By AR Reshmi
From giving up chartered accountancy and working on BGMs of movies like Prabhas' Saaho, Dhanush's Asuran to collaborating with Sony Music for Khoya Sa by One Day Label, Hyderabad Indi pop singer Kasyap has come a long way. In an exclusive interview with Sakshi Post, Kasyap speaks to Reshmi AR about his journey so far and future plans.
Your Khoya Sa with Sony Music has been featured under new age Indi pop on Wynk, how does it feel?
It feels surreal to see myself on the cover of Wynk’s “New-Age Indipop” playlist. The support that “khoya sa” has been receiving over the past few days has been overwhelming and I am grateful for it. Thanks to Wynk for featuring the song!
What do you think is the most essential quality for a singer to break into the industry?
It all comes down to being hardworking and not giving up on the art. It’s a constant learning process and you have to be open enough to mould yourself and constantly adapt to the changes.
Did you always want to be a singer?
I think I always wanted to be a singer but I never had the confidence or a positive mindset that I could do it. People always made me feel like it was a big thing to sing but like anything else in life, it is possible to learn if you have the right intentions and put your heart and soul into it.
You are too young to be a singer, songwriter and producer. When did you decide you would pursue your passion?
I was originally going to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) but everything changed in 2016 when I first started making original music on my computer inspired by Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Before that, I used to just play instruments & cover songs and I never even had a thought about writing my own music. The moment I started, I just knew deep in my heart that this is exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because I’ve never experienced that kind of a strong feeling before. Making EDM gave me the initial courage to write original music and later through it, I got to expand my horizon and step into Film music & now into Pop music.
You have even worked on BGMs of several movies, how was the experience?
Yes, I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to assist and work with some amazing composers like M Ghibran& G.V. Prakash Kumar on films like Saaho&Asuran. The experience and knowledge that I’ve gained is immeasurable and also most of the films that I’ve worked on happened to be different from each other which made me more versatile as a musician. It’s an amazing feeling to hear your own music on the big screen and just see the reaction of the audience!
You were a young musician to enter the film industry when compared to the others. Did people take you seriously?
Yes, they surely did! Even though I was very young, I’d like to think that my commitment and drive to make the best possible music for the film actually made people take me seriously. Age is just a number at the end of the day and if you are really working hard, I truly believe that there’s nothing that’s going to stop you!
Are there any challenges you faced during the course of your musical journey because of your lack of experience?
Every step was a very big challenge to me as I’m not from a musical family. From figuring my way in the industry and trying to find the right people to work with, I was constantly learning how to do things on the go and somehow managed to compensate for my lack of experience by putting in 200% effort into my craft.
What was your first reaction when you would be collaborating with Sony Music India?
I couldn’t believe it! I was on cloud 9 when I got to know that I would be collaborating and be an artist at Sony Music India’s label Day One. It’s a very difficult industry and just being able to get this opportunity & being able to do what I love every single day is a dream come true.
Is Electronic Dance Music (EDM) an emerging concept in India?
I think EDM was an emerging concept back in 2016 but now it’s one of the well-known genres in India. It’s constantly changing and blending with different other genres like pop which actually is helping it to sustain and create a new sound altogether.
How does being a multi-instrumentalist help a musician? Would you have an edge over others?
Honestly, it depends but it can certainly help knowing more instruments. You will have a more musical perspective which will allow you to have different ideas and possibilities. As a songwriter, It gives me more options to play around with.
You are a Hyderabadi, comment on the music scene in the city. Do you think Hyderabad can be compared to a place like say a Mumbai or Bengaluru when it comes to promoting music or holding concerts and getting the kind of exposure one gets in other cities?
I think Hyderabad has promising talent and things have started changing here as more and more independent artists are coming out & releasing their music but it’s still very early to compare probably to a city like Mumbai or Bengaluru as they are giants when it comes to the independent music scene. I might be totally wrong & in that case, I stand to be corrected but I can surely say that the music scene here is growing at a rapid pace.
What is it about khoya sa that made you work on it?
I’ve written thousands of songs before this but the simplicity & the honesty in the song is definitely the reason why I chose “khoya sa” as my first single. I always wanted my debut to be a sweet catchy love song as one can’t go wrong with it and the song also happens to give me the right amount of opportunity to showcase my vocals, songwriting and production skills and at the same time to create this perfect pop balance.
What next after khoya sa?
Lots of songs are lined up in collaboration with someone we all know. It’s set to be released early next year and I'm super pumped about the project! It’s the most artistic and introspective project I've written yet. I’ll also start working on my 2nd single with Day One very soon. I am very excited about it as it is going to be very different from ‘khoya sa’ and I hope to surprise the listeners with it!
Are you planning to come up with any independent musical albums?
Yes, that's definitely my goal, to make a really good pop album. I would love to do that very soon but for now, I am focused on releasing the best singles that I possibly can and building the hype for the album.
Which musician do you idolise and why?
It’s tough to choose one as I pick up and learn different things from different artists but overall Bruno Mars is definitely the one who I’m idolising right now. I really admire his work ethic and versatility as an artist. The energy that he brings to his live performances is also something that I really look up to.
Do you have a musician you want to work with?
Nobody specific in mind but it would be nice to work with artists that I’ve grown up listening to someday as they are the reason why I’m creating music now!
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
5 years from now, I see myself as one of the main faces of Pop Music in India, representing our country at the global level. Touring the country and hopefully the whole world with my albums and just constantly improving and re-inventing myself. Composing great songs for Indian Films too.