INDIA: Prashant Chauhan is a singer, musician, composer, editor, and cinematographer. He is best known for his cinematography and music direction in the short film ‘Hausla Aur Raste‘. This short film that released in 2018, won a special mention at the Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes.
Chauhan has donned multiple hats in his life and has succeeded in each one of them. In an exclusive interview with Transcontinental Times, Chauhan talked about his passion for music, his life journey, future plans, and many other things.
Early life and the beginning of a ‘Musical Journey’
Chauhan was born in North East India. From a very young age, Chauhan had a deep inclination towards singing and creating music. At the age of six, Chauhan won his first singing competition. To pursue a career in music, Chauhan soon decided to move to Mumbai. Interestingly, Chauhan came to the ‘City of Dreams’ when he was just a teenager. During that time, he started learning classical music from Padmashri Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.
At the age of 9, Chauhan won the ‘Taza Geet Bahar’ competition organized by the Bollywood record label T-Series. Soon, he became the winner of TVS – Sa Re Ga Ma Pa (1995) that was aired on Zee TV.
Having lost his father at a very young age, Chahhan found his solace in music. Success, failure, pain, and love have taught him to stay strong and face every situation bravely. Chauhan feels that real, soulful, and most artistic music comes from dark experiences and pain. For Chauhan, music is his biggest stress reliever. Whenever he feels low, he starts singing and composing music.
Talking about this he said, “Basically, each and everything which I have been learning has been influencing me and my music too. Fall and rise, failure and success, pain, and love… I have learned these things as great lessons. I lost my dad when I was very young, 3 years ago my mom also got diagnosed with Cancer and still fighting against it. Such things make you stronger and I feel that when we go through such phases, we improve a lot in the personal and professional lives. Our life without melodies and harmonies would be totally empty”
Even in a tough time, Chauhan’s family supported him and stood right by his side. My dad, mom, my elder brothers, wife all support me in music which makes everything easier for me from a music perspective,” he said.
Chauhan believes that there are some important lessons in life that can be learned when dealing with difficult times.
“No one wants to struggle. No one wants to even admit their struggles. We all want to have ‘Photoshopped’ versions of our own lives that fit perfectly into an Instagram square. But life does not work like that. Every one of us will be faced with a variety of tough times in our life. It is one of the few things we can really count on,” he added.
The impact of COVID-19 on the music industry
Just like everyone else, COVID-19 had an impact on Chauhan’s life as well. However, this didn’t stop him to work hard with full determination and passion.
“In a pandemic, we are experiencing a new normal. We have to accept it until we overcome it completely! We are supposed to follow protocols defined by the government for the welfare of public health. I would advise everyone to use a mask and sanitizer and maintain social distancing. Your dreams will come true only if you have your life,” Chauhan said.
COVID-19 has impacted the music industry as well. But thanks to digital platforms, even without a music concert, singers and composers are still getting a chance to interact and sing for their audience.
Talking about the impact of COVID-19 he said, “In covid, the music industry has also got impacted but it’s okay because digital platforms are there to help you connect with the audience by creating music. I have my small studio at home in Mumbai where I do recording, mixing everything myself. In fact, I do video editing too myself. I keep posting my music videos and originals on my YouTube Channel – VPRASHANTV MUSIC that is certified by YouTube as Official Artist Channel”.
Lack of Exposure to the aspiring musicians in India
Limca Book of World Record holder and ‘Sangeet Ratna’ Chauhan emphasized that there are several reasons for the lack of exposure to the young musicians in the industry. Funding issues, Internet Copyright, and Loyalty issues, and inconsistent response to the music are the major factors contributing to the lack of exposure.
“Reason for lack of exposure of young musicians are varied. It can take a while for your song to reach the right person. We should Keep building our profile by uploading interesting content. Stay on top of our social media presence, posting early and often to social sites and our own blog. YouTube is the best platform for musicians to promote their talents without depending on any music companies. An artist can promote their talent self by just creating their own channel on YouTube.This will help the young musicians to leave their mark in the industry,” he added.
Chauhan’s future plans
Chauhan wishes to see the music industry completely digitized in the coming future. He believes that in this way every individual will get a chance to prove their talent.
“Digitization will give comfort and opportunities to each artist to show his or her talent in the capacity they have. The audience will encourage the artist if your talent really deserves the same! But the fact is, a good artist is not getting enough exposure in the music industry due to various reasons. People should also encourage the new talents,” Chauhan said. Chauhan is currently working on several projects and collaborations.
When asked if he would step into acting, Chauhan said, “ I always loved to act on my own songs but as a singer only. But I never thought of taking it up as a full-time thing. I am currently working on various projects which include originals, short films, music videos in collaboration with some international artists.”
Chauhan wishes to have a successful life ahead. He also aspires to direct a web series and have a successful singing career in the coming future.
When asked about his definition of success, he said, “The meaning of success is quite different for everyone. For me, the first obvious thing is a good career. Being successful is not the only means to be rich. I do not want to be too busy to spend time with families and friends. I need to enjoy my free time to have parties and family gatherings.”