brown university portfolio
PhD Applicant - Music & Multimedia Composition
Project 1 highlights my debut single, "Dil," released in 2019 after getting signed to India's largest music streaming platform, Gaana. This song showcases my multifaceted role as a composer, vocalist, producer, and featured artist in the accompanying music video. Notably, the recording process involved invaluable mentorship from Grammy award-winning engineer Greg Wells, recognized for his work with acclaimed artists such as Taylor Swift, Adele, and Justin Bieber. His influence is evident in the song's choruses, employing a vocal layering technique that imparts a big and full sound necessary for an impactful drop.
An intriguing collaboration with Jackie Foster, a finalist on The Voice USA, added a unique dimension as she learned and performed in Hindi, a language she hadn't spoken before. Additionally, a partnership with Manoj Yadav, a renowned lyricist from the Indian film industry contributed to the song's success. The music video also features New York-based actress Amanda Troisi, known for her accolades in the short film circuit.
"Dil" achieved significant milestones, garnering 1 million streams within the first week and securing the top position on Gaana's charts for a week. And till date, the song has achieved 10 million streams and garnered over 500k views on YouTube. The song received accolades such as Winner at the UK Songwriting Competition, and an Honorable Mention at the International Songwriting Competition.
Find more of my music videos as a solo artist by clicking below:
In Project 2, I proudly present my involvement in the Grammy-nominated album, "Shuruaat," as a member of the Berklee Indian Ensemble. Nominated in 2023, this project extends beyond my role as a vocalist, encompassing activities like arranging, songwriting, music production, rehearsals, and stage production.
Additionally, my journey with the ensemble includes captivating live performances at prestigious venues such as the Boston Symphony Hall and significant events like the A. R. Rahman doctoral ceremony. These experiences have not only enriched my musical skills but have also allowed me to contribute to unforgettable moments in iconic settings.
The video above directs you to a selected music video, while other supporting links can be found below:
Project 3 encapsulates a deeply personal and impactful project – a music video created during the tumultuous period of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) movement in my home state Assam in India. As an artist profoundly affected by the issues surrounding identity and indigenous culture, I wrote and performed a poignant song in my mother tongue, Assamese. Given the gravity of the subject matter, please switch on the subtitles with English translations which are provided to enhance your understanding of the powerful lyrics. I composed and produced this song while rendering vocals in my mother tongue Assamese.
Having emerged from a region in turmoil, I felt a responsibility to bring attention to the challenges faced by my people. The song delves into the threats perceived by the Assamese identity due to the implications of the CAA. Collaborating with artists from various corners of the globe, the music video reflects a truly international effort. The violinist hails from Jordan, an Israeli Qanun player introduces Middle Eastern instruments, the percussionist represents Palestine, the bassist comes from Serbia, the drummer from the Dominican Republic, and an assistant recording engineer from Belgium. The rest of us were either from India or the US. The video was shot in New Delhi, India, with a significant portion executed remotely, especially sessions requiring recordings from outside the US.
This project holds personal significance as it compelled me, primarily a vocalist with a soft vocal texture, to navigate the challenge of delivering a song with intense, metal-like vocals. Beyond the artistic endeavor, the song's emotional depth is amplified as the lyrics were penned by my mother, someone deeply affected by the unfolding events in Assam. The video serves as a testament to my commitment to uplifting and providing opportunities for my people, aiming to pave the way for similar growth and opportunities that I have been fortunate to experience.
Project Four in my portfolio marks a powerful and ambitious endeavor, born out of a deep-seated conviction to shed light on the dire condition of women and children in Syria and advocate for a more compassionate global perspective. Motivated by a poignant encounter with a fellow Berklee student from Syria, who courageously shared the challenges of separation from her family, I gathered a diverse ensemble of over 35 musicians from around the world to craft a song amplifying the collective support for Syria.
I deeply contemplate the distressing reality that a few perpetrators instigating violence often result in the suffering of common people, particularly disturbing in light of leaders from others nations openly bombarding missiles onto civilian populations— a sentiment also tragically resonant in the current situation in Palestine. I truly believe art has the power to transform lives and this project stands as a testament to my commitment to using music as a catalyst for global awareness and compassion.
Each vocal line in the verses and pre-choruses is sung a different language, featuring singers from various countries and cultures, symbolizing the unity of the global community with Syria. The project, both audacious and heartfelt, required orchestration on multiple fronts—I took on the roles of a traditional music producer, co-arranger and conductor for a comprehensive ensemble encompassing a full string section, a choir, and a band. Beyond producing the song, I co-authored its English lyrics, found other artists for translations into multiple languages, and meticulously crafted the arrangement along with two other arrangers.
While the song awaits its public release, discussions are underway with mentors at the Berklee Indian Ensemble to feature it in their upcoming album. I firmly believe that, with further experience and refinement, this song has the potential to become even more impactful. Some creations, I believe, are worth the wait until they reach their utmost potential, and this song stands as a testament to my commitment to using music as a catalyst for global awareness and compassion. Here's a list of the members of the ensemble who helped me bring my idea to life -
Italian vocalist - Carolina Magini, Italy
Turkish vocalist - Mahir Kucuk, Turkey
Mandarin vocalist - Enya Lim, Singapore
Spanish vocalist - Alex Venegas, Dallas, USA
Tamil vocalist - Rohith Jayaraman, San Francisco, USA
Swiss vocalist - Laara Julia, Switzerland
Assamese vocalist - Geett Barua, Los Angeles, USA
Swahili vocalist - Njoki Karu, Kenya
Hindi vocalist - Srishti Biyani, Mumbai, India
Hindi vocalist - Swara Swami, Mumbai, India
Hindi vocalist - Agney Mulay,New Delhi, India
Hindi vocalist - Sanjana Raja, Chennai, India
Hindi vocalist - Amira Gill, New Delhi, India
Choir Director/Soprano - Caitlyn Thorton, Los Angeles, USA
Choir Soprano - Laara Julia, Switzerland
Choir Soprano - Madison Denbrock, Arizona, USA
Choir Alto - Rozie Baker, New York, USA
Choir Alto - Josie Long, Georgia, USA
Choir Alto - Michael Mastroianni, New York, USA
Choir Tenor -Alex Venegas, Dallas, USA
Choir Bass - Evan Lee, New Orleans, USA
Choir Arranger - Joey Epstein, Illinois, USA
Strings Arranger - Jorge Alonso Maldonado, Peru
Strings Arranger - Salil Bhayani, Los Angeles, USA
Piano - Abram AL, Indonesia
Electric Guitar - Aleif Hamdan, Indonesia
Percussion - Alber Baseel, Palestine
Bass - Achal Murthy, Luxemborg
Drums - Ivanna Cuesta Gonzalez, Dominican Republic
Co-wrote English Lyrics with - Omar Ahmed Khulazi, Bahrain
Hindi Lyrics - Deepshikha Batheja, Riverside, USA
Mix/Mast./Recording Engineer - Arian Mohammadi, Iran
Recording Engineer (Grammy winner) - Garry Purohit, Los Angeles, USA
Asst. Record Engineer - Anton Rasmussen, Nashville, USA
Asst. Record Engineer - Rongjie Qian, China
This is an additional project that provides a captivating glimpse into my early years before formal education in music, revealing the roots of my artistic journey. In this project, I present a poignant documentary style video that serves as a window into the lives of young girls in rural India, shedding light on the issue of child marriages. Through the use of ethnic instruments from India, each chosen for its unique timbre, the piece unfolds various phases of these girls' lives. I've also included a LIVE recording of the piece where I'm playing the various instruments showcased in the documentary. Despite the video's quality differing from my current professional standards, I choose to share it deliberately. It embodies the innocence with which I approached music and reflects my unwavering vision to make a profound societal impact through my art.
The narrative begins with the sweet tones of the Bengali instrument Dutara, symbolizing the carefree innocence of early childhood. As the music progresses, different instruments come into play, each representing distinct life phases through their timbral characteristics. Notably, the inclusion of the harsh-sounding instruments like Pepa, accentuates moments of sadness in the girls' journeys.
This project is more than a musical composition; it serves as a testament to my early exploration of music production, mixing, and mastering. Before my formal education, music was my playground—an arena for experimenting with various genres, instruments, and production techniques.
Furthermore, I took on the roles of editing and creating slides for this video, showcasing my multifaceted involvement in the creative process. This video, though a nostalgic reminder of my beginnings, keeps me grounded amidst both challenging times and significant successes. It stands as a reminder of the genuine passion and vision that have fueled my artistic journey.