Gone are the days when music making was a leverage of a certain few and we only were knowing playback singers and musicians through film songs. With the advent of internet and social media, indie artists and their songs have become popular among the masses. Among the many promising independent artists, Shivam Bhati is a name to reckon! He is the youngest EDM star of India who has garnered worldwide acclaim for his music. Having started at a very small age of 12, the multi-faceted artist is one of the youngest Spotify artists and has bagged the second place in Upcoming Indian artists of 2020. He calls himself a 'one man army'. His recent song Sadke Java with Reshabh Chhabra garnered a good response for its EDM-Punjabi fusion, while his another song, Be WIth You was played by BBC Radio and Vh1. The eighteen-year-old, who has enrolled into the Bachelor of Business course belongs to the line of educated and informed musicians who are trying to excel in the technicalities of music making. In an exclusive interview with Music Beat, Shivam Bhatia talks about his EDM career, his hunger for learning and exploring music, global collaborations and how he learnt making EDM beats on his own. His journey will inspire every aspiring singer-musician to dream!
You started at a very small age of 12 years. Did you always wanted to become a musician?
I was always interested in music and used to listen to Bollywood songs and Yo Yo Honey Singh’s numbers from a very young age. But when I was 12, my friends made me listen to this tracks by Martin Garrix, Hardwell and all these EDM legends. At that time, I found it to be a very different type of music from what was out there in India. I was very impressed by it. I used the internet to learn how it is made and installed the software and started exploring it from the age of 12 itself. I learnt everything on my own and haven’t taken any professional coaching.
You have collaborated with singers, musicians across the world. Can you tell us more about it?
I was randomly adding people on Facebook who share a similar interest and use to send a friend request to all these singers, musicians. While some would accept, some would not. I also dropped messages to many of them a about liking their music. I also used to mention about working on a certain track and they were willing to collaborate. If interested, then they would reply. We would thus start building a connection from there. One artist led to the other and this is how the cycle continued! I therefore kept meeting as well collaborating with new people over the internet.
Let’s talk about your debut single ‘Without You’
It was not my very first track, I released a few instrumental beats and remixed a few songs, but Without You was my first original song with original lyrics and composition and was solely produced by me.
I am not seeing myself as just an EDM artist, but I feel like I have grown into a more versatile artist and just trying different things.
Let's about your recent EDM Punjabi fusion track 'Sadke Java
Reshabh and I started working on Sadke Java two months ago. Reshabh had sent me the idea. We wanted to make something different. The version, he had of this song was very raw and I added my rap to it, changed the lyrics and then we got the song ready. We completed the song injust20-30 days during the lockdown.
You another 2020 track ‘Be With You’ was hit! Can you tell us more?
Be With You It was indeed a massive track in collaboration with Myris and Theajsound. It was released in May and I got a good response for it. It was also played on Vh1 and BBC Radio.
Can you tell us about your music making process?
Whenever I start a track, I have some emotion behind it. If I am feeling happy then I will make some happy beats. It just comes naturally and I channelize my experiences. It can also depend on the movie, I have watched. My mood definitely impacts the sound and everything I make.
Most of the time, I start with creating the beats but sometimes if a certain hook line is catchy enough then I record it in my phone and whenever I am in the studio or with my laptop, I just record it and start producing music over that tune.
You have been ranked second in the list of upcoming Indian artists of 2020. How proud di you feel on seeing your name?
It gave me a boost and I got a lot of dms from record label managers and influencers. It definitely built my connections with them.
Are you planning to get signed to any label?
I am not particularly focused on getting signed to any label, but I can definitely do guest features with them. Right now, I am also starting my own record label to support my own music as well as to support emerging artists. I see a lot of artists who create good music but they don’t get the reach and promotion, they deserve. So, I want to create something that serves as a good tool for them in the music business.
What name have you thought for your record label and any launch plan you want to share?
The label name is SHIVRR RECORDS and we aim at releasing good quality music and helping new, rising talent. Our team that comprises of me and my two friends, are planning to launch it positively by 2021.
Are you planning to feature in your songs too?
Right now, I was busy with school and everything so I didn’t get time to make video for my tracks, but now I am free from my studies so will definitely step into the featuring game now.
How did you manage making music with your school and manage all these roles?
I was always grounded and I feel, if someone is interested in something then he/she do it wholeheartedly.
What about your higher studies?
I got into DTU college and I am pursuing Bachelors in Business. I want to apply this knowledge to my music career.
How are you financing your projects? Are you doing it from your pocket?
See if I am doing a big project that I can’t fund then I will definitely look for sponsorship to support it. But for this to happen, they have to like my music. If my music is not good, I can’t ask for any sponsorship. So, my aim is to first make good quality music then I will not have to reach anyone, but my music will reach the many sponsors and this usually happens with me.
When it comes to other projects, I invest the amount earned from the royalties of one song to make another song. I have also released most tracks with labels, but there is a major pay cut issue while working with them.
EDM tracks are more into English. Which language is more comfortable with you?
I feel language is never a problem in music. Many artists do complain that a certain language won’t work in a specific track, but a song like Despacito is a huge hit in China when Chinese people don’t understand Spanish language. I feel music has no boundaries. So, if I am creating something that is touching the soul, is soothing and has healing properties, then I will definitely go for it and won’t care about what language it is being made in.
EDM is still an emerging genre in India. How do you see its future?
There is definitely a scope for EDM in India because many young artists are choosing it as a career path. They are dropping out of their schools and colleges. I feel if you are good at something, you will definitely find your way.
How was your lockdown phase? Anything you learnt, which was different from your routine?
Musicians ke liye toh hamesha hi lockdown hi rehta hai. Lockdown was not that difficult for me as we musicians create music from home itself. But, I did a short-term audio engineering course from an academy during it. It was an online two-month course and it really helped me. Generally other musicians get their post production done from audio engineers, but I do it myself. I wanted to level up my skills so I enrolled in that course and it really helped me. But you have to choose as there a lot of advertisements and every second guy has opened his academy. So, you have to do your research. Sonicfield academy. I was really happy with what they taught me.
Any new course you are planning to do apart from this?
Right now, I want to do an offline internship and work as an assistant with a musician to get the on-field industry knowledge.
Any offers from Bollywood?
Bollywood, not yet, but would love to work there, but I am working on a few Hindi songs and they might get signed for any movie!
Which international projects you are working on?
I have some songs in the pipeline. One is God In Our Eyes, it is my own single with only its female part sung by Grammy nominated American singer Sarah who has a band. We will be soon releasing the song.
I am also working on one more song in collaboration with the Theajsound and it will be released most probably next year. This song will also create a huge impact on people. It is a love ballet type EDM fusion. It is romantic as well as catchy and something unique and no one would have heard that kind music, according to me.
Being one of the youngest Spotify artists, what next in five years
In the next five years, I see myself creating good quality better music, something that touches the mass audience. I want to grow bigger and want my music to reach a wider audience. Also, I hope I will be able to release my own albums under my record label as well as help many other artists to grow.