“When the offer came, I knew I was ready”, This Bihari Musician Made His Netflix Debut!

“When the offer came, I knew I was ready”, This Bihari Musician Made His Netflix Debut!
“When the offer came, I knew I was ready”, This Bihari Musician Made His Netflix Debut!

It’s been 20 days since the premier of Decoupled – a Netflix series, and it is already trending in India. Decoupled is an Indian English-language comedy web series for Netflix written by Manu Joseph and directed by Hardik Mehta.

The series stars R. Madhavan and Surveen Chawla in the lead roles. Within three days of release, the series became the leading Indian series on the platform. Rachita Arora is the music composer of the series, which has been highly appreciated by the viewers and critics alike. She has previously worked in Bollywood ventures like Newton, Mukkabaaz and Sacred Games to name a few.But we’re not talking about how amazing the series and its response are.

We are talking about Akash Kumar, who made his debut in the Bollywood project under Rachita Arora. Akash arranged and produced music for the trending Netflix series – Decoupled. Born in Patna (Bihar), Akash is a multi- instrumentalist, interdisciplinary music composer-arranger-producer and an educator. Akash Kumar opened up with Jaano Junction and talked about his work, Bihar and more. Read on!

Q. First of all, congratulations, Akash, for your successful debut in Bollywood and Netflix. It must have been an adventurous journey. How important is this debut for you?

A. Yes absolutely adventurous! Scoring the music to bring out the narrative for the scene where Bollywood biggies are in action is a real treat and comforting at a certain level because you are familiar with them passively through their other works. It feels amazing and I’m grateful to the universe for presenting me with this amazing project. The responsibility was pretty challenging and time consuming but I love my work and I've been ready to do this all my life. So, when the offer came, I knew I was ready.

Q. So, how did you land up in a Netflix series?

A. I was referred to the composer, Rachita Arora, by my college mate Piyush Goswami who has worked on the movie Kamyaab with her earlier. I was then asked to prepare the theme and background music for one full episode. I did it and the Netflix team approved it and offered me to be on-board for the entire project. I know it sounds pretty plain and usual, but it was one big journey for me.

Q. Akash, you have ‘arranged and produced’ music for this series. What does that mean and how did you achieve it?

A. Yeah, so, a ‘music arranger’ is the person who does the musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. And, a music producer is recording project's creative and technical leader, commanding the recording and production process and coaching artists while digitally creating mockups or even complete musical works by own. So, coming to the second part of the question. I completed most of the job during the lockdown phases. I think it was the perfect time for me to work on this project as it provided me with the opportunity to produce the music from my home studio in Patna. A lot of time and dedication is required to finish an OTT's background music project, so lockdown forced me to be in the studio and paved my way and will through. I’m also grateful and honored to work with some of industry’s best musicians. It’s been a blissful experience. My best wishes to the team – Rachita Arora, Piyush Goswami, Satyam Shrivastav, R.A Sanjay, Jim Sathya, Robin Fargose, I D Rao, Nitish Sae.

Q. For people in Bihar, this is big. How important do you think this project is/could be for uplifting art & culture in Bihar?

A. Hopefully this project will bring further recognition tomy talent, which is a gift I got from my culture andsurroundings, and eventually enable me to get more work which will eventually help me bring along more artist to contribute into the art society and hopefully help revive the art & culture in Bihar. We need to facilitate the upcoming artists with the knowledge and awareness of our great history and culture, and focus on making music that feeds the soul – not just do it for the sake of making music.

Q. Speaking of ‘upcoming artists’, you have shown a way to young musicians in Bihar that music is a legit career and that there are many avenues to be one with earning too. What message do you have for them?

A. Listen, introspect, never back down! Believe in yourself.

Q. What after Decoupled? What’s your future plans?

A. After Decoupled, I've been focusing on learning and doing things that I have hesitated to pursue earlier. I’m being more disciplined to learn from my mistakes and be better, so that I can justify the next thing that comes my way. Having said that, there are several other projects in line that I’m pretty keen on starting soon. ( Akash Kumar can be contacted on his Instagram - @ClandestineLabIndia )

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