film. The feeling of being an active part of the pre-production, 2 day shoot, and post-production was an absolutely wonderful experience for me! I learnt so many things about the art form while being the creative director, graphic designer and writer for the film. The video turned out to be an absolute masterpiece, and I am so excited to finally share it with the world.
Akriti: What was the budget allocated for the music video of ‘Heart Rates’ and what is the kind of impact you’re looking to make with this release?
Ben: We mostly did everything in house, with this small crew. We had just about enough to rent the gear required for the shoot and it was somewhere between 35-40K. With 2018 kicking off, we wanted to make a good first impression with Chrms. The music video is just our first step into making a mark in the industry. Veer has got his own style and aesthetics and with the ‘Heart Rates’ video he’s explored his other creative abilities as well. His fan base is gradually growing and we want people to understand what Chrms and his music is all about. He’s got lots of plans for 2018 all the way to 2019!
Akriti: Who are the people/artists/producers in the independent music circuit who inspire you?
Veer: It’s a pleasure being a part of the blooming independent music scene in India, where everyone has a true passion for music and art. I have come across so many inspirational Indian artists this past year. Some of them being Kumail, Karan Kanchan, DJ MoCity, Oceantied, Zoya, and Seven & Seven. Ben Ryngksai, my manager, booking agent and dear friend has given me knowledge and experience and exposed me to the many truths of the music industry and I am very thankful for that. Almost all of the artist managers, designers, sound engineers, singer/songwriters and producers that I know out here have an immense amount of love for art, and their dedication and raw passion for it inspires me to be a better producer, artist and person.
Well, personally I’ve always felt that it’s so important to expose the youth to different forms of art at a young age for them to truly have a holistic world view and I think Chrms is a testament to how a little support and encouragement can go such a long way. After all, the young ones are always curious, eager to learn, grow and with access to information we can hope to expect chilliads of multi-talented artists and trend setters just like him. Look out, all you seasoned and skilled artists, because ya’ll might just have to up your game!