As an active partaker in the India Cultural scene in southern New York counties in the USA, I have been fortunate to meet young, motivated and talented teenagers, born and brought up in the USA who not only speak native Indian languages fluently, they also write, sing and compose music! One such rising star is Krishna Chetan. Based in Clifton Park NY, he owned a music production company Summer Rain Studios at the age of 15! He regularly produces western as well as Hindi music covers. He also composes award-winning music for global clients including a recent composition for a renowned poet, political leader from India -Dr. Kumar Vishwas.
“My father’s suggestions and freedom to experiment with music eventually ended up crafting the very person I am today” -Krishna Chetan
Krishna has produced songs varying from indie-pop- Sufi like Maula Mere, to slow and nimble love songs like Rab Mera and foot tapping, multi-textured number peppered with speed and power of Trap Tequila. His father Sanjai Chetan is an accomplished lyricist-singer himself. Their collective creative genius and lyrical imagination reflects in the way they wrap their original lyrics and musical compositions in their own vocals. The album Sawaal released in 2014 was their first EP produced & released worldwide. This was followed by Aghaaz-The Beginning in 2015 and Baarish in 2016.
As a New Yorker and an ardent fan of Vividh Bharti and All India Radio, Hindi- Urdu music and poetry keeps me earnestly connected to my Indian roots. However, very few Bollywood tracks released these days have touched my soul. One such track was Moh Moh Ke Dhaage from the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. For weeks I was absolutely smitten with the song. Since then I’ve been following the works of lyricist Varun Grover. When Krishna and Varun collaborated to release their first single, it was something to watch out for! Krishna talked about his new collaborator with pride laced in humble gratitude and seemed inspired by Varun’s grounded and pleasing personality.
Beete Dino Ke Geet is an achingly beautiful composition. The title itself led me into my cozy little mental cove where it fed my nostalgia for the duration of the song and it stayed with me for hours after it ended. The song turned out to be a lyrical embodiment of my years growing up in India and my life in New York in the past decade and a half. It brought back fond memories of growing up in a household where family dinners were quite often spiced up with shero shayari. On some evenings we would have private baithaks or mushaira sessions at home with other Urdu and Hindi scholars. We would eagerly await invitations for front row seats to Mushairas and Kavi Sammelans organized at Meerut College where my father was a Professor. As Varun Grover would say ” iTunes se nikal ke in mehfilon mein ab jaaiye kahan!
Hindi cinema still celebrates geet and ghazal as a music genre for a limited audience, with a handful of lyricists who can do justice to it. Varun does it well in Beete Dino ke Geet. Each couplet is distinct and can be quoted independently but when weaved together, the rhyming pattern is consistent and they seamlessly come together to form a stirring composition. The beautiful play of words compares the soulful profundity of old fashioned, slow paced life and virtuous relationships to the shallow friendships and maddening rush hour of our lives these days. It hits home with ease.
Krishna’s voice is soothing, melodious and fresh, perfect for the mood of the song. The music is simple, honest and thoughtful; a breath of fresh air in a world of heavily mixed computerized cacophony of notes.
Krishna attributes the remarkable feat to his dad’s advice over the years “I know you want it to be perfect and you want to make sure that everything is as impeccable as can be, but son, you have to realize that these people that you work with have a story to tell. Instead of making endless edits, try to capture the feeling and story that the song is trying to tell.”The video featuring Krishna himself was shot in scenic upstate New York. It is able to catch the drift from the lyrics; it provides the earnestness in the melancholy nostalgia.
Krishna eloquently expresses his experiences that drive his passion to create music. “Working with people who had different skill sets and different stories to express through their work crafted the person I am today. “Story one” and “Story two” may not have had any relation at all. Nonetheless, when I morphed these stories into songs of their own, they aided me in understanding the world and people around me.
“I was not only given the rare opportunity to look through a window at someone else’s heart but I was also given the freedom and responsibility to draw that heart as I saw it, through my music. I was given the opportunity to give music to someone else’s story.”- Krishna Chetan
Profound words of wisdom from an 18-year-old!