A collection of anecdotes by individuals, just like us, doing what they love
Would you say you're equally passionate about business and music?
Indeed am passionate about both. And a few other things too. Both demand much from me and both inspire me to give off my best. Doing something with intensity and passion is soul food. It feeds the desire to continue doing it.
What do you think has attributed to your success as a corporate professional and a musician?
Both have recipients of your work who need to appreciate what you create and both are not obliged to do so. Audiences can choose other events to attend and consumers can choose other brands. Having an understanding of those recipients of your work and then working tirelessly to create an irresistible offering is common to both. In both cases, I would attribute my success to understanding the nuts and bolts of what each requires and working with great people and learning from great masters (some of them friends), putting in the effort to do it well.
How do your music and your job influence each other?
Each has also fed the other in many ways. For example playing on stage in front of hundreds helped me overcome my public speaking shyness through student years. Or my working in digital marketing and advertising at work helping when we are promoting the band’s concert.
Do you face any challenges balancing work and music?
Of course and sometimes this challenge has come uncomfortably close. While I travel to Singapore for practice over weekends, for the final concert I usually take leave for a day or two and am there 1-2 days before the concert. One time, there was a huge competitive action and we needed to create an urgent response. So having come earlier in the week to Singapore, I headed back to India on a Thursday night, attended the critical meetings at work through Friday and was back in Singapore on Saturday morning taking an overnight flight for our Saturday evening show. One extra return flight was expensive for the band but in the end you gotta do what you gotta do. In the long run such incidents have been very rare. The larger challenge is actually balancing family and music. I have realised that one can have many interests and hobbies but there can be only one that keeps you away from family for long periods. I learnt golf and had begun playing regularly just around the time my music activities took off. Since band practice would take me away from family sometimes for entire weekends, I couldn’t do that and play golf over the other weekends. So golf is a once/twice a year thing for me since then. My family has been incredibly supportive without which this would have been impossible.
What advice would you give on time management?
Do the big things first. The small things will find their place. Make sure you know what is absolutely important and if you must do only one thing do just that. Resist the temptation to knock a bunch of tasks off the list. You need to do that too. But in between the big ones and not as priority. Also be unforgiving with yourself on timeliness. E.g. there is a magic about starting work at 9. I cant explain what it is. But if you are relentless about getting to work by 9, you will it starts to train you automatically for everything else too.
What motivates/inspires you?
Great ideas and great work. When you see it in others, you want to do great stuff too.
Tell us about one of your favourite moments as a musician.
There are many. All the firsts – first time on stage (with harmonica), first time on keyboards, first time on guitar, first time singing lead. The prize winning performances at colleges fests. The college concerts when you had your whole college singing and tapping along. And the same reaction with the band concerts in recent years. Or cracking something that has been particularly difficult to crack. Like the strings piece in ‘Intehan Ho Gayi’ that bridges the slow initial section with the fast second section. Or programming the initial section of Baba O’Reilly by The Who including what seems to be a glitch early in the synthesizer prelude. And of course the first time I composed a full song and played for friends and family.
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