"Training Could Definitely Be a Faster Way to Being Better" - Debesh Banerji

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I belong to a Bengali background and have spent most of my childhood in Delhi. My father played the Tabla and is a really good singer. He has been a great inspiration for me. I have two lovely sisters who have kept me grounded and have always supported me in all my endeavours. 

I have been playing the guitar since I was seven years old and have always been interested in the musical field. I learned to play the keyboard in school and was the lead in the school band. I got addicted to playing all kinds of percussion and the harmonium when I was in college.

I have competed in many competitions and earned accolades throughout my journey from school till now. I have performed in many stages including a special one in Mumbai. I earned a title from Trinity College of London for being an acoustic guitarist. I have also taught music for a few years.

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

My first push towards this field was given by my mother. She wanted to see me practice music because she saw a zeal in me which I couldn’t see at that age. She got me a guitar teacher who used to teach me and my sister but eventually I went forward to learning the guitar for almost a decade.   After I performed and achieved the first position as a singer and instrumentalist, I got addicted to performing. As musicians, or in fact any kind of artist, we always keep evolving and learning our craft. So, I can still say that I’m learning music and will always continue to do so.

3. Who is your favourite artist and why?

There are so many artists that I adore and only mentioning one would be an injustice for the other artists. If I have to name a few, I would mention John Mayer, who is an astonishing singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. He has played songs decades ago that people still find it impossible to play on the guitar. 

Charlie Puth is an artist who has the perfect pitch. I am always staggered by the notes he can capture with only his voice and the finesse he has while singing.

4. Can you throw some light on the opportunities one gets as a singer?

There have been monumental singers out there in the industry who have amazed people just by their singing. In today's time, there is a massive competition about how unique a singer’s voice is. India is still growing in the terms of the genres of singers in the field and the growth potential that our generation consists of. 

Let it be a singer or any type of artist, Instagram and Facebook are the hubs of opportunities. Singers should always start with small gigs and then the person will grow on their way to the big stage.

5. Is format training required or can one train themselves purely on the basis of talent?

You can grow with both of the approaches to music. I myself had a formative training and I saw the speed at which I grew. Currently I’m practising and training myself to be better at what I do. Training could definitely be a faster way to being better at a particular art, but if one trains themselves, they could even be better than a formatively trained professional. There are always more than two ways of getting better at music.

6. What advice would you like to give aspiring artists?

The times have changed and now we have endless options in order to pursue what we love. If you love and want to show your creativity to the world, social media and other online platforms will give the boost you need. You don’t have to wait for someone else to train you, go ahead and start practising yourself. 

I believe that art is the only platform that gives you the freedom to be anyone you want and would give you unprecedented joy. A great artist once said that “Engineering, hospitality, medical are important to sustain life, but love, poem, music is what we live for.”

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

There are again many books I would like to mention but I’ll go with Murakami. I read it a few days back and it was a very sweet and simple read. The book kind of reads itself as it takes you to a meditative state. 

It talks about how we as humans have to nurture and take the essential juices out of our lives. It was a very calming read and helped in times where the world is too chaotic.

Interview by - Mahi

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