Amit Yadav is alumni of the prestigious IIT Roorkee who dared to abandon a promising career in engineering to pursue his profound passion for music. This versatile virtuoso, who aces in every field of music, is a dynamic sound engineer. He is involved in music production of the most popular voices of the music industry, including Shafqat Amanat Ali, Neha Bhasin, Shilpa Rao, Shubha Mudgal, Aman Ali Khan, and Jasbir Jassi.
Professionally untrained till date, Amit successfully manages to touch each one’s life with his lilting voice. Inspired by the likes of Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains and Junoon, Amit picked up this talent all by himself and aces it with brilliance.
In 2008, he started out as a musician who uploaded his work online. He reached a step forward in 2008, forming a four member band, ‘Sifar’. After this formation, there was no stopping ‘Sifar’ to reach greater heights. They signed up with the Delhi based Beatfactory Music label partners in 2011 and the music scenario for Amit changed completely.
This modest, humble and supremely down to earth musician is passionate and staunchly believes in him and the music he creates. He is now an icon not only for the upcoming musicians in India but also for each one of us who desire to live our dreams by getting an opportunity to fulfil our passion towards our talents. Let’s see what brought Amit to his destiny of being a great and a sought after musician.
Saumia: Amit, it’s a known fact that creativity requires inspiration. It takes a spark to light a fire. In your music, where does that spark come from? What situation or individual inspired you to be the musician that you are today?
Amit: I don’t think there’s any one situation or event that triggered all of this but inspiration comes from various things. I think, for me, different songs have come out of different experiences. . I get inspired by various incidents and our life experiences. On the whole, it probably comes from my need to express myself and I try to do that via music. For me, making music and creating songs is a never ending process of self discovery. Music heals; it makes me grow as a person.
Saumia: You’ve studied at the IIT and still you didn’t pursue the career your education offered. You’re majorly into music instead. Did you have to face any opposition from your family? How easy or difficult was it to make this choice?
Amit: No, it wasn’t a tough decision to make. Either I could lead a dull, mind numbing life of doing a job I didn’t like but which had security. Or I could lead an exciting life of doing what I wanted to do without any job security. I think the latter was an obvious choice. Maybe I don’t feel insecure so easily I didn’t know if I was going to survive in music industry or not but I still wanted to do music only. So I did.
When I decided to pursue music, I was a little fortunate in that that my family was supportive. By the time I was doing my 3rd job in the software industry, I knew I couldn’t do that for the rest of my life. However, music industry is a very tough industry to be in. I’m still just trying to understand it but I’m doing okay and pursuing what I wanted to do was probably the best decision I have taken in my life.
Saumia: Moving on to your band, ‘ Sifar’ is a Hindi and Urdu word meaning Zero. What led you into naming the band so?
Amit: Yes, Sifar in Urdu means Zero, but it also means a never ending circle.
We chose this band name because it resonated with what we felt about our music. Me and Anshul, we feel that making music for us is a never ending journey of self discovery. ‘Sifar’ resonated with us in all aspects. Hence, the name.
Saumia: From words to the thought, your songs have their own special identity. How do you manage to give this sense of uniqueness to each of your songs?
Amit: When we make the songs, we’re not thinking of “designing” the songs in a certain way. I mean, we don’t deliberately try to make songs in one way or the other. The important thing, like I mentioned before, is for us to try and understand what we are feeling and then express it through the lyrics and the music. If you find all the songs unique, it might be because they express something different but that’s not something we plan. It happens because of us sharing different experiences through different songs.
Saumia: At your last performance at Jaipur, I noticed that aspiring musicians come to your gigs and request for the guitar pics and drum sticks that you use. How does it feel being popular and in-demand ?
Amit: It feels great because we play only our original songs and when people connect to those songs, they are essentially connecting to the same emotion that we expressed. They relate with our story because in certain ways, they have also experienced the same. That is a great feeling because that’s why a songwriter expresses himself/ herself in the first place.
When this happens, we feel like we belong with the audience. We feel like we’re among friends. We’re a part of the tribe, we belong.
Saumia: People in India mostly relate to Hindi music only, to the so called ‘dance beats’ of the Bollywood. Do you think it’s the biggest challenge to success that aspiring musicians face today?
Amit: You can’t put that kind of burden on the consumer. People will consume what is given to them. All kinds of media are full of Bollywood because only they can afford to buy all the media. So it’s not consumer or the audience’s fault. It just means that we need independent bands and their managers to find viable and sustainable business models. Without them, most independent bands die out in a couple of years.
Saumia: So what are you, as music producer, doing to serve that purpose?
Amit: We’re also experimenting and have a strategy in mind but it will take a little while before I can share that with you.
Saumia: What is your message for the youth of today as the key to success and living their dreams like you did?
Amit: Find your passion and pursue it with all your heart. We all have dreams and we can fulfil them with hard work and persistence. Believe in what you do, Just don’t give up.
Image Courtesy [Saumia Bhatnagar]