"Work On Yourself Till You Turn Professional" - Neha Karode

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1. Tell us about your background and journey?

I did a Bachelor's in Music while still in school. This was followed by Bachelor's in Economics (Hons) and Masters in Mass Communication. While initially, I felt like I’m attempting to understand subjects too mismatched with one another, it kept me from getting a good command of anything specific. 

With time I’ve realized that all the three disciplines not only got me a lot of interesting work but also molded me to be a well rounded individual and thinker.

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

I’ve been writing and recording songs at home since I was ten, so a part of me always found peace and confidence in music. I completed my education in New Delhi and moved to Mumbai in 2016 where I started working as a promo producer for an entertainment network and was constantly surrounded by artistes pursuing music. 

Seeing people chase their dreams and do what they love gave me some much-needed motivation to try shifting back to my first love, music. It’s been three years since I left my job to become a musician and so far, it's been alright. I have released some singles, done a few playbacks, and am looking forward to two upcoming films as a music director and an independent album too.

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

I think talent and dedication are all it takes. I know many people who aren’t formally trained but have a very good understanding of music. Anyone who aspires to pursue music, if driven, will anyway seek some sort of training, just out of curiosity, either formally or even by just spending time listening to songs and trying to understand the thought and techniques used.

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

I’m still exploring this myself. I know a lot of labels are looking out for young talents and there are always opportunities for a skilled musician to perform live.

Someone like me may be more inclined towards session work, and someone else might be more fond of performing live, so, first and foremost, one must know what one enjoys within the field and then explore the opportunities available.

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

Aspiring artists shouldn’t become full-time musicians unless they are sure this is what they want to do because things often take a lot of time to progress. Even if we have work today, we usually have to wait at least a year for it to formally release. 

So, they must know how they are going to support themselves financially. They should maybe do a year-long trial run and try some session and live work to see if it is interesting enough to pursue and financially viable.

6. Who is your favorite artist and why?

Demi Lovato. She sings with a lot of expressions and has an incredible range.

- Neha Karode, Musician
- Interviewed by Kedar Lalwani

- Edited by Shilpy Sharan

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