I Chose Music Over Engineering.
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
If you haven't listened to Piyush Bhisekar's album yet, we don't know what rock are you living under
This is a conversation between our guest blogger Sharayu Bafna and Piyush himself, for any questions related to this blog or if you want us to write about you get in touch with Pawan Rochwani on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about what you do and your musical journey
I started playing Harmonium when I was 6 years. Though, I couldn’t give the final exam as I didn’t fit in the age limit criteria. Due to which, I took a break from Indian classical music for a while. Meanwhile, I was introduced to Bob Dylan, Linkin Park and when I was I was in 8th std. I wrote my first song. At 15, I auditioned for a band called Qafia and was the youngest band member, back then I played the Keyboard.
In my early days of engineering I started singing and playing for my close ones. The first song that I composed and released was Zeenat. I did around 150 odd shows in a span of 1.5 years. Also, I did crowdfunding which really helped and then released my first album, 10 months ago.
Which song of yours is your absolute favorite and why?
I don’t have any specifics. But I love performing Wajah and Tum bhi kuch Kaho because by now many people are familiar with the lyrics and I love it when the audience hums along.
What’s that one thing that you like about being a musician and the one thing that you dislike?
I am going to be performing at Zomaland very soon. I have seen Lucky Ali, When Chai Met Toast perform at Zomaland and I am so happy to be doing it now. Music helps me in every which way and I feel nothing but blessed to be doing it. I have had people messaging me and appreciating my songs, which I am grateful for.
It’s too early to dislike anything maybe 10 years down the line I will have something to tell but not now.
What is that one thing that scares you as an artist?
The uncertainty of it. You know one moment people are appreciating your songs and the next they are breathing down your neck, asking your 5/10 year settlement plan. I have just begun, how am I suppose to answer that.
What jobs have you done other than being a musician?
I graduated this year and music is what I have been doing since always. Though, I have performed at shady bars, sung Bollywood songs to be able to pay the bills.
When did you identify that music is what you want to pursue?
I have always wanted to do music. I was away in Kota preparing for my engineering entrance. That’s when it hit me that I don't want to be an engineer. Only when I was preparing for my entrance did I realize my love for music. Sometimes you have to do some things only to realize how much you dislike them.
But still I went ahead and did engineering, to able to stay close to the music society. You know, there are musical societies, cultural fests in college which helped me perform and discover myself.
What role does art funding play?
Yes obviously, art funding plays an important role. It empowers an artist. Funds are really important to encourage an artist to pursue it professionally. Ofcourse your soul purpose isn’t to earn out of it but it’s always good to be motivated to do more. You should be able to strike the balance between that.
What is your dream goal?
The dream that I began with was to release my album. And, that just happened. I really have short term goals and not one big ultimate goal. The next thing that I would want is to sell out an auditorium on my own and I am working towards it. The ultimate thing is of course to breathe music but 'Dreams' are weird! They keep changing
Any real-life situation that inspired you to do what you do?
The course with which, everything panned out in my life. Learning harmonium at six, playing Keyboard for a band, going to Kota and realizing my unabashed love for music and watching Ed Sheeran live! I did a show only to be able to pay for the tickets to Ed Sheeran’s concert.
Is there any process that you follow while writing your songs?
No, I don’t. Sometimes, the melody comes first and lyrics later or vice versa. I am sensitive to everything around me and I feel too deeply. So, I write when anything hits me or feel deeply about.
What is the music scene in Pune like? Do you think it’s getting better for independent artists?
Yes, Pune has given me my base audience. I started with performing for a 10 min slot at Cafes and then there were people who were coming just to hear my originals. It felt really amazing. Pune is the hub, its growing. More opportunities are flowing in and when I last performed in Pune, my show was sold out!
What’s next for you?
I don’t really know. I have started writing my new EP/album. Also, I am doing a few music videos for my album Hai Bharosa. Early next year, I am also looking forward to doing an auditorium show in Pune.
Is there anything else that you enjoy as much as being a musician?
I love interacting with people. I like to sit down and just talk about everything over a cup of tea.
What is your equation with other musicians from Pune?
I am friends with a lot of musicians from Pune and I do call them for advice whenever I feel stuck.
Have you read the PFA November Indie Music Feature yet? Check it our here
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