“Pianos, unlike people, sing when you give them your every growl. They know how to dive into the pit of your stomach and harmonize with your roars when you’ve split yourself open. And when they see you, guts shining, brain pulsing, heart right there exposed in a rhythm that beats need need, pianos do not run. And so he plays.”
Today we have with us Malav Ashara popularly known by his Instagram followers as (@pianotreat8) in the House of Student Stories. Malav is 24 years old Pianist and Music Composer and he hails from GandhiNagar, Gujarat. Currently, he is working as a Design Engineer in New York. Malav in his earlier days used to play with a college band and is now working in collaboration with brands and names like Red FM and he also became part of IIFA Rocks 2017 in New York. He played live on Red FM – Ahmedabad few years back and the whole city was listening him play and now he does some very interesting covers of various famous Bollywood and English songs in collaboration with artists based in New York. So, let’s started with his journey.
1. When was the first time that you discovered an artist in yourself ?
My grandpa noticed this spark of music in me and he gifted me my first harmonium. There’s a small story behind it as well. My musical journey began at the age of 3. I was a a little boy and used to love playing any objects I could find around lying down in my house and would produce sounds from them, seeing my curiosity towards music and sound my grandfather decided to encourage my inclination towards music and so, my journey as an artist began
2. Tell us more about Malav as a Pianist and music composer?
I personally enjoy being an engineer and a pianist/music composer all at the same time. Everybody in my family is a music lover. My dad introduced me to the various Indian artists of 50s, 60s and 70s era. I love old Indian Bollywood music. I love giving importance to the lyrics as well as the tune which conveys the meaning. Music for me is meditation. When I am on the keys, I am in a different world. I, absolutely love those 88 keys.
3. You have worked with many artists. Whom do you admire the most and why?
I haven’t worked with very big names yet. I used to have a band in college. We got separated since everybody had priorities to attend. I have had my live show on Red FM – Ahmedabad few years back. Given a chance, I would like to work more and learn more. I admire R D Burman sir a lot, his songs touch me on a personal level and there is one more artist I absolutely adore. His name is Yanni. He is from Greece, my father introduced me to him, he’s an amazing artist too. I, totally love his compositions ?❤
4. How is singing and music culture different in India and New York? Do you see any sort of resemblance too?
Well, Indian music uses more of traditional instruments like Veena, Sitar, Sarangi and Santoor. I’ve hardly seen people use these instruments here. They use Cello and Harp mostly. New York City is famous for its Jazz rock music. I like listening to Jazz once in a while. Bronx is one of the boroughs of New York City which is famous for giving a lot of musical talent to the world. It actually inspires me to better myself everyday as I am surrounded by amazing artists and talent.
5. What does “88 keys” mean to you ? Which profession apart from being an artist interests you ?
” 88 keys” are very dear and special to me. I absolutely love keys. Whenever I am playing the keys, I am in my zone, in my moment. It feels like there’s no one around, just me and my music. And answer to your sub-question, well I am an engineer and a pianist both. I even like writing too. I write lyrics too. Hence, if you ask me to be something other than a pianist, I would still stick being an engineer.
6. What is Malav’s key to success?
Hard work is the only key to success. I have always believed that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. If you want something, pour your heart into it, work for it, be a rebel, but never give up. If you have a burning desire to excel, sky is the limit!
7. What are your further plans and upcoming projects?
Well, I am currently working on collaborations with different artists that I am coming across through my Instagram handle. I am pretty much confident about these unplugged versions I produce, but I would surely like to work more on drum-beats processing and advanced level mixing and mastering of the tracks, I produce.
8. Were you an artist since your school days ? What is that one achievement which is most special to you ?
I have been a studious person and was very good at studies and hence I have excelled throughout my academic career. Also, I stood 8th in Gandhi Nagar district and 16th in Gujarat state board in my 10th standard statewide board exams in 2008 and again stood 8th in Gandhi Nagar district and 30th in Gujarat state board in my 12th standard statewide board exams in 2010. I have done my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from one of the best engineering colleges of Gujarat that is L.D.College of Engineering. I’ve done my masters in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University – New Brunswick. I used to have a band too in college and have performed on various stages. I have been live on Red FM – Ahmedabad frequency some years back, I had a full show with my piano while the whole Ahmedabad was listening to me and by far that is the one achievement which is very close to me.
9. Share few words for our aspiring artists.
I would only say that be your own competition, don’t compare yourself with somebody else. Strive for excellence in what you love. Redo the task until you get it right. Don’t settle for ordinary. Winners start where others give up!
Catch him on his popular Instagram handle