Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashwin Subramanian.
Ashwin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Maryland and my background is in Indian classical music. I come from a multi-generational family of Carnatic classical musicians and teachers. I’ve studied this traditional form of vocal music from the age of five. Because of my love for technology, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, picking up computer-based recording and composing skills during that time. After graduating, I got a job as a software engineer but soon realized that my true calling was in music composition.
I subsequently applied to a diploma program in Western Classical Music at KM Music Conservatory, founded by Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire). After placing first in my class, I got the opportunity to work as an assistant with AR on his film projects. I also toured with him as a vocalist on live shows across India.
Later, I returned home to the US where I started my music and media company Eclipse Nirvana to produce film scores, video games music and albums. To further enhance my knowledge, I also studied Film Scoring at UCLA and was awarded the BMI Jerry Goldsmith scholarship during my time there.
Today, my wife Lakshmi and I perform Electronic Bhakti Music as a composer-vocalist duo, touring the US and presenting our original music for diverse audiences. We run a successful YouTube channel with a number of fans worldwide.
In addition, we produce music for visual and interactive media from our studio in Playa Vista.
Has it been a smooth road?
Life as a musician is a wonderfully satisfying journey but requires a great deal of determination, hard work, and focus. To do it professionally, one has to wear two hats at all times: one of a creative constantly developing their craft, and another of a business owner. It is important to balance these two roles, and this is where the real challenge lies.
When I first started in the industry, I had the opportunity to work as an assistant and develop my creativity. When I later branched out into my own projects, it took time to grow my network to a point where it became sustainable. The first few years of any business is tough. Meeting like-minded creatives to collaborate with takes time, as does building trust. However, both happened by giving 100% to every job along the way.
Speaking of collaborators, my wife and I have had much success by working together to build our brand. She is a vocalist and scholar of Hinduism hence our skill sets are complementary. As two heads are better than one, we were able to be resourceful in connecting with venues and promoters who loved our music. In this way, we quickly built out the live performance part of our business.
Please tell us about Eclipse Nirvana.
Our music and media company Eclipse Nirvana has two streams: scoring music for visual media and producing albums and live shows of Electronic Bhakti Music.
My scores for films use a wide palette of World, Orchestral and Electronic sounds, inspired by the rich diversity of cultures in India. I always seek to find a spiritual connection to the material that becomes my compass for how to tell the story musically.
As Aks & Lakshmi, we create Electronic Bhakti Music that is a mix of Indian Classical and Electronic music based on themes of Hindu spirituality. We take ancient sacred poetry and modernize it with EDM and other popular genres to make Indian spirituality more accessible to today’s global audiences.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The film and music industry is getting more decentralized with streaming, which means more opportunities are prevalent now than ever before. This translates into every artist having an equal chance of their material being heard, regardless of genre, language and content. However, this also means each artist is more responsible for their own career path. Streaming opens the doors for many voices to be expressed, but it is up to those voices to be determined and carve out a unique place for themselves in the current climate.
- Website: www.akscomposer.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/EclipseNirvana
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/EclipseNirvana
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/EclipseNirvana
- Other: www.eclipse-nirvana.com