Kushmita KC

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Kushmita: "It is liberating to have my voice through the music that I play and to know that it is helping others."

Issue X Art & Artist Interview Empower

Interviewed by Dhanvi Nirmal

Edited by Hrudhai Chand

30th September, 2021

Kushmita KC is a famous Indian Violinist and musician who has worked with famous musical legends like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Rakesh Chaurasia, Shankar Mahadevan and many others. She has also performed with various bands such as Laboum (Germany) and Indus Creed (India). She was featured in the semi-final of Indian Idol Season Ten (2018) as accompanist to the top five contestants and has toured Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Italy as a Solo Violinist with “Sound of the Earth” orchestra. At this moment, she is working as head of Strings (Violin and Orchestra) at Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

You’ve been taking violin lessons since the age of five. Over the years, how do you think your views on music have changed?

Kushmita: I was fascinated by the sound of violin strings the first time I heard it being played by a teacher for me. I have been in love with the violin ever since. I used to play the violin for my healing & was immediately drawn to it. Later, when I got admission into the Richard Strauss Conservatory, Germany, I got to understand that you have to practice for hours each day to be able to master the instrument. This was a painful side effect of the pure pleasure that I received while playing the violin. Today, I have come to understand my purpose through music in this world. It has been a complex journey understanding all of its aspects & adjusting to this world's rules for us artists. It is indeed difficult to make a living as an artist, still serving others and this world. At the same time, it is liberating to have my voice through the music that I play and to know that it is helping others. This gives meaning to everything I do with music.

Since you have worked with an astounding number of people, is there some artist in your mind you would want to work with again?

Kushmita: I Definitely! There are exceptional musician colleagues who I treasure and admire. I would love to work with Ustad Zakir Hussain again, his brother Fazal Qureshi, music producer and composer Zubin Balaporia, contemporary music composer Siddharth Kashyap, a fantastic Keyboardist and arranger Atul Raninga and all my other colleagues from the band Perfect Amalgamation. These are all fantastic people that I would love to be on stage with or do excellent recordings with.

 

Watch our interview with Kuchmita KC, Art & Artist Feature of Issue X

Can you please elaborate on your work as a founder of ‘KC Western School of Classical Music

Kushmita: Yes, Sure! KC Western Classical Music School was founded by my husband Tilak KC and me. When I came back to India 5 years ago, I became a part of the Symphony Orchestra of India. This was one of the reasons why I chose to come back to my country because I wanted to contribute as a musician in my country of origin. My husband joined me after a while, and as he was working as a teacher in an international school, we realized that the schools lacked good music programs in their curriculum. So, we designed a music curriculum for the international schools so that children could learn different instruments and engage with music. The benefits of music education are immense and highly beneficial to students. Music positively impacts a child’s academic performance, assists in developing social skills, and provides an outlet for creativity that is crucial to a child’s development. Music education catapults a child’s learning to new heights, and because of this, it should always be considered a pivotal part of a child’s educational process.

 

We have learnt that you’ve worked internationally as well, which place has been your favorite so far?

Kushmita: I love all the places where I perform. Discovering other countries like France, Switzerland and Italy in Europe at an early age has been fun. I also enjoyed touring countries like Paraguay and Argentina in South America. I was inspired by their cultures, food, different languages and their people

 

As you have been working significantly with dedication towards music, are there any other art forms that may have caught your eye?

Kushmita: Yes, definitely! I love to sing. Dance too. I am highly fascinated with acrobats and the way they use extensive acrobatic skills to do extraordinary things like dance, circus, gymnastics, martial arts etc. You need to thoroughly understand the mechanism of fear and let go of it. Losing the sense of balance and having a deep understanding of trust within the self is liberating.

 

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How has this pandemic affected musicians or artists in general, according to you?

Kushmita: We all were forced to adapt to the new reality. We have dedicated our entire lives to music, performances and the arts, but we didn't know how to go online with it. Some of us might have been left behind. This silenced some of the voices. The musicians rely heavily on events, weddings, touring, music festivals etc., for their income. It is devastating for them and their families. I hope we all get fully vaccinated soon so that the artists and musicians can be up on stage again where they belong.

 

What advice would you give to budding young artists?

Kushmita: Be strong and resilient. You will get everything only after you put in your effort and work out there first. You will not get respect for the work you have not yet done. Be true to yourself and the principles you have set for yourself. Remember to grow and reinvent yourself throughout your artist's journey. Find the creative signature style that makes your art yours. Do not chase fame but recognition and value for your art. At last, read your contracts to make sure what you are getting into. Build trust and compassion for your fans and supporters.

 

Congratulations on hitting 40K on YouTube! Do you prefer playing the violin in front of a camera and posting it on YouTube, or do you choose a live audience?

Kushmita: Thank you very much! I love both and all the aspects and processes involved in creating a YouTube video or playing live concerts. The recording process and making videos for my audience is an exciting process. I like to familiarize myself with the pieces and songs I want to play. I like to think about how I would like to interpret the music and portray it in the video. Once I have a vision of how it should sound, I take my violin out of the case and go for it. That is when I get a lot of ideas for different sounds and get inspired to bring something that's from my own soul to the pieces and songs to make them my own at last. Once I am happy with the outcome, I go and record it. We then go and shoot the video. Finding a location for the perfect video and doing the right makeup is fun. Live concerts can never be replaced by anything in this world. It's a place where I can interact with my audience through music. I enjoy the process of rehearsing and a little bit of nervousness on the stage during the final performance. Live performances are terrifying too, but I love performing because of its ecstatic and overwhelming thrills, and it takes me to a place of blissfulness and gratitude. It is the place where I meet the divine.

 

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Your message to our readers and youth.

Kushmita: Find your passion, and don't be afraid to follow it. You are capable and have the ability to achieve anything that you dream of. Have faith and courage to win the challenges. Do not go where the crowd is going, but pave your own path. The choice is all yours! This world needs you with your true essence. Be a good human being and bring change to your community with your uniqueness. That's how you will change the world.

 

Anything you would like to add?

Kushmita: Thank you so much to you all at Empower magazine for making me a part of your Issue X. It is an honor and great pleasure to be featured in such a fantastic magazine. Thank you for your love and support. It means the world to me. I hope people who read this get empowered to be themselves and learn something that helps them be who they aspire to be. I wish you all and the magazine the best for the future. Keep up the excellent work! God bless. Love.

 

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