We hear you landed a prestigious Hollywood assignment, Tell us about it.
It is called The Secret Game and it is of horror/suspense genre. The movie stars Angel Garet, Mika Newton, Henry Lipatov, Renny Burgerm Rai Quartley, Inas X and directed by Raaw Horan. The Secret Game will release this fall in eight countries including India (September to November in India).
Is it an individual composition or did you work along with anyone else?. How rare is it for an Indian to get such an opportunity?
I composed the entire background score myself. It is quite rare to get opportunities like these for Indians and I’m grateful. I think I could be the youngest Indian to score a Hollywood feature film.
How did you land this assignment? Was there an audition or did you have common contacts who put you to the production house?
A common friend in Hyderabad connected the director to me in March. I was given a sample score and I competed with two other composers. They chose my score and offered me the project. The movie is 100-minutes long and I used my judgement to score each scene.
How many days did it take to do it? How many sittings did you have to do with the orchestra.
The project took 15 days and around 60 hours. I had summer break at the time so I worked for four hours a day. I programmed the orchestra through software. Due to the budget, we could not record an actual orchestra. I am 100% self-taught when it comes to orchestration, composition and programming.
You studied finance at Arizona State University. How did you manage to switch to music?
I have family in Arizona; this is why I chose to study here. I chose finance as it is my second interest and I wanted to have a fallback option in the event that music didn’t take off. The music industry has become extremely saturated and it’s not easy to immediately make a living as a composer.
Any plans to compose for Telugu films in future?
Yes, I have one project lined up for the end of this year. I cannot share details on that yet since its in early stages.
Your portfolio in your website shows six projects. How long have you been composing?
I have been composing for trailer music companies for two years and I got my first break last year when my music was placed in a TV trailer for Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner 2049. It aired on TV in USA, France and Indonesia.
Was music always in your bloodline?
My mother is a highly skilled and trained Carnatic classical singer. She has 30+ years of singing experience under her belt. My sister sings western classical and plays guitar as well. My uncle (mother’s brother) also has several years of singing experience and his sons learn Hindustani here in the United States. I am not surprised I have music in my blood. Music has always been around me since I was born. It is an integral part of my life.
What’s in the 2018 bucket list for you?
I hope I get more placements in Hollywood trailers, but I am open to composing for any genre. I also play in a classic rock/blues band here and have my first live gig at the end of July. The top of my list will always be composing background scores for film, whether it is Hollywood, Tollywood or Bollywood.
There is a myth that the arts rarely fetch you enough money to make a living. I am hoping you will disagree and give us insight into the joy of composing music and perhaps still not dying of penury.
I wouldn’t say it’s a myth. It is partially true. Talent alone will not get you places, but neither will luck alone. It’s a combination of the two. I strongly believe that with arts you just have to be in the right place at the right time. Money, however, should not be an artist’s primary goal. One should rigorously chase their passions and if things go well the money will automatically come. For me personally, money doesn’t matter. I define wealth by how happy one is. Composing music for the life will make me wealthy no matter what the “dollar amount” associated with it is.