"Practice Music Hard, Conquer The World"- Lakshay Bhatnagar

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1. Tell us about your background and journey?

I am a Bangalore-born Singer Songwriter who is natively from Lucknow but has lived his whole life in Pune and recently moved to Mumbai to fulfil my dreams of being able to share my music with the world. 

So, yeah, you can pretty much call me multicultural in terms of my background. From a humble, middle class family that has no connection or motivation towards a musical career, it certainly shocked my folks when I told them about picking up music as my career of choice.

Talking about the journey, as cliché as it might sound, it hasn’t been easy. And I mean it. I took a very rollercoaster style route to reach where I’m at as full-time-only-bread-earner-musician for my family. But, was the journey worth it, well maybe … maybe not… I’m still figuring out. And this whole dilemma of what I am and discovering myself each day as I traverse through this uncertainty that lies ahead, is my poison… and I love it. :)

2. When did you first decide, you wanted to pursue music and how did you start?

To be true, for most people music comes as a sort of healing or a passion or a legacy, but to me, music came as a detention punishment at school. When I was in my 4th standard, I was literally punished into joining the school choir for being a 4 year old that I was. 

While singing my punishment song (Dennis the Menace), my faculty found that I had a voice to me. He, along with other teachers at school helped me nourish my voice by teaching me basics of western classical and helped me hone my skills as a singer. Since then, music has been embedded in me just like basic education. 

From school competitions to College competitions to Corporate Annual Days to Club Shows to Reality Shows to Playback Singing to my very own debut album as a Singer Songwriter, that’s how its manifested. It took time and whole lot of belief, but I’m glad I surrounded myself with a lot of fuel for the soul, my friends and my fans.

3. Is formal training required or one can train oneself purely based on talent?

When it comes to training, it depends a lot on what you already have, the development of your ears during your childhood, god-given talent and loads of practice. What I know for a fact that you do not need professional training to sing, but you do need some bit of basic ear memory and heaps of practice before you can become a professional singer.

4. What are various opportunities available for an aspiring musician?

Opportunities in this world are huge. You cannot discount the fact that opportunities for art-based careers have grown tenfold in this country, but, so has the talent. With the access to streaming platforms, it’s become very easy for children to be exposed to a vast plethora of music at a very early age now. 

So, if you’re an aspiring musician in this era, its both good and bad news. Good news is that if you work hard and polish yourself in the right direction, opportunities are huge. On the other hand, the bad news is that there are thousands, if not lakhs of people headed in that direction, so you need to figure out as you go, what makes you stand out rather than just stand ahead of everyone.

5. What piece of advice you would like to give to future and aspiring artist?

Listen to loads of good music, find what you love, put your own stamp on it, practice it hard, and conquer the world.

6. Who is your favourite artist and why?

Too many to name, the list goes on…!!! but since I’m more lyric oriented and I am pretty Vocal for Local, I want to call out someone I listen to almost everyday… Fiddlecraft… for being the amazing band that they are. I love their song-stories and the simplicity with which it touches people’s lives.

- Lakshay Bhatnagar, Musician

- Interviewed by Kedar Lalwani

- Edited by Shilpy Sharan

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