• Atul Prasad

Foundation Bass

They say, Architecture is nothing but frozen music. But when you mix the two, the combination is an endless beautiful symphony that can be heard through the eyes. We got a chance to chat with the master hobbyist, Kaushik Kumar. Principal architect by day and the Bass guitarist for the rock band Mad Orange Fireworks by night.

1) What inspired you to start playing the bass?

I used to listen to a lot of rock and metal music in my teens - and I picked up the guitar first, and fancied myself a rhythm guitarist. But in college, my roommate who started a band needed a bass player for a gig (in 2 weeks) and convinced me that it was easy to learn the bass. I learned the bass, did the gig; loved it thoroughly. That’s when I started looking at the bass as a great instrument to play, and started following a lot of bassists specifically.

2) What does music mean to you?

Music has always been in my life, from when I was a child - my mother is a Carnatic classical artiste, my family has traditionally been musical many generations back. The path I’ve chosen in music is more to my tastes and sensibilities - western, rock, pop etc. But music is such a great aggregator, often my family and I will go to a rock show and enjoy it. Personally to me, music is a great release and calming thing.

3) What drives your passion for music?

For me, it’s finding new artists, listening to new songs, trying to follow and listen to who’s on the cutting edge of their path in music; and trying to emulate that in my own playing, in my own way. Lately though, I’ve been taking more of a measured approach; in just feeling things, writing more and seeing what comes up.

4) What are the biggest challenges or hurdles you have faced till now?

I’ve now finished my B.Arch from NITC, and i'm a working architect. But when I first started playing music in college, I took it quite seriously - sometimes at the cost of my studies. Suffice to say my family or my professors felt I had to drop music and focus on architecture; even though I felt I could manage both. This led to a lot of friction for almost 10 years between us. But after seeing me still successfully managing both my music and my architecture careers professionally, things have finally been resolved now.

5) Tell us a little about your journey…

I started my journey into music very early in life, my family being influential on me - my mum taught me Carnatic classical vocals for many years. I started listening to western rock and pop music when I was in my teens, and decided that this was what spoke to me deeply.

I joined NITC to do my B.Arch, and I started playing the guitar (just noodling, self taught) in college.

My roommate at the time (Jhanu Chanthar, Skrat/oorka) taught me a lot more about the nuances of guitars and opened me up to a lot of new artists. He inducted me into his band (as I’ve explained in another answer) and taught me to play the bass. That’s when I started performing seriously.

5) What do you think is in store for music( blues/jazz/pop) in the future?

Everyday I’m happening upon these great new artists who are changing the way we even listen to and consume the music, let alone the songs themselves. I think the next big sensation is gonna be about a revolution in how we consume and how the artist presents their music to us. Regardless of genre.

6) What advice would you give to people who want to embrace music as a way of life?

simple - have patience, stick to it - never give up. And of course, enjoy it!