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Shaskvir Unplugged: 'Toota Dil song was the turning point'

For music lovers and the YouTube generation, Shaskvir does not need an introduction. Shaskvir is a singer, songwriter, music producer and director. After dabbling in college-level music and other events, Shaskvir moved to Mumbai in 2015 and got selected for a reality show called “Dil Hai Hindustani”, where his career changed. The same year, he started his own production house and record label called Blackweed Productions. The rest is history, as they say. In an interview with Team Fayz, Shaskvir tells all about his journey, his career and his Bollywood dreams.

Tell us about your early days. How did the tryst with music begin?

Since childhood, I have been blessed with God's gift that allows me to sing and understand the concept of music. I started getting into the professional level of music during my college days. It wasn't easy then but same time it wasn't impossible to believe in it. So I kept on slowly but steadily working on learning things like making music, editing of songs so that I won't need to be dependent on anyone else to do my work. Initially, it wasn't easy, but slowly I picked up. I came to Mumbai and started investing my energy to make more professional songs and even able to set up my own music studio called Blackweed Productions. Since, then it has never stopped.

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What was your first big breaking moment?

It was the time when I produced the song "Toota dil" in collaboration with Emcee Bharat. That song took us to another level. Toota Dil garnered 200K plays on muslate.com and we started getting calls from different producers and singers for collaboration. That was the time I was completely ready to invest my time with dedication. Yes, that has to be the defining moment.

Another defining moment, perhaps, was the show Dil Hai Hindustani. What were the key takeaways from it?

Frankly, I wasn't ready for this show. I just came to see my friends who were giving their audition for this show so even I applied while having some conversation with them. After a few hours of waiting, the moment of truth dawned right in front of me and I decided to sing my own songs. The judges were all in appreciation. And I rendered a very famous song 'Mitwa - Shankar Ehsaan Loy & Shankar Mahadevan & Caralisa Monteiro". I did crack round 1 and 2, and then I had to say goodbye to the show.

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It's not just music, you have also infused technology with it. How important are editing and breathtaking visuals as far as your musical journey is concerned?

When I started I didn't have a choice. As I had to spend my college life and my personal life all in just a few thousands. So it was hard to think about extra money to afford the production cost and editors' cost at that time. I have approached some famous producers to make it happen for me, but nothing worked. The price quoted by them left me high and dry. So I started utilizing YouTube to learn what I needed to know, to self produce a song. I remember recording my first song using a mic from a headphone and using Audacity as my DAW. Slowly, I have managed to save money for buying professional gears and software and learn all the professional editorial effects for the songs. That helped me to be self-dependent and even earn a livelihood from it. These skills are very important because it gives you an extra edge to understand a song from an editor's perspective and improvise according to that.

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How much time do you devote to shoot and edit the videos? (We mean the post-production stage)

This is very important nowadays: a good visual adds quality to the song. Usually, the shooting process isn't that long as much as the pre-production process. We plan the shooting of a song at least 15 days for scripting, finalising locations, ideas for shooting, camera angles and need of extras. If the planning for pre-production is perfect, post-production won't take more than 10 days.

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What has been your biggest song?

The biggest hits so far are "Jab jana he tha" and "deewana tera"

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You also have had an interesting collaboration with Russian rapper Professor. How did that happen?

It was the second time I was travelling to Russia after the shooting of my song Haan Kar De. Then, I was introduced to Professor by my director Bell. I was looking for something new so I decided to collaborate with this artist. We recorded the song at his studio and later I released it with songdew TV for better reach.

chaayam_poster

What's the future of music streaming industry, with big players like Spotify entering market.

The future is, what you are aiming for you. It wasn't ever easy and it will never be easy. Spotify is music giant which opens up a new door for digital music with an audience from around the world. This will improve the reach of Hindi music and even more worldwide understanding and acceptance of the type of music we make here.

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What next? Any plans to do music for films? Have there been any offers?

There is always something cooking, and just we have to wait for the right moment and the right time. Yeah, I do have plans to do music for films. We are in talks with some producers, but it's too early to talk about it.

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RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

  • Most favourite singers
  •   Lucky Ali, Aatif Aslam, Tyga and Kendrick Lamar
  • Most favorite musician
  •   AR Rahman
  • Favourite song ever
  •   Alright (Kendrick Lamar)
  • One song you can listen 24/7
  •   Switch Lanes (Tyga)
  • Favourite holiday locations
  •   Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Konakovo
  • Favourite actor/actress
  •   Akshay Kumar, Matt Damon and Adam Sandler; Kangana Ranaut and Jennifer Aniston
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