Coffee conversations with Ashish

“Music gives me confidence,” says Ashish Joshi who left his well-paid job as a coder to follow his dreams. Let us take you through a roller coaster journey of how he managed to do that.

“My journey in music started while I was very young. My mother had a Harmonium that was gifted to her by my grandfather and she would play it in front of me and my brother.”

Looking at his mother sing and play instruments young Ashish started developing an interest in the Art. “She inspired both me and my brother and we would try singing along with her.” The Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan played a  huge role in building up his love and basis of music. “My mother would go to Divya Jyoti, there she sang bhajans and we used to accompany her. That’s how at the age of seven I started singing and my brother at five started learning Tabla.” The Sansthan also conducted events that would interest the young crowd so that they would participate as well. “Those were the building blocks for me and from there I just grew in music,” says Ashish.

“In school, I did not get much exposure to singing, but college changed it all. I started singing during the fests. It grew my circle with like-minded people and my interest started growing more.”

“I started playing guitar when I got motivated by looking at my friends play it in school and how everyone appreciated them. I borrowed a guitar from my tuition teacher and started learning it myself through various apps and tutorials online. I was practicing singing already but did not want to get dependent on my friends to play for me, therefore, I decided to learn guitar as well.” Ashish never wanted to rely on people for music when he sang so he decided to take a step forward to learn guitar as well which would complement his singing skills. “Freedom is most important for me,” added Ashish.

Talking about the importance of music Ashish admitted that he was amongst the ordinary crowd in school and music was something that gave him confidence. Music helped him stand in front of the onlookers and express himself.  “I was amongst those simple crowd in school. Someone who would not talk to many people, always confined in my own group. People started giving me importance because of music and I started gaining confidence. It was my way of expressing myself to the crowd.”

“Everyone in life is seeking validation and for me, music was my validation.”

“I have listened from classical to gothic rock. I might not prefer listening to it now but this deep study of music gave me immense knowledge of emotions. People usually confuse being emotional to being sad but in reality, emotions are a lot more than just being sad. I have been able to control my emotions well. I can feel an emotion, but I don’t have to be in a particular situation to feel that and this is the most powerful trait of a musician.”

Music has taken so much space in his life that he never feels lonely. His mind is always occupied by it and he seeks to always work towards the benefit of it.

“I was always interested in coding and computers and enjoyed it thoroughly. I liked reasoning and logic which lead me to take an engineering degree in Computer Science. But when I joined my fulltime job as a coder with Infosys I realized that this not what I want. All the fun part of learning was gone and I found myself stuck in the mundane routine of the job. I wanted to get out of this repetitive circle, but it took me 3 years to come out of it.” Finally working for almost three years, Ashish decided to leave his job to follow his calling for music. Trying to make his parents understand the whole situation was a task. Initially, they resisted it because they were worried about what’s next? “I told them I don’t want any regrets in life. My parents have always been very supportive of me but they were scared at first of my decision to leave my job. When my mother realized that I am not happy with where I am, she accepted my decision.” He started investing money so when he leaves his job he won’t be financially dependent on the family. “Financial independence is very important.”

“For the future, I am working on making more of my originals and publish them on the various online platforms. I have recently moved to Chennai with my brother who is a Music Producer, so we are preparing for live gigs as soon as things get back to normal and we are allowed to perform. In addition to this, my brother and i are also planning to open our own audio and video production company.”

Giving advice to his fellow artists Ashish said, “You should know your purpose and priorities, think about how you want to feel every day.”

“Joy is momentary, but your state of mind should be happy constantly and unless you have that content inside you nothing is worth it.” Till the time you do things for safety and with a set pattern, one can never be happy. Therefore it is important for you to follow your dreams to have that happiness.

-Sheetal Makar

Money is not life, learn to feel content. It is important to take that risk. We have one life there is no point living it by compromising.

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