Interviews

"I'm Thrilled To Share My Version Of "Chamkila," And I'm Looking Forward To A Promising Year In Music Ahead"-Suryansh

"I'm Thrilled To Share My Version Of "Chamkila," And I'm Looking Forward To A Promising Year In Music Ahead"-Suryansh

Hailing from the heartland of Madhya Pradesh, Suryansh made his illustrious Bollywood debut in the film 'Amar Singh Chamkila,' enchanting listeners with the mesmerizing track 'Baaja.' Since then, he has carved a niche for himself as a versatile talent, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

Suryansh's prowess as a music producer and arranger shines through in acclaimed films such as 'Crakk,' 'Dil Bechara,' 'Maidaan,' 'Pippa,' 'Mimi,' and 'House of Secrets,' where his soulful compositions and heartfelt performances elevate the cinematic experience.

Beyond the silver screen, he delves into the realm of independent music, where his debut original release garnered widespread acclaim, catching the attention of none other than AR Rahman himself.

In an exclusive chat with loudest.in, Suryansh delves into the genesis of his debut song in the movie "Chamkila," which is currently making waves in the industry. Reflecting on his musical journey thus far, he shares insights into his experiences and milestones, offering a glimpse into the passion and dedication that drive his artistry.

Q1.Tell us about your music journey so far and who was your inspiration?

So, my musical journey essentially began when I was an infant, surrounded by the sounds of music in my household.

My parents are singers, so there has always been a musical environment at home. I believe that's when I first developed an interest in music, starting to sing and play a few instruments. During my school years, I actively participated in cultural competitions and various activities. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the late music director Ravindra Jain, which marked the beginning of my journey.

After completing school, I enrolled in a music college in Chennai, where I had my first encounter with AR Rahman. This encounter paved the way for my career in the film industry as a music producer and singer. As for who inspires me the most, I believe every skilled musician serves as an inspiration.

Q2.Tell us about your song Baja and collaboration with Mohit Chauhan especially considering its context within the film "Amar Singh Chamkila”?Tell us the creative process behind it?

So, I received a callback around September 2022 to sing a song. When I arrived at Rahman's studio in Chennai, the song turned out to be "Baja". I listened to the song and sang the other half, essentially the chorus parts.

A few days later, I traveled to Bombay to record the remaining portion of the song at his studio. Then, about a month later, I returned to Chennai to record what I thought was a different part, unaware that it was actually the intro to "Baja". It wasn't until I heard it that I realized. You never really know until you hear it, and, you know, it's all part of the glory.

That's how it happened. And I didn't know it would be released with my voice until the teaser came out last year, sometime. I can't recall the exact month. Once again, collaborating with Rahman, Imtiaz sir, and Irshad sir, all in the same room, was awe-inspiring. You can't help but wonder, is this all real? Around that time, I also had the pleasure of meeting Mohit Chauhan sir, who is a sweetheart and an incredible human being. So that's the story behind the song.

Imtiaz sir and Irshad sir are like a school in themselves, not just in their craft but also in their approach to things. There was a particular word in the song that they researched extensively to ensure its relevance to the era. Observing their interactions with Rahman sir was a fascinating experience. With Rahman sir, I've learned that he's very open to experimentation. There's no safety net; he just follows what feels right and decides later. He works quickly, whether it's composing, producing, or recording. You have to keep up with his pace. So, yeah, that's my story. Oh, and thank you for the congratulations.

Q3.Working with AR Rahman is undoubtedly a significant milestone for any musician. Could you share your experiences collaborating with him and the projects you've worked on together?

Yeah, so the first time I met him was in 2017 at one of his concerts in Delhi. It was quite a sight to see him surrounded by four or five keyboards—it felt like a dream. Then, in 2019, I began working as a music producer for a couple of his films. I started with Tamil films and then got involved with "Dil Bechara". I also contributed vocals to "The Bad Girl's Course". It turned out to be a special project, especially with the backdrop of COVID and everything surrounding the film.

That marked my debut in Hindi cinema with him. Following that, I worked on "Mimi", including the song "Param Sundari", where I also sang a part. "Atrangi Re" stands out as one of the finest films I've had the privilege to work on. Collaborating with Anand sir was truly special, and Irshad sir's contributions made the album phenomenal. Additionally, I contributed to projects like "Pippa" and "Maidan", which recently hit the screens. It's been quite a journey, witnessing a song evolve from its inception to its release—adding and removing elements along the way. It's truly amazing.

Q4.What draws you to South Indian projects, and how do you navigate the differences in musical styles and cultures when working on these projects?

Yes, indeed. There's undeniably a significant cultural shift when transitioning from working on Hindi films to Tamil and Telugu ones. Personally, I believe there's a facet of South Indian film music that remains largely unexplored by North Indians or those residing in the northern regions of the nation. The music in South Indian films possesses a pristine and rich quality, deeply rooted in the region's folk traditions and temple music. Even among ordinary individuals who aren't musicians, their exposure to temple songs and folklore from a young age has finely tuned their ears to appreciate complex musical compositions, including intricate ragas.

When you present them with a song that is musically complex, incorporating various ragas and elements, it is wholeheartedly appreciated and embraced. This aspect is something I truly admire about the South Indian film industry. Additionally, with each language, there comes a unique set of nuances in music. Take Tamil, for example. As a musician, I've observed that it is an incredibly music-friendly language, primarily ending on vowels rather than consonants. This inherent quality makes it well-suited for melodious compositions, allowing any melody to flourish when sung in Tamil. Such nuances extend to other languages as well. As for Malayalam, it represents a distinct musical tradition altogether, offering its own set of challenges and inspirations.

Q5.The music industry offers various revenue streams, from live performances to streaming royalties. How do you diversify your revenue streams as a musician and entrepreneur?

I also am a music producer.So, that's how it goes. Additionally, I work as a vocal arranger, collaborating with numerous composers on their songs, which serves as another source of revenue. Then, there are live performances, which happen frequently, varying in platform, scale, and audience size. Teaching is also a significant aspect of what musicians do, as it involves sharing knowledge and gaining insights in return.

Moving on, there's the realm of social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, where releasing singles can generate income. Although the revenue from streaming services is relatively low, it still contributes to supporting artists in some capacity. Looking ahead to the music business in 2024, there are a few key points to consider.

Firstly, regulations regarding the use of AI voices need to be established, similar to recent legislation passed in certain states in the US. This may involve requiring permission or implementing restrictions on their usage.

Furthermore, the year 2024 holds promise for the music industry with an influx of singles and new artists emerging onto the scene. Already, in the early months of the year, we've witnessed notable releases such as "Crack" and "Maidaan". Personally, I'm excited to contribute with my rendition of "Chamkeela", and overall, I anticipate a fruitful year ahead for music.

Q6.Marketing and promotion are crucial aspects of any musician's career. How do you approach marketing your music and building your brand?

Yeah, I don't follow trends when making music because it lacks purpose. However, I understand your point, and I recognize that marketing is a crucial aspect of music production. Nowadays, these industries are intertwined, given the abundance of music and films being released simultaneously. We're living in a time where countless creations vie for attention, and consumers are inundated with choices.

To stand out, it's essential for music to be promoted effectively. Radio and social media platforms like Instagram play significant roles in this regard. Instagram, in particular, is incredibly influential since it provides a platform where artists can connect with fans directly. Everyone is present on these platforms, making it easier to reach a broader audience.

This interconnectedness has democratized the music industry, allowing singers and songwriters from diverse backgrounds to gain recognition. Thanks to platforms like YouTube and Instagram, artists can now amplify their voices and reach audiences worldwide in a way that wouldn't have been feasible a decade or so ago.

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