Chirag Shah is the founder and business head of Boch & Fernsh, Inc. one of India’s leading creative studios based in Mumbai. They offer video production, graphic design, UI UX, website and app design as well as web development services. Aside from work, Chirag is also a music enthusiast (EDM in particular) and video content afficionado! He recently completed creating his first music album and chose to write about the process and his inspiration for our Dysco Diary readers. Give it a read, and if you want to collaborate on his next album, share ideas for music videos or chat about B&F’s work, you can find Chirag on Dysco.
The spark of Inspiration
With the EDM genre gathering popularity across the world, the wave of disruption had hit the world of music. Artists like David Guetta, Paul Van Dyk and many others were creating music with just a laptop and some mixer switches. Music had a new avatar and the entire world was jumping to it!
My first glimpse and inspiration came from a documentary of Swedish House Mafia: Leave the world behind. That was my internal tipping point. I remember saying this to myself – I want to create music, just – Like – This. I love EDM and I absolutely love the energy that it gives me.
In this lifetime, I wanted to be EDM music creator!
The eternal dilemma: Urgent v/s important
I run a creative agency Boch & Fernsh and my brain is fired up from morning till dusk thinking about how to help our clients’ brands disrupt in their respective domains.
Video production is one of our key pillars and we keep scouring the net for music for tracks and by the time the week is over, I am numb. On weekends, I prefer watching a movie from the 80s that requires the least amount of grey matter. Prioritising between daily operations at our studio and focusing on your side project is difficult.
Making these 6 tracks was a herculean task for a first timer like me. It asked for every ounce of respect I had for my own words. It was the first time in my life I had invested so many late nights that my wife was an inch away from hiring a private detective.
This is the result of pure collaboration
One of my favourite lines is from Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great – “Get the right people on the bus and then you can take the bus anywhere”. I apply the same to my business and did the same for this project as well. I was looking for co-creators and I guess the universe heard my ping!
I met Prasham through an acquaintance at a wedding reception. One of those evenings where everyone is at their best appearance but inside… bored to death! Prasham had years of experience composing music but had left it along the way. I expressed my desire to make an EDM album and his eyes lit up! He introduced me to his buddy Melvin who is an ace sound engineer and composer and this laid the foundation of 3 Phase.
Over the next 2 years, we collaborated together to create these 6 tracks (chosen out of 14 scratch attempts).
We spent 4 months auditioning singers for our tracks
Deep within we knew the voice we were looking for but finding the right voice was frustrating. We went through every episode of “The Voice – USA “ to look for rising talent, even posted our requests on music forums looking for singers featured in popular EDM tracks. Finding the voice was half the job done, the rest was to send them the lyrics, pilot their voice and lay our expectations. Keep in mind, all of this was done over email, chat and Skype calls. We have never met any of our singers. The artists were based out of US (LA, SFO) and Europe, yet our expectations of production standards were as good as them being in the same room!
Although the artists were thoroughly professional and they would often know what we were looking for, we have multiple re-takes and a number of times, we felt like catching the next flight out and reach the artist’s studio to get what we wanted.
Our artists are top-tier singers and they chose to remain anonymous. Most of them said that they lent their voice to 3 Phase because they loved our tracks and composition. They became a part of 3 Phase because they loved our music!
Ever heard of live A/B Testing on a dance floor?
My work takes me the world over and I would often visit clubs and request the DJ to play our music.
To be honest, a very few of them even entertained me (about 85% of them refused) I would either get a Sorry or a poker face. BUT, when some of them did play our track, that sight of having a room full of people dancing on your track is phenomenal! It’s a high that sends a tingle down your spine and you know all those late nights in the studio were so worth it!
Why the name 3 Phase?
‘Phase’ is an expression of how a waveform is measured as a frequency and since it was a 3 member team, we named our band and our first album – 3 Phase!
Is this the start OR the end of our journey?
It’s a question that begs an answer in my mind every day. Making an EDM music album was on my bucket list and I saw it through.
Today, the album is available on every popular music platform in the world. Produced in Mahim, Mumbai and now digitized the world over! That’s way farther than we had imagined it. It has been only 10 days since it went live and I have no clue about how to make it popular. Heart in heart, I am glad I made it this far. To readers of DYSCO, all I can say is that if you have a wish or a creative aspiration, see it through! Persevere – because as they say, the journey is more enriching than the destination.
Listen to 3 Phase and if you have ideas to market it, I am all ears! You can Dysco with me via my Dysco profile.